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The local and international learning circles we design in CIRCLET support educators to reimagine their courses and modules to embed community-engaged research and learning (CERL) through peer learning and with the contribution of experts.  

In the local learning circles a small peer groups of lecturers (5-10 colleagues) will come together on a regular basis to share learning, and explore issues and solutions in a facilitated process – face-to-face where possible, otherwise online, or a mix. Experts on CERL, course design and educational technology, as well as community partners (locally variable) are providing their inputs to the process. The methodology of learning circles is rooted in action learning and experiential learning.*

In order to shape the CIRCLET learning circles and to make initial contact with educators who are interested in or have already started CERL projects within their courses, CIRCLET has taken off with a scoping and mapping exercise. Through a course scan and local consultations, partners have produced an overview of existing community collaborations within their institution and contact details of lecturers and researchers who are already collaborating with local community partners within their courses or are interested in starting to do this. In this report the results of the local mapping exercises are summarized.

During the fall semester we will plan how to incorporate CERL in our teaching, and in the spring semester we will deliver the course or module with a community project. Peer and science shop support are provided for the CERL project in both semesters in various forms and using various communication media. These will involve no more than 20 hours contact time and around 5-8 hours independent learning, across 2 semesters. Local learning circles will be connected internationally, offering collaboration opportunities for interested participants. The exact format of the international learning circle will be shaped in collaboration with participants, and will draw on the learning from the local learning circles. Potential outcomes are international publications by members about their process for rethinking courses to incorporate CERL.

* To learn more about experiential learning, watch the video below.

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