Introducing the Crawford Playbook

The Crawford Playbook is a SharePoint site that was initially developed for academics at the Crawford School of Public Policy to help them create more interactive and engaging communities within their learning spaces. It is a joint, collaborative project between the Crawford School of Public Policy under the direction and leadership of Alison Cumming Thom and the Education Design Team at the Centre of Learning and Teaching (CLT). In the spirit of true collaboration, the Crawford School is generously sharing this initial prototype of their Playbook with everyone at ANU to use and learn from.

The Playbook site is continually developing with new content planned. In coming editions of the Interact newsletter we will highlight more of the Playbook content and features, so keep an eye out!

What is the purpose of the Playbook?

The Playbook is a curation and repository site full of ideas, action cards, case studies and examples of ways to enhance teaching and learning. It has multiple purposes. Firstly, to curate and showcase the rich and varied ways in which Crawford School teaching staff are creating interactive opportunities for their students through the ‘Examples from Crawford School’ section. Secondly, to offer a repository of resources including strategies, tools, case studies and examples grouped around three aspects of interactive engagement:

  • peer-to-peer
  • students and teacher
  • students with content.

The Playbook was designed around four main topics and multiple subtopics:

  • Interaction: making courses more interactive and engaging, using Wattle tools for interactivity, and helping students interact with asynchronous content.
  • Collaboration: helping students work in groups online, to share materials and resources online, and collaborate in group assessments
  • Informal community: helping students to get to know one another, have real time discussions, and be part of a learning community.
  • Professional networks: helping students have opportunities for professional experience, develop professional networks and experience simulated professional environments.

The Playbook was designed with the learning and teaching context of the Crawford School at the front of mind. For example, all Crawford students are postgraduates, with a high number of international students. Courses generally have small intakes and are tailored to students and industry needs. The courses include partnerships and collaborations with the professions in which Crawford graduates are highly valued.

Similarly, it was important to align the Playbook with the School’s philosophy of learning:

  • Deep engagement between students, ideas and experience- debate, discussion, contestation
  • Fundamental importance of peer-peer engagement in learning
  • Genuine and extended interaction between students and faculty
  • Strength of study groups, networks of peers
  • Strong identity as Crawford students
  • Collaborative learning in and outside the classroom
  • Growth of professional networks that will reach beyond their time at Crawford
  • Engagement with applied and practitioner perspectives and experiential opportunities.

More about the project

The idea for the Playbook emerged in discussions between Alison Cumming Thom and the CLT Education Designers during 2020 and within the context of having worked together on a Pre-Sessional Program (PSP) for Crawford to increase interactivity and social connectedness.

Alison and the CLT team welcome feedback and suggestions as they continue to build the resource with more action cards, strategies and case studies. Contact the Education Design team at for help.

June 2021

Claire Brooks and Karlene Dickens are Educational Designers at the Centre for Learning & Teaching. Janene Harman is Acting Manager of the Education Design Team at the Centre for Learning & Teaching