Current Faculty Learning Communities


Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) bring faculty together to foster a 1-2 semester-long conversation on a topic of mutual interest and encourage an application of the knowledge gained.  Each FLC consists of a facilitator and a group of at least four faculty.  If you are interested in registering for an FLC, simply apply for an Faculty Learning Community in the FTLC Grant System.  All faculty are eligible to apply, unless otherwise noted. (Note: GVSU staff may participate with supervisor approval.)

If you are interested in forming or leading a Faculty Learning Community for the current or upcoming academic year, complete a Faculty Learning Community Letter of Intent Form. If you are leading an FLC, visit the FLC Facilitator Resources page.

Looking for inspiration?  Visit our Past Faculty Learning Communities webpage to see a complete list (with descriptions) of FLCs from past academic years.


2022-2023 FACULTY LEARNING COMMUNITIES

Why join an FLC?--Highlights and interviews with GVSU faculty who have participated in an FLC previously

Download the Transcript

Don't take our word for it.  Watch this short video in which GVSU faculty are interviewed about the impact participating in a Pew FTLC Faculty Learning Community had on them.  We couldn't ask for better ambassadors for this fantastic program!


Cohort-Based

Year-round

This series features topics that are interest to a discipline-specific group of faculty.

Image to represent a cohort--several stick figures in a group.

Do Nothing: How to Break Away from Overworking, Overdoing, and Underliving

Fall 2022

How might we reclaim our time and accomplish more by doing less?

As an antidote to the culture of burgeoning "to do" lists, addictive busyness, and resultant burnout, this faculty learning community will explore how we might reclaim our time and ultimately, our health. Not only is this a worthy pursuit of our own lives, but for the lives of our students, many fo whom are becoming increasingly stressed and anxious as they aim for a apace that is often unsustainable and even detrimental to their wellbeing.

***This FLC is open to MTD faculty only.***

Meeting Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: Online/Zoom

Facilitator: Kathryn Stieler, Music, Theatre and Dance and Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow, [email protected]

Interested? You can register for this FLC by completing an FLC Application.

KCON Faculty Writing Circle

Fall 2022 & Winter 2023 (year-long)

How might a discipline-specific writing group help support the scholarship goals of nursing faculty while also helping inform their teaching of writing skills to their students?

Do you have manuscripts or grants needing attention but struggle finding time to finish them? Does accountability to a group foster your writing productivity? Interested in learning more strategies to share with nursing students who struggle with their own writing? using Paul Sylvia's book, "How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing," faculty will develop strategies that strengthen their writing skills as well as facilitate their teaching of writing skills to nursing students. Faculty will meet every 4-6 weeks during the fall and winter semesters to discuss writing progress, practicing effective writing strategies between those sessions. Meetings will be virtual, with separate in-person writing time/space also provided. Writing retreats will occur at the end of each semester. GVSU writing resources, guest speakers and possible collaboration with other campus writing groups will provide further support for faculty writing.

***This group is only open to KCON Faculty.***

Meeting Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: Online/Zoom

Facilitator: Susan Strouse, Nursing, [email protected]

Interested? You can register for this FLC by completing an FLC Application.

Student Engagement in Math Classes

Fall 2022

How might we use student voices and research-based practices to increase engagement in our classrooms?

This faculty learning community will use Keeping Us Engaged: Student Perspectives (and Research-Based Strategies) on What Works and Why to explore and adapt our math classrooms to increase student engagement. We will learn about research-based practices for student engagement through student voices and aim to apply at least one (new to us) practice in our classroom in the fall or winter semester.

***This FLC is open to Math Faculty only.***

Meeting Dates/Times: Meeting on the following Fridays from 3pm-4pm

  • September 23
  • October 21
  • November 18
  • December 9

Location/Campus: Online/Zoom

Facilitator: Lauren Keough, Mathematics, [email protected]

Interested? You can register for this FLC by completing an FLC Application.

Unpacking Teacher Learning Around Culturally Responsive Pedagogy

Fall 2022

What are teachers (preservice and inservice) currently learning about culturally responsive pedagogy and what does that mean for our university?

This faculty learning community seeks to not only grow us as teacher educators, but also offer space to collaborate around the concepts of culturally responsive pedagogy. Many preservice and inservice teachers (i.e., our undergraduate and graduate students) are deeply engaged in the work of Gholdy Muhammad as local schools/districts have been investing in professional development around culturally responsive practices. Specifically, they have been using her text Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy. As literacy teacher educators, we would like to dig in and really understand better what teachers are interacting with and taking up in their school professional development. With that, we hope that through dialogue, we will learn additional ideas to incorporate into our own instruction with preservice and inservice teachers in the Literacy Studies program.

***This FLC is open to College of Education and Community Innovation Faculty Only***

Meeting Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: In-Person, Pew Grand Rapids Campus

Facilitator: Elizabeth Stolle, Literacy Education Foundations and Technology, [email protected]

Interested? You can register for this FLC by completing an FLC Application.


Contemplative Pedagogy

Stick figure meditating--representing contemplative actions

Year-round

This ongoing series includes one introduction to contemplative pedagogy for those who are new to the idea and a more advanced topic for those who would like to apply their existing knowledge of contemplative pedagogy.

Begin your Year with Mindful Miracle Mornings

Winter 2023

How can you wake up each day with more energy, motivation, and focus in order to bring your best self to the classroom and work?

At the start of a new year and new semester, we may seek to start new healthy habits to improve our lives. while this is possible alone, the encouragement and support of our peers can provide a more enriching experience. I invite you to join a community of your colleagues to read Hal Elrod's The Miracle Morning: The 6 Habits That Will Transform Your Life Before 8AM. We will provide each other accountability in dedicating six minutes to an hour of our mornings to new healthy habits. To accompany the textbook and facilitate mindfulness and contemplation, participants will also have the option to receive A Book That Takes Its Time: An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness.

Meeting Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: Online/Zoom

Facilitator: Ashley Rosener, University Libraries, r[email protected]

Interested? You can register for this FLC by completing an FLC Application.

Learning to Live Untethered

Fall 2022

How might reflective and mindful practices help us find deeper meaning and joy in our daily work?

This Faculty Learning Community will read the book, Living Untethered: Beyond the Human Predicament, a follow up to Michael A. Singer's The Untethered Soul. Whether you have or have not read The Untethered Soul, this book provides a clear guide on how to move "beyond the thoughts, feelings, and habits that keep you stuck – so you can heal the pain of the past and let your spirit soar." Join us in learning how to put the spiritual teachings of Michael A. Singer into practice every day as we learn to live more mindfully as individuals, teachers, and mentors. Along with reading Living Untethered: Beyond the Human Predicament, we will utilize The Untethered Soul Guided Journal: Practices to Journey Beyond Yourself to further reflect on the readings and move from theory into practice in our lives and work.

Meeting Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: Online/Zoom

Facilitator: Ashley Rosener, University Libraries, r[email protected]

Interested? You can register for this FLC by completing an FLC Application.


Effective Teaching: Classic and Contemporary Thought

Fall and Winter

This ongoing series will feature two FLCs each semester, one delving into a foundational text of progressive educational philosophy (e.g. Rousseau, Dewey, Hooks), the other providing a contemporary lens and practical approaches to confront today's pedagogical challenges.  All faculty are welcome to join one or both FLCs.

Stick figure person standing at a podium and pointing to a presentation screen--image represents the act of teaching.

The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World in Flux

Winter 2023

In the wake of recent and ongoing crisis, and in preparation for new ones, what can we do to make our classrooms and our university more student-ready?

In line with the theme of our Fall Conference on Teaching and Learning, in this FLC we'll consider ways to enhance our teaching and make our university more student-ready as we read and discuss Cath Davidson's The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World in Flux (Basic Books, 2nd Edition 2022). Davidson combines broad knowledge of the history of U.S. higher education and its legacy of structural inequities, erudition in the scholarship of teaching and learning, and decades of innovation in the classroom (Duke, CUNY). Notably, she avers that in responding adroitly to the COVID crisis, we enacted beneficial changes upon which we can build.

Meeting Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: Online/Zoom

Facilitator: David Eick, Modern Languages and Literature and Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow[email protected]

Interested? You can register for this FLC by completing an FLC Application.


Fostering Belonging in the Classroom and Community

Design with six rings intertwined in a circular pattern--image represents radical inclusion

Fall and Winter

This series is devoted to topics that build and reinforce diversity, inclusion and equity.


Abolitionist Pedagogy as Inclusive Pedagogy

Winter 2023

How might we address the punitive and carceral structures common in teaching and higher education by considering different abolitionist strategies and pedagogies?

In light of the challenges of teaching in the middle of a global, ongoing pandemic, many academics find ourselves knowing that we need to change- sometimes for our own good and sometimes for the good of our students. In this FLC, we will explore many of the norms of conventional education which is complicit in and maintains systemic racism and settler colonization, which Bettina Love calls the "educational survival complex". To attain and encourage what Love refers to as "educational freedom," this FLC will use Love's book, We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist  Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom, among other resources to explore how to approach educational freedom from an anti-racist , anti-colored lens, emphasizing the lessons that can be learned from abolitionist activism and policy as applied to abolitionist pedagogies. 

Meeting Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: Online/Zoom

Facilitator: Krista Benson, Integrative, Religious and Intercultural Studies, [email protected]

Co-facilitator: Dwayne Tunstall, Philosophy Department, [email protected]

Interested? You can register for this FLC by completing an FLC Application.

 

Becoming a Student-Ready College

Fall 2022

How might we take steps to prepare our institution to effectively serve ALL of the students coming in?

This GVSU learning community will bring together faculty and staff to explore Dr. Tia Brown McNair's book, "Becoming a Student-Ready College." The community will be invited to first reflect on how our institution may be resisting change and missing an opportunity to more effectively serve our students. Second, participants will be encouraged to consider how we might harness our institution's diverse talents and collaborative efforts to take immediate steps toward student-centered institutional outcomes.

NOTE: This FLC will have several groups meeting.  Registrants will be grouped by availability with a specific facilitator for the semester.

Meeting Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: TBD

Facilitator: David Eick, Modern Languages and Literatures and Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow[email protected]

Facilitator: Takeelia Garrett, Dean of Students Office, [email protected]

Facilitator: Maya Hobscheid, University Libraries, [email protected]

Facilitator: Amy Russell, Biology, [email protected]

Facilitator: Jennifer Stewart, Sociology, [email protected]

Facilitator: Kathryn Stieler, Music, Theatre, and Dance and Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow, [email protected]

Facilitator: Jennifer Torreano, University Libraries, [email protected]

Interested? You can register for this FLC by completing an FLC Application.

Taking Account: Considerations of Student Labor in Grading Methodologies

THIS FLC IS CURRENTLY FULL.

Fall 2022 & Winter 2023 (year-long)

How might professors build equity and inclusion into classrooms through grading methodologies?

In this FLC, participants will use Asao B. Inoue's Labor-Based Grading Contracts: Building Equity and Inclusion in the Compassionate Writing Classroom and The Hidden Inequities in Labor-Based Contract Grading (Current Arguments in Composition) by Ellen C. Carillo to think about how to practically change syllabi methods of evaluation with an intentional focus on equity and inclusion. All participants will workshop a syllabi (from one of their courses) as we read. In this way we will put into practice the methods Inoue shares as we discuss. The goal is for participants to be prepared to use their revised syllabi in upcoming semesters.

Meeting Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: Online/Zoom

Facilitator: Sherry Johnson, English, [email protected]

Co-facilitator: Adeline Borti, English, [email protected]

THIS FLC IS CURRENTLY FULL.

Strong Start

Year-round

  • Fall 2022
Figure crouching on race track starting block

Topic-Based

comment bubble with a star in it--image represents the idea of a topic

Year-round

This series works to gather faculty from a wide variety of disciplines around a single topic of interest

Active Learning Classrooms

Winter 2023

How can physical classroom spaces promote active learning and amplify its benefits?

Physical classroom spaces have a profound effect on how students learn. In this Faculty Learning Community, we will explore the concept of the "active learning classroom" (ALC), a physical space specifically designed to facilitate active learning. ALCs come in many shapes and sizes for different need--and GVSU has several of them! As we learn about active learning and ALCs in general, we'll be making field trips to ALCs in Allendale and Grand Rapids to see firsthand what these spaces look and feel like, and how they can be used to transform teaching and learning.

Meeting Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: In person; All campuses

Facilitator: Robert Talbert, Mathematics, [email protected]

Interested? You can register for this FLC by completing an FLC Application.

Assessing Student Learning through Digital Media

Winter 2023 & Fall 2023

How can integrating digital skills into course assessments strengthen students' abilities to create with technology, preparing them for today's workforce?

We aim to explore how integrating digital skills into course assessments using digital media can provide diversely situated students the opportunity to demonstrate their learning in unique and creative ways. We welcome faculty across GVSU who are already using these types of assignments as well as those who are interested in using this approach in the future. Working with the soon-to-be launched Digital Creator Lab (DCL), this FLC will discuss all aspects of designing, implementing, and then evaluating digital media based assessments.

Meeting Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: Hybrid; some in-person meetings and some online/virtual

Facilitator: Justin Melick, Information Technology, [email protected]

Co-Facilitator: Gabrielle Miller, University Libraries, [email protected]

Interested? You can register for this FLC by completing an FLC Application.

Becoming a "Slow" Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy

THIS FLC IS CURRENTLY FULL.

Fall 2022

How might faculty challenge and rethink the culture of "speed" in higher education?

Thanks to a global pandemic, ongoing challenges with enrollment and the role of 21st Century higher education, many faculty are reporting high levels of stress and frustration. One way to respond to the uncertainty on many levels is to become a "slow" professor. Based on principles from the "Slow" movement, a "slow" professor is one who acts with purpose, cultivates intellectual and emotional resilience, and challenges the corporatization of higher education. To learn more about what it means to become a "slow" professor, members of this interactive FLC will read and discuss Berg and Seeber's (2016) book, The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy. Throughout this FLC, we'll consider how we can create "counter-identities" as faculty members, in which we consider how to cultivate more space and time for deliberation, intention, reflection, and open-ended inquiry. 

Meeting Dates/Times: Meeting from 12–1pm on the following Fridays

  • September 16 & 30
  • October 14 & 28
  • November 11
  • December 2

Location/Campus: Online/Zoom

Facilitator: Dana Munk, Movement Science and Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow, [email protected]

Co-Facilitator: Patty Stow Bolea, School of Social Work and Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow, [email protected]

THIS FLC IS CURRENTLY FULL.

Connected Teaching

Winter 2023

What strategies might we use to better connect with our students in helping them meet with success in and out of the classroom?

Harriet Schwartz, author of Connected Teaching: Relationship, Power, and Mattering in Higher Education wrote a book filled with strategies in recognizing what we, as a faculty member, bring to teaching and learning as well as what our students bring into the classroom. Developing this self (and other) awareness helps to open the heart and mind to effective strategies which will increase student engagement as well as student growth and development across the varied disciplines. Please join us in reviewing these strategies as well all work towards creating a more student centered approach to our teaching, learning, and advising.

Meeting Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: Hybrid; Pew Downtown Campus when meeting in person

Facilitator: Catherine Meyer-Looze, Educational Leadership & Counseling, [email protected]

Co-facilitator: Rick Vandermolen, Educational Leadership & Counseling, [email protected]

Interested? You can register for this FLC by completing an FLC Application.

Directing Study Abroad Programs

Fall 2022 & Winter 2023

What are effective approaches for developing highly impactful study abroad programs?

GVSU has a robust program of faculty-led study abroad offerings, spanning a wide range of disciplines. While faculty leading these courses have common interests and values related to international education, they have few opportunities for discussing their interests and experiences in study abroad with other faculty directors. This FLC is designed to provide a forum for faculty members to share ideas for pedagogical techniques, helpful resources, budgeting strategies, crisis management, and other topics related to developing and teaching study abroad programs. It is open to faculty who have already led groups abroad as well as faculty who are in the process of developing study abroad programs.

Meeting Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: Online/Zoom

Facilitator: Ellen Shupe, Psychology and Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow, [email protected]

Interested? You can register for this FLC by completing an FLC Application.

Emotional Labor

Fall 2022

How might we gain some helpful perspective on the ever-increasing demands of our job and how this affects us?

Has teaching ever been so draining as in the last couple years? We've given so much compassion and grace while teaching overloads and worrying about our health, loved ones, democracy and a world in crisis. "Emotional labor" is how sociologist Arlie Hochschild classified teaching along with other professions in which part of the job is to be kind in dealings in which it's not always reciprocated. She described the toll this takes in The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling. Nearly forty years old, on its third edition, this book has been the subject of renewed interest recently and is arguably more relevant than ever. FLC participants will read and discuss it to glean perspective on the seemingly ever more-exacting nature of our work—at perhaps mitigate its effects.

Meeting Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: Online/Zoom

Facilitator: David Eick, Modern Languages and Literature and Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow[email protected]

Interested? You can register for this FLC by completing an FLC Application.

Field-Placement Best Practices

Fall 2022 & Winter 2023 (year-long)

How might faculty with Infant/Toddler–12th Grade field placement responsibilities collaborate for better field placement experiences?

Several faculty across the university have field placement responsibilities related to their course requirements. This Faculty Learning Community will provide a forum to develop an informational hub for university field placements and create dialogue about student experiences and best practices for placing, monitoring, and assessing student development during fieldwork.

 

Meeting Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: Online/Zoom

Facilitator: Terry Stockton, Literacy, Educational Foundations and Technology[email protected]

Co-Facilitator: Kathryn Ohle, Teaching and Learning, [email protected]

Interested? You can register for this FLC by completing an FLC Application.

Internships: Approaches, Strategies, and Best Practices

Fall 2022 & Winter 2023 (year-long)

How can we help students get the most out of their internship?

Internships serve different purposes for different students. For some students, an internship can serve as a starting point for their academic and professional aspirations. For others who have a clearer vision, an internship can help them apply their knowledge and skills in a "real world" setting. Much of the responsibility for helping students understand the purpose and value of an internship falls on the shoulders of internship directors. Therefore, this FLC will center on helping GVSU internship directors explore:

  • best practices for advising and evaluating student internship experiences
  • strategies for outreach, networking, and student preparation
  • approaches for building and strengthening relationships with employers and community partners

Meeting Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: Online/Zoom

Facilitator: Dauvan Mulally, Writing[email protected]

Interested? You can register for this FLC by completing an FLC Application.

Phasing In Not Out: Reimagining the Last Five Years of a Faculty Career

Winter 2023

How might universities better support faculty in the twilight of their academic careers?

Faculty with five or less years remaining in their career make up a significant portion of the professoriate, yet little attention is devoted to their specific career needs and interests as they approach retirement. Late career faculty may struggle with core identity issues, not only who they are but also who they will become post retirement. Supporting faculty through the end of their career has benefits for the institution, as well as the individual faculty member. Contributions to their discipline and departments include not only the wisdom of teaching experience, but the understanding of institutional change and growth. Variables impacting the connectedness of late career faculty can include age-ism, culture changes in the department and university, and changing goals in academia. This FLC will invite participants to focus on identifying strategies to help themselves (and the university) reimagine the twilight era of their career.

Meeting Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: In-Person; alternating on the Allendale and Pew Grand Rapids Campuses

Facilitator: Dana Munk, Movement Science and Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow, [email protected]

Co-facilitator: Patty Stow Bolea, School of Social Work and Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow, [email protected]

Interested? You can register for this FLC by completing an FLC Application.

The Real World of College

Fall 2022

How might we reimagine a higher education culture in which students are less stressed out over grades while discovering the transformative experience of learning in relation to their lives?

This faculty learning community will be invited to examine how The Real World of College: What Higher Education Is and What It Can Be by Wendy Fischman & Howard Gardner relates to the Grand Valley State University experience.  Faculty participants will be challenged to consider ways in which they might be more intentional about teaching and learning, specifically in promoting a university community that is open to change. Additional areas of focus will include rethinking how mental models of learning align with students' goals with respect to perceived ideas of academic rigor in relation to grades, belonging, future careers, and mental health.

Meeting Dates/Times: 12:30–2pm on the following dates

  • September 9 & 23 (meeting in-person)
  • October 7 & 21 (meeting virtually via Zoom)
  • November 18 (meeting virtually via Zoom)
  • December 9 (meeting in-person)

Location/Campus: Hybrid, meeting on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus when meeting in-person.

Facilitator: Darien Ripple, Integrative, Religious, and Intercultural Studies[email protected]

Interested? You can register for this FLC by completing an FLC Application.

Writing Warriors: How to Fit Scholarly Writing into Our Busy Schedules

THIS FLC IS CURRENTLY FULL.

Fall 2022 and Winter 2023 (year-long)

How might a faculty writing group help us meet our scholarly writing objectives?

Do you have journal articles, grant proposals, conference abstracts, or other scholarly writing that needs to be finished, but just can't seem to find the time in your busy week to actually sit and write? Through Paul Silvia's book, How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing, we will identify personal barriers that impede scholarly writing into our weekly schedules, use our writing time more productively, and set and achieve our scholarly goals, all without sacrificing time with our friends and family. Additionally, this FLC will provide optional times for participants to write in a quiet space without disruption.

Meeting Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: In-person; location/campus TBD by group

Facilitator: Lisa Kenyon, Physical Therapy[email protected]

THIS FLC IS CURRENT FULL.


Women in Academia

Fall and Winter

This series is devoted to topics of particular interest to female faculty

  • Fall 2022
Single flame surrounded by a wreath of foliage--image represents education and academia



Page last modified December 7, 2022