LCs are small groups of faculty/instructors who come together regularly over the course of a year to discuss various aspects of their teaching, support each other, and/or work together to solve a shared pedagogical problem or question. LCs can range from informal to quite structured, depending on the needs and goals of the group. The CTL is currently supporting 3 FLCs (see below) and is always willing to form more, based on faculty interest.
What are some examples of Learning Communities?
A learning community might be formed to:
- Support a cohort of faculty at a similar point in their careers
- Share ideas for improved teaching of a particular pedagogical approach (like service learning or problem-based learning)
- Investigate the potential of a new classroom practice or tool (like “flipping” or student response systems)
- Build community and support for teaching a common course (like First Year Seminars or Intro to Biology)
- Discuss scholarship on issues of concern to faculty and their classrooms (like diversity or campus climate)
- Connect faculty in more intentional ways with people and services that might improve student learning
What are the advantages to joining a LC?
Well, just to name a few, a LC can provide: new ideas for teaching, opportunities to slow down and reflect, scholarly camaraderie, intercollegiate connections, emotional support, potential avenues for publication, and, often, a free lunch! Above all, a LC is a safe place to challenge yourself to grow as a teacher and life-long learner.