Teaching circles are designed to facilitate faculty dialogue related to an aspect of teaching and/or learning. What is required of participants is a commitment to meet on a regular basis - frequency and times to be set by the group - and a desire to learn and contribute to the group.



Join other tenured faculty to discuss a book related to teaching and learning, either from the FTLC Reads list or of their own choosing. Initial meetings have yet to be scheduled. Christine Rener, Pew FTLC Director will help coordinate initial meetings, but a Teaching Circle convener will need to be chosen. Text selection and meeting schedules will be discussed at this initial meeting. If you are interested in joining, please contact Christine Rener at renerc@gvsu.edu.



To apply for a Pew FTLC Teaching Circle Grant, click on "APPLY FOR GRANTS" to the left. All faculty, full- or part-time, are eligible to apply.

Propose your own Teaching Circle. Grants are available to all faculty, full or part-time. The initial meeting of the Circle must be publicized campus-wide and be open to any faculty member interested in the issue. Budgets may include expenses for refreshments, books, resources, etc.  A brief summary of the group's activities is due at the end of the final semester in which the group meets.

Maximum Award: $500

Deadlines: None. Apply anytime.

Please be aware of the following when using the online application system:
    a)  The application entry is timed at a maximum of 20 minutes. We advise that you prepare your text and budget figures in advance and paste this information into the application. An outline of the grant is here: TC Outline.
    b)  It is recommended that PC Users use Internet Explorer for application entry and Mac users should use either Safari or Firefox.
    c)  The online system will inform you upon login if the funds for the quarter in question have been depleted.


For faculty engaged in online/hybrid course development, consider joining a Teaching Circle dedicated to working with the Quality Matters standards rubric. The recently adopted Quality Matters rubric comprises eight standards that help guide course development. Each semester, several Quality Matters Teaching Circles will be offered in partnership with Instructional Design for e-Learning (IDeL). Contact the Pew FTLC if interested.

Maximum Award: $500

Deadlines: None. Apply anytime. Apply online with a Teaching Circle grant once all the necessary approvals have been received.


Travel, Materials or Services: All purchases for materials or services and travel expenses for grants are to be made using department funds. These reimbursements are not dependent on a report and carry from one fiscal year to another, so send in reimbursements as they occur.

  • Send an email or memo with the faculty name, grant type, grant number, and the amount to be transferred.
  • Attach a copy of the Purchase Order, P-card transaction, or Travel and Expense voucher, etc. for materials or services purchased.
  • The department will be reimbursed through a working budget transfer of funds from the Pew FTLC grant account. The FTLC will initiate the transfer in Onbase. You are welcome to use our reimbursement form or one of your own.

Send Information to: ftlcgrants@gvsu.edu via email or to Pew FTLC, 324 LOH via interoffice mail.


The report is due after the last meeting of the Teaching Circle. 

Report Format: The report format is entirely up to you, but normally we get a 1-3 page narrative (the larger the grant, the longer the report) that describes the outcomes of the grant activity.  Here is the link to Final Report Instructions for more detailed information: http://www.gvsu.edu/ftlc/final-report-instructions-for-pew-ftlc-grants--185.htm


The College of Education, and the Mathematics Department, with guidance from members of the Instructional Design for e-Learning Department (IDeL), will be using Teaching Circles to create an opportunity for constructive feedback and ideas for improvement in the design of hybrid and online instruction using general standards provided by the Quality Matters rubric. Meetings will be held monthly during the lunch hour at COE and at various times September through April in Math.

Another Teaching Circle by the Occupational Therapy Department, also related to technology in teaching, will discuss best practices, as well as training on relevant apps and software, for integrating iPads and FlipCams into the classroom and fieldwork visits. Meetings will take place at CHS, at least one time per month as part of faculty meetings and/or stand-alone tech training meetings. They plan to bring in guest speakers from other areas, such as the College of Education.

Kate Remlinger, Kelly Ross, and Dawn Evans created a Teaching Circle to learn how to more effectively encourage Student Responsibility and Accountability so that students are well prepared for class discussions and activities. The group will learn and share pedagogical practices such as designing classroom activities and assignments that develop cognitive skills, make connections with previous knowledge (i.e. "scaffold"), and develop metacognitive practices while at the same time helping faculty manage assignment and grading loads. Much of the group's learning will come from the book and website, Just-in-time Teaching by Scott Simkins and Mark Maier and include Pew FTLC on-demand workshops. Meetings are scheduled in 141 LHH:

  • Friday, January 25, 11:00-12:30: Introductions and Circle Plan--Materials and Methods
  • Friday, February 15, 11:00-12:30: FTLC Workshop ETM 4: Helping Students Prepare for Class
  • Friday, March 1, 11:00-12:30: Discussion of given readings from Part One of Just-in-Time Teaching
  • Friday, March 22, 11:00-12:30: Discussion of given readings from Part Two of Just-in-Time Teaching
  • Friday, April 5, 11:00-12:30: Drawing Conclusions and Planning Applications

Danielle Lake’s Teaching Circle is a special series focusing on “Quality Matters,” GVSU’s current adopted standards for online/hybrid teaching, which is also very helpful for traditional in-seat courses.  Glenna Decker from IDeL will be the facilitator. Each session will focus on a standard: Course Introductions, Learning Objectives, Assessment and Measurements, Instructional Materials, Learner Interaction and Engagement, as well as Course Technology, Learner Support, and Accessibility. Various aspects of these standards from Quality Matters will be scrutinized and applied to faculty courses.  Focus will be on collaborative idea sharing with constructive feedback.

Dr. David Zwart, History, will be leading a Teaching Circle to facilitate a discussion about historical thinking and how to better help our students master the ability. Participants will read and discuss Stephane Levesque, Thinking Historically: Educating Students for the Twenty-First Century (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2008).  This book is an excellent synthesis of much of the literature on teaching and learning history.  The reading and discussion will help facilitate sharing best practices and a reflective pedagogy of the members of the group and work toward a signature pedagogy of history, particularly in survey courses.


Page last modified June 16, 2014