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.
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.
Looking for inspiration? Visit our Past Faculty Learning Communities webpage to see a complete list (with descriptions) of FLCs from past academic years.
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!
2019 - 2020 Faculty Learning Community (FLC) List
Click on the title of any Faculty Learning Community listed below to be brought to specific information about that particular FLC.
*Indicates the Faculty Learning Community is a Sponsored Project.
Fall 2019 FLCs
Winter 2020 FLCs
Are you facilitating an FLC this term? A multitude of FLC Facilitator Resources can be found here!
FACULTY LEARNING COMMUNITIES
1st Year Student Support: Enhancing the Student Success Network and its Faculty Partners
Fall 2019—Winter 2020
How can we best support students in their matriculation to College? Specifically, how do we measure and otherwise enhance their knowledge of 1st year competencies?
This group is focused on developing better ways to brighten the future of our 1st year students. The SSN is a new initiative that connects faculty members with new students. The first goal is to explore best practices in training and developing Faculty partners as they navigate supporting students, with a focus on commuter students. A second goal will be to refine the training curriculum for the SSN. The third goal for this group will be developing key messaging to be shared with students. The fourth goal of the group is to evaluate the SSN and provide recommendations.
SSN is a broad, university-wide program in its infancy, and this group could have a profound impact on the 1st year student experience. Faculty members interested in further supporting 1st year students are encouraged to apply; preference will be given to faculty serving as SSN mentors in 2019-20.
Authoring Professional Identity
How can storytelling be used as a tool to clarify and construct the professional identities of teacher educators and those of their students?
The construction of professional identity is a fundamental aim of teacher education. However, neoliberal reforms of schooling have created an identity crisis for members of the teaching profession. In the midst of this turmoil, how can teacher educators create a shift from being defined by external factors to authoring their own professional identity? The purpose of this FLC is for teacher educators to explore the use of autobiographical storytelling as a means to clarify, construct, and articulate a professional identity.
Introduction to Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
How might faculty provide a more inclusive learning environment through the concepts of Universal Design for Learning (UDL)?
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an instructional method that can address the diverse learning needs in today's classroom. The framework of UDL consists of instructional approaches that provide students with choices and alternatives in the materials, content, tools, context, and supports their use. This faculty learning community is for faculty who are interested in becoming more familiar with the concept of UD and UDL. Participants will become familiar with UDL framework for teaching and learning and will incorporate UDL into their courses. Faculty of all learning levels, knowledge and expertise are welcome.
Meeting Dates/Times: TBD
Location/Campus: Pew Grand Rapids Campus
Facilitator: Dana Munk, Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow and Professor Movement Science, firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-facilitators: Amy Schelling, Education - Teaching and Learning, email@example.com
Julia VanderMolen, Public Health, firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested? You register for this FLC by completing an FLC Application.
Mindfulness at Work: A New Way of Being
How can mindfulness meditation reduce stress and anxiety, increase productivity and focus, improve resilience and communication, and encourage balance and peace of mind in the workplace?
Mindfulness meditation is a technique that has helped people improve their mental and physical health. Through reading and discussion, this FLC aims to address issues specific to the workplace and how a mindful meditation practice may positively influence them. Participants will have an opportunity to learn about mindful meditation, practice it, discuss the implications of mindfulness in the context of work, and share ideas around how to apply mindfulness to their teaching/classroom.
How can we overcome some of the common hurdles to including mindfulness meditation into daily life in an age of constant distraction?
Research has shown that mindfulness practice can help manage stress and anxiety and improve both physical and emotional well-being. Teaching our mind how to focus and be present can be challenging and frustrating. In this FLC, participants will have the opportunity to learn more about mindfulness meditation and how to practice it. Through reading and discussion, simple tools will be introduced that can help incorporate mindfulness meditation practice into the daily routine. Participants will also share ideas and form connections with other professional colleagues who share an interest in exploring mindfulness meditation practice.
Meeting Dates/Times: 1pm-2pm on the following Mondays
- September 9 & 23
- October 7 & 28
- November 11 & 25
Location/Campus: Health Campus, CHS 240 (Cook-DeVos Health Sciences)
- Exception: the meetings on September 9 and November 11 will be held in CHS 140
Facilitator: Martina Reinhold, Physician Assistant Studies, email@example.com
Interested? You register for this FLC by completing an FLC Application.
Productivity and Time Management for Academics
How can professors take control over their time, tasks, and projects in order to focus on what's important and to attain greater engagement and balance?
Academic work is hard. But sometimes we make it harder by entering into it without a clear plan for engagement and productivity. We often enter into each workday with no control over our schedules, email, grading, or other tasks and projects, and no system for deciding on the right thing to do next in a given moment. As a result, we end up focusing only on the "latest and loudest" rather than what's truly important. But it doesn't have to be this way. In this community we will learn the Getting Things Done or "GTD" system of personal productivity that develops simple habits of mind that lead to greater perspective and control over our life and work, specifically applied to academia. If you're interested by getting more out of the time you have as a professor, join us as we learn and apply these principles.
Participants in this FLC will:
- Adopt and practice the basic habits of GTD: capture, clarify, organize, reflect, and engage.
- Develop a personal system of organization for email, physical materials, and electronic files that supports GTD practices such as "Inbox Zero"
- identify "next actions" that align with personal and professional values and situational contexts, and act on them.
Reach/Teach Gen Z
What do experts have to say about the unique characteristics of the current cohort of students, and how can their learning outcomes be maximized?
Ever feel as though you've lost your knack for connecting with students? Courses you've spent years honing suddenly no longer resonate, your tried-and-true methods and techniques falling flat? Don't panic—you're not an old fogie, but we may need to get retooled in order to reach a cohort that was weaned on the smartphone and came of age during the Great Recession. In this FLC we will examine recent research on Generation Z plus bring in campus experts; together we will forge new strategies to enhance our effectiveness and maximize our students' learning.
Serious Play: How Games and Simulations Enhance Students' Engagement and Learning Outcomes
How can games and simulations enhance students' engagement and learning outcomes?
Game-based learning (GBL) is no gimmicky fad. Philosophers have attempted to elucidate the relationship between play and learning for centuries, and an ample body of recent research documents it. Numerous GVSU faculty incorporate simulations, role-playing games, heroes' quests and even video games in their teaching, yet too often we're unaware of what our colleagues are doing. This FLC will bring together GBL vets, as well as curious newbies, to share ideas and techniques that work. In addition, we will read and discuss texts by contemporary pundits on the transformative power of play.