Community activities and a vibrant community of practice serve as the platform for discussing and promoting the reform and innovation of higher education. The university, education and teaching are confronted with a need for foundational transformation. To organise activities among the education innovation community for the purposes of supporting a foundational transformation of higher education, ILEAD aims to bring together people who are interested in and thoughtful about educational reform and innovation. However, there is also a need for these participants to be willing to try and consider new methods of practice. As a result of this outreach, consensus on transformation can be reached, resulting in further planning, discussions and cooperation between those in the education community.
ILEAD supports reform through a variety of activities throughout the year. The Institution holds an annual, large-scale conference (Annual Conference on Higher Education), hosts several XJTLU education forums, awards the XJTLU National University Teaching Innovation Award and supports the XJTLU Students Research-led Learning Competition. In addition to supporting transformation through activities, ILEAD further reflects on its own progress during the annual conference, updating the “Students-Centred Education Guidance” and the “ILEAD Index”, both of of which are produced in-house to measure the educational quality of domestic universities. Through the awarding of the XJTLU National University Teaching Innovation Award, innovation in teaching is encouraged. Through community activities, ILEAD is able to support innovation in teaching among a wider audience; 12 community activities were organised in 2017, reaching practitioners interested in innovation in teaching from more than 300 universities.
“Compared with other forums in China, the topics of ILEAD forums are more thought provoking, considering deeply rooted problems in the university instead of just focusing on specific content about teaching and methodology. The horizon of ILEAD is forward-looking and insightful, involving the future development of university. One frequently-discussed topic is how does the university confront the challenges of the internet. At the same time, the atmosphere of these discussions is full of freedom and enterprise. All the remarks come from the teachers’ independent ideas, personal practices and feelings.”
Professor Han Yunrui
The Maths and Physics Teaching Centre of XJTLU