What is a Faculty Learning Community?
A Faculty Learning Community (or FLC) is a group of interdisciplinary faculty who engage in an active, collaborative, year-long program. Each FLC focuses on researching and testing a scholarly and pedagogical topic that is important to the larger academic community.
Once the FLC begins, participants attend monthly meetings that include teaching and learning activities, development and training opportunities, and community building. An important component of an FLC is an emphasis on the scholarship of teaching and learning. Thus, participants will read the faculty development literature and design individual or small group projects for their department or college that allow the assessment and evaluation of these efforts, suitable for presentation or publication in a professional journal.
The LT&ITC, with major support from the Office of the Provost, will be offering 5 new Faculty Learning Communities for the 2014-2015 Academic Year. As you may know, The program includes a curriculum about enhancing faculty development with regularly-scheduled meetings and activities that provide participants with opportunities pertaining to the FLC’s major focus. The new FLCs will focus on the topics of Information Literacy, Plagiarism, the “Reacting to the Past” program, mid-career faculty development, and civic learning and civic engagement.
Information Literacy (Facilitator: Jason Vance, Walker Library)
Plagiarism (Facilitators: Emily Baran & Mike Paulauskas, Department of History)
Reacting to the Past (Facilitators: Dawn McCormack & Becky McIntyre)
Mid-Career Faculty Development Program (Facilitator: Tom Brinthaupt)
Civic Learning and Civic Engagement (Facilitators: May Evins, Center for Historic Preservation, and Laura Clark, Educational Leadership)
FLC's sponsored by the Center have included:
eLearning Pedagogies FLC (facilitated by Justin Garner, Amy Hennington-Harris)- Examines best practices for teaching online and hybrid courses. Participants work on incorporating technologies into their individual courses as well as designing appropriate assessment procedures to evaluate the effectiveness of those changes.
Emerging Technologies FLC (facilitated by Robin Blackman & Albert Whittenberg)
Teaching Mentoring Program FLC (facilitated by Tim Graeff)- This FLC is engaging in a year-long collaborative program designed to identify and develop the unique skills and abilities that are required of a good mentor. The group as a whole meets once a month for community building and discussions related to teaching effectiveness and the mentoring process. These discussions highlight the behaviors and skills that are necessary for being a good teaching mentor. The members of the FLC will also mentor each other next spring to learn the process of classroom observation and feedback. Deans representing the various colleges and disciplines on campus were asked to nominate faculty members who were not only excellent teachers but who could also make excellent teaching mentors. The members of this FLC include: Vivian Alley (University Studies), Jessica Carter (Agribusiness and Agriscience), Tim Graeff (Management and Marketing), David Rowe (History), Chris Stephens (Mathematical Sciences), Charlene True (Ed. Leadership), Kim Ujcich Ward (Psychology), Melissa Wald (Recording Industry), and Linda Wilson (Nursing). Click here for more information on MTSU's Mentoring Program
Workplace Civility FLC (facilitated by Tom Brinthaupt & Jackie Gilbert)
General Education/Common Core (facilitated by Sheila Otto; partnered with Liberal Arts)- This FLC is studying Common Core Standards and mapping the Standards to the TBR General Education Outcomes. A piece about this FLC was published in an Ayers Institute newsletter, click here to read.
Mid-Career Faculty FLC (facilitated by Deana Raffo & Tom Brinthaupt)- modeled after the existing program, but geared specifically to those faculty who have been recently tenured and promoted.
SOTL (Scholarship of Teaching and Learning) FLC- This FLC allowed a group of faculty members to develop and begin to conduct SOTL research projects. The FLC studied online courses and tried to better understand what students think of online courses and how this compares to what faculty members think of online courses. They have amassed a large dataset of student and faculty responses. These data will lead to a number of research papers on this topic. Click here for more information on SOTL.