Faculty Learning Communities
- AI-Integrated Teaching Toolkit
- INQR Course Design & Instruction Learning Community
- Care-Based Pedagogy After the Pandemic
- Preparing Students for Post-Graduation Work with Current Events
- Faculty Writing Circle
- New Faculty Learning Community
A faculty learning community (FLC) is an ongoing, active group of faculty who work together to explore new pedagogy, support one another as a cohort when at a similar stage of their career, engage in cutting-edge conversations about a topic in higher education or strategic planning initiative at the institution, research and write together, or share another identity that connects them professionally or personally. By design, faculty learning communities promote collegiality across disciplines, departments, and colleges, and they encourage energy, empowerment, and innovation among participants by providing a unique space to explore new ideas, experiment, and reflect with colleagues.
"Faculty learning communities build communication across disciplines, increase faculty interest in teaching and learning, initiate excursions into the scholarship of teaching, and foster civic responsibility... They change individuals, and, over time, they change institutional culture." -- Milton D. Cox, Miami University, founder of FLCs
FLCs typically involve 8-12 participants and are always facilitated by a faculty member. They are cohort-based or topic-based, or sometimes a combination. The Director of CELT (Dr. Jamie Landau) supports FLCs in a number of ways:
- Facilitating or co-facilitating
- Helping to select topics and readings
- Recruiting members
- Assisting with promotion and communication
- Coordinating schedules through Doodle polls
- Providing meeting spaces at CELT that can be reserved
- Offering financial support and computer technology whenever possible
- Reviewing the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) about topics
- Participating in a group
Facilitate a Faculty Learning Community
If you want to facilitate or form an FLC in collaboration with CELT, then please fill out this CELT FLC Proposal Form. Proposals are due approximately two months before the start of the semester when your FLC will run. If you have any questions, contact the Director of CELT, Dr. Jamie Landau (email@example.com, 229-333-6032). If you are a faculty member in business, the arts, or a clinical field such as nursing, CELT is especially interested in creating faculty learning communities that serve the needs of those professional identities so please contact Dr. Landau with any ideas.
One faculty facilitator per FLC each semester will receive $1,500 in extra compensation from CELT, with payment made at the completion of the work. If two faculty co-facilitate an FLC, then they can request to split the $1,500, totaling to $750 each in extra compensation. Faculty with administrative appointments or staff who co-facilitate an FLC are not eligible for extra compensation since this work aligns with their job description. Whenever possible, CELT's annual operating budget and CELT's VSU Foundation account can offer additional funding for FLC supplies, such as to purchase books and food.
Join a Faculty Learning Community
To join a faculty learning community, contact the facilitator(s) identified in the descriptions below to participate in their scheduling poll and then make sure to register for the program through the VSU Training Portal once the meeting dates/times are confirmed in the portal.
Registering through the VSU Training Portal benefits faculty because faculty can download attendance data from that portal to include in their Annual Faculty Activity Report and Action Plan (AFARAP) as well as their Promotion and Tenure dossier.
Faculty Learning Communities for Spring 2024
Facilitators: Ms. Rebecca Storey and Ms. Rebekah "Ambie" Watson
This virtual learning community is a special semester-long opportunity for teachers to experiment together with integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into their classrooms.
Do you want to leverage cutting-edge AI tools to elevate your teaching methodologies and make administrative tasks more efficient? Perhaps you already attended a CELT-eLearning-USG webinar on this topic but need more time with colleagues to experiment with AI for teaching and learning? Specifically, in this FLC, we will develop a toolkit that combines a variety of AI-powered solutions to streamline lesson planning, quizzing, and grading, as well as we will explore how to enhance course assignments, student engagement, and foster collaborative learning with AI. The AI tools that we will discuss can be used by professors and by students, and they are available in both free and premium plans. Based upon the needs of the participants, for example, there will be tutorials on ChatGPT, ClassPoint AI, Canva, Magic School, and Gradescope. At the end of this FLC, each participant will create an outline of tools and identify one way they can use each tool in their classes.
This FLC is co-facilitated by Ms. Rebecca Storey and Ms. Rebekah “Ambie” Watson, both Lecturers of Teacher Education. The FLC will gather the following six Wednesdays from 10am to 11am via Teams video conference during the Spring 2024 semester: January 31, February 7, February 14, February 21, February 28, and March 6. Faculty can join this FLC by registering through the VSU Training Portal.
Facilitator: Dr. Shá Wilfred
This learning community explores design and instruction topics related to the structure of VSU’s Academic Perspectives on Inquiry (INQR) courses.
INQR courses are high-impact practices that provide students with opportunities to engage in the in-depth investigation of topics, interact extensively with instructors and peers, develop and/or enhance transferable skills, and understand and communicate the connection between the curricular and co-curricular. The design and instruction of such courses require significant planning and continual revision. In this learning community for faculty, staff, and GAs interested in the INQR courses, participants will become familiar with the INQR course framework, discuss how to integrate topics related to institutional focus areas into the course, and learn best teaching practices. Ultimately, each participant will design their own INQR course, build relationships with colleagues who have already taught and/or who are preparing to teach the course, and contribute to INQR instructor guides. Complimentary meals and books are included.
This learning community is facilitated by Dr. Shá Wilfred, General Education Coordinator and Professor of Criminal Justice. The FLC will gather on the following six Tuesdays from 1:30pm to 2:30pm during the Spring 2024 semester at CELT (102 Georgia Avenue): January 30, February 13, February 27, March 19, April 2, and April 16. Faculty can join this FLC by registering through the VSU Training Portal.
Facilitator: Dr. Meagan Wood Hopkins
This faculty learning community continues the conversation from a CELT FLC last year by again exploring care-based pedagogy in post-pandemic education.
Care-based pedagogy requires instructors to actively foster and maintain pedagogic relationships with students, while privileging trust, acceptance, diligence, and individual attentiveness. Creating purposeful pedagogical relationships are essential for student and instructor success, particularly when those successful pedagogical relationships connect cognition to emotion because both influence student learning outcomes. In this FLC, we will continue to explore basic principles of care-based pedagogy across three areas: (1) Centering the student-teacher relationship in teaching, (2) Designing and implementing classroom activities involving care-centered practices, and (3) Providing support and guidance on enacting care in research. We will pay particular attention to care-based pedagogy in a post-pandemic world. Therefore, we will design care-centered strategies for online learning and to help students adjust to post-pandemic education. Ultimately, faculty will write a short reflection documenting course changes as result of participating in the FLC and will be invited to contribute their thoughts to the final phases of an in-progress publication on this topic. Faculty will also be encouraged to explore specific aspects of the topic individually and write for potential publication
This FLC is facilitated by Dr. Meagan Wood Hopkins, Assistant Professor of Psychology. The FLC will gather on the following six Tuesdays from 11am to 12pm during the Spring 2024 semester at CELT (102 Georgia Avenue): January 23, February 6, February 20, March 5, March 19, and April 2. Faculty can join this FLC by registering through the VSU Training Portal.
Facilitators: Dr. Lavonna Lovern
This FLC focuses on how to engage students by adding current local, regional, national, and global issues into the curriculum.
Expanding upon FLCs from previous semesters, we hope to bring together faculty from across the university to discuss the use of current events in the classroom to create student interest, involvement, and to help prepare them for an increasingly complex and challenging world. Given that students will encounter a new environment at work or in graduate school, as well as their daily lives will be impacted by a changing society, instructors can help prepare them for those situations while enhancing their belonging at VSU. This FLC will be an open discussion format asking faculty to share their teaching and scholarly expertise, ideas, and experience so we can best serve all of our students and advance career-readiness skills in students while they are here at VSU.
This FLC is facilitated by Dr. Lavonna Lovern, Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies/Native American and Indigenous Studies. The FLC will gather on the following six Fridays from 10am to 11:30am during the Spring 2024 semester at CELT (102 Georgia Avenue): January 19, February 2, February 16, March 1, March 22, and March 29. Faculty can join this FLC by registering through the VSU Training Portal.
Facilitator: Ms. Catherine Bowers
The Faculty Writing Circle is a writing group for faculty to get their writing done and maintain their research agendas with the support of one another across disciplines.
Given heavy teaching loads during the semester, it can be a struggle for faculty to fit writing into their daily routines. Research in faculty development shows that writing groups have significant benefits. They help with motivation, goal-setting, time-management, and accountability. They are an opportunity to receive encouragement and feedback about current research projects. They help faculty be more prepared for performance reviews. And they foster interdisciplinary relationships among faculty, such as by forming writing buddies. Ultimately, each faculty member in the Faculty Writing Circle will write a 1-2 page reflective narrative about any career accomplishments and other benefits they experience from participating in the writing group.
The Faculty Writing Circle is facilitated by Ms. Catherine Bowers, Reference Librarian and Coordinator of Library Instruction. The FLC will gather on the following eight Mondays from 2pm to 3pm during the Spring 2024 semester at CELT (102 Georgia Avenue): January 22, February 5, February 19, March 4, March 18, April 1, April 15, and April 29. Faculty can join this FLC by registering through the VSU Training Portal.
Facilitator: Dr. Jamie Landau
The New Faculty Learning Community is a year-long cohort-based faculty learning community that addresses the needs of faculty who are in the first year of their jobs at VSU.As a follow-up to New Faculty Orientation, this group gathers every few weeks throughout the academic year for new faculty to support one another across departments and engage in professional development activities that are relevant to this stage of their career at VSU. Sample areas of focus include teaching tips for active-learning, collecting and responding to student feedback, best practices for contemplative pedagogy, strategies for teaching online, embedding experiential learning into any course, maintaining an active scholarly agenda, preparing for the first-year annual review, and a rooftop tour of VSU or social event off campus.
The New Faculty Learning Community is facilitated by Dr. Jamie Landau, Director of CELT and Professor of Communication Arts. The FLC will gather for one hour six times during the Spring 2024 semester in person at CELT. Please email Dr. Landau (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Dec. 5 to express your interest and to participate in a scheduling poll.