While the #creativeHE team's submission was led by colleagues at London Metropolitan University, it is a cross-institutional team featuring members from several institutions.
The open and cross-institutional #creativeHE community is a greenhouse for creative educators, practitioners, researchers, students, risk takers and educational disruptors. The team fosters an environment of experimentation, sharing novel learning and teaching ideas to transform the student and staff experience beyond disciplinary, institutional and geographical boundaries. The universities and organisations represented within #creativeHE through its team members are the University of Leeds, London Metropolitan University, University of Salford, University of Central Lancashire, Creative Academic, University of Law, Leeds Beckett University, University of Calgary, Durham University, London School of Economics and Political Science, University of Glasgow. The community was brought to life in 2015 by a team member who at the time worked at Manchester Metropolitan University (since Sep 2022 at the University of Leeds) together with a further five institutional founding team members who shared a common interest in creative approaches to facilitating learning.
Their inclusive, open and collaborative approach has enabled the team to flourish into a wide-reaching international group which as of July 2022 comprises twelve core team members from eleven organisations. The team’s diverse backgrounds, disciplines and roles represent a range of Higher Education institutions. Agreed through a process of democratic dialogue, the team champions seven values: creative, open, caring, collegial, collaborative, rebellious and trailblazing.
As the #creativeHE team has grown, the qualities and expanding expertise created new synergies and opportunities influencing the direction of the community. The team comes together with the international community to learn and experiment, supporting each other in challenging traditional educational practices. The rotating leadership groups have been fundamental in building capacity, growing activities in a distributed and embracing way that have led this community to not just survive but thrive during the global pandemic.
Since all community activities were moved online in 2020, interest and engagement in #creativeHE has led to rapid growth and expansion. As of July 2022, the online community has over 650 members, whilst over 1200 staff and students from over 170 institutions across 17 countries have engaged with community events and activities. Multiple online courses, inquiries and opportunities around creativity for learning and teaching have inspired changes in practice, enhanced scholarly activities and led to the creation and widespread adoption of open educational resources and open educational practices.
#creativeHE was recognised for excellence and became one of only five finalists in the Open Education Europa Teachers’ Contest (2015). #creativeHE has been highly commended in the Credo Digital Awards for Information Literacy (2016) and shortlisted for a SEDA Educational Development Initiative of the Year (2018).