FLCs Power Point

Faculty Learning Communities:
Recommendations for Initiating &
Implementing a FLC within your Department
Marian Moore, Career Services
• Describe what a Faculty Learning Community (FLC)is and
summarize the different types
• Discuss what is entailed in the initial planning and
implementation of FLCs
• Identify the characteristics of building an effective FLC
Faculty Learning Community (FLC)
Consists of a community of “cross-disciplinary faculty
and staff group of six to fifteen members (eight to
twelve members is the recommended size) who engage
in an active, collaborative, yearlong program with a
curriculum about enhancing teaching and learning and
with frequent seminars and activities that provide
learning, development, the scholarship of teaching,
and community building” (Cox, 2004).
Types of Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs)
1. Cohort-based
2. Topic-based
Types of Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs)
• Address the teaching, learning, and developmental needs of an
important group of faculty or staff that has been particularly
affected by the isolation, fragmentation, stress, neglect, or
chilly climate in the academy.
• Include a broad range of teaching and learning areas and
topics of interest to them
• Ex. junior faculty, midcareer and senior faculty, department chairs, deans, and
graduate students preparing to be future faculty
Types of Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs)
• Address a special campus teaching and learning need, issue, or
• Ex. Internationalization of the curriculum, First-Year Experience, Problembased learning, Technology
Initiating and Implementing a FLC
Tips for Creating a Customized Learning Community
Decide which faculty members will be involved
• Established and respected faculty members
• Be cognizant of demands on untenured faculty members
• Seek diversity in status and perspectives, if possible
Examine how learning communities can fit in with existing campus
• Take advantage of writing-across-the-curriculum or first year
experience programs
Decide which administrative and professional staff personnel should
be involved in implementing and maintaining the learning
• Work with academic and student affairs
• Maintain a good working relationship with the registrar’s office
Tips for Creating a Customized Learning Community
Discover what types of internal and external resources are available
• Consider asking for some compensation (course release, stipend,
travel money)
• Consider writing a grant proposal
Consider how the learning community will become institutionalized
• Consider developing a steering committee
Consider how you will evaluate the effectiveness of the learning
• Design assessment mechanisms when you design the goals of the
learning community
• Use both qualitative and quantitative data (focus groups, surveys,
institutional data) (Thies, 2005).
Qualities of Building Community
1. Safety and trust. Must have a sense of safety and trust.
2. Openness. Participants can feel free to share their thoughts
and feelings without fear of retribution.
3. Respect. Members need to feel that they are valued and
respected as people.
4. Responsiveness. Members must respond respectfully to one
5. Collaboration. Centers on group members’ ability to work
with and respond to one another.
Qualities of Building Community
6. Relevance. Learning outcomes are aligned with the subject matter
of the FLC to the participants’ teaching, courses, scholarship,
professional interests, and life experiences.
7. Enjoyment. Activities must include social opportunities to lighten
up and bond and should take place in invigorating environments.
Ex. a retreat off-campus.
8. Esprit de corps. Sharing individual and community outcomes with
colleagues in the academy should generate pride and loyalty.
9. Empowerment. Faculty members leave with better courses and a
clearer understanding of themselves and their students. Key
outcomes include scholarly teaching and contributions to the
scholarship of teaching (Cox, 2004).
Cox, M. D. (2004). Introduction to faculty learning communities. New
Directions For Teaching & Learning, (97), 5-23.
Thies, C. G. (2005). A Crash Course in Learning Communities for the Political
Scientist. Journal Of Political Science Education, 1(1), 129-141.
Thank You!
Marian Moore
Center for Teaching and Learning
January 30, 2014 Teaching Symposium