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 Participation Grant in the Grant System.  All faculty are eligible to apply, unless otherwise noted.  Visit our Faculty Learning Community Grant Webpage for more information.  

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!


2018 - 2019 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.



SPONSORED PROJECT FLCs


First Year Learning Community

Fall 2018—Winter 2019 (Year-long) 

How can we design and deliver paired courses for first-year students as part of the First Year Learning Community Pilot program?

A Faculty Learning Community for faculty teaching paired courses as part of the First Year Learning Community (1YLC) in the Holton-Hooker Learning and Living Center (HHLLC). This FLC brings together faculty from a range of disciplines with a common goal of creating a unique learning environment for first-year students at GVSU.  The integrative learning that is possible by virtue of teaching connected courses in HHLLC takes intentionality and planning; support and resources will focus faculty attention on literature best practices and allow time for advance planning of course-course as well as curriculum-co-curriculum connections. Data about the student and faculty perceptions of these unique linked courses will be collected to inform future work in this area.

Digital Badge:  To earn a badge associated with this Faculty Learning Community and for more information about the FacultyBadges@GVSU Initiative, visit the First-Year Learning Community site.

Meeting Time/Dates: TBD

Location/Campus: Allendale Campus

Facilitator: Thomas Pentecost, Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow, pentecot@gvsu.edu, 616-331-3498

Interested?  You register for this FLC by applying for an FLC Participation Grant.


Inclusive Excellence Next

Fall 2018—Winter 2019 (Year-long)

What comes next in creating an inclusive learning environment?

The purpose of this learning community is to foster strategic, collaborative and creative inquiry in an interdisciplinary group of faculty as a means of advancing Inclusive Excellence at the unit, college, and/or university level.  Faculty will identify "what is next" relevant to their role(s) on campus, then collectively explore strategies, solutions, and best practices which fortify current inclusive excellence efforts.  Projects could include (but are not limited to) curricular change, inclusive climate strategies (mentoring, personnel, collegiality, etc.), strategic vision and action planning, community engagement, civic learning, global education, and integration of scholarship of teaching and learning.  Participants will develop resource materials which can be disseminated both internally and externally via the Pew FTLC website, workshops, conferences, and/or publication.

Digital Badge:  To earn a badge associated with this Faculty Learning Community and for more information about the FacultyBadges@GVSU Initiative, visit the Inclusive Excellence Next site.

Meeting Time/Dates: TBD

Location/Campus:  Allendale Campus

Facilitator: Dana Munk, Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow and Professor Movement Science, munkd@gvsu.edu

Interested?  You register for this FLC by applying for an FLC Participation Grant.


New Faculty Teaching Institute

Fall 2018

This learning community is a continuation of the two-day New Faculty Teaching Institute in August and will focus on both face-to-face and online course strategies.  Participants will continue to develop their teaching by participating in a Mid-Semester Interview about Teaching (MIT) and/or peer classroom observation, and attending one group meeting during the semester.  Upon completion of the semester, faculty will be asked to submit a brief written reflection/evaluation of their experience. 

Meeting Time/Dates/Location: TBA

Facilitator: Dana Munk, munkd@gvsu.edu, 331-8539

Note: All faculty participants will have attended the 2018 New Faculty Teaching Institute.

Digital Badge:  To earn a badge associated with this Faculty Learning Community and for more information about the FacultyBadges@GVSU Initiative, visit our FacultyBadges@GVSU website.


STEM-Health

Fall 2018—Winter 2019 (Year-long)

How can faculty teaching gateway courses for STEM and Health students incorporate research-based active learning strategies in their classrooms?

A faculty learning community for faculty teaching gateway courses in the STEM-Health fields.  This FLC will provide faculty with the necessary background and implementation support necessary to incorporate more active learning strategies in their lecture meetings.  Faculty that are focused on student success and that regularly teach gateway courses for STEM-Health majors will be invited to participate.  During the fall semester the faculty will participate in a biweekly discussion of readings about research-based active learning techniques, with the goal of selecting and planning for the use of at least one technique in their winter course.  During the winter the FLC will evaluate the use of the active learning strategies for their impact on student understanding and the classroom climate.

Digital Badge:  To earn a badge associated with this Faculty Learning Community and for more information about the FacultyBadges@GVSU Initiative, visit our FacultyBadges@GVSU website.

Meeting Time/Dates:  TBD

Location/Campus:  Allendale Campus

Facilitator: Thomas Pentecost, Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow, pentecot@gvsu.edu

Interested?  You register for this FLC by applying for an FLC Participation Grant.


FACULTY LEARNING COMMUNITIES


Active Learning Classrooms in Nursing Education

Fall 2018—Winter 2019 (Year-long)

How might the use of more active learning strategies enhance the learning of nursing students in the classroom?

The complex and dynamic health care system and practice environments require equally profound changes in the education of nursing students.  According to the research, few educational interventions can match the power of active learning when it comes to improving student academic outcomes, as measured by achievement and engagement.  Although active learning is generally defined as any instructional method that engages students in the learning process, there is no universally accepted definition.  Active learning has received considerable attention over the past years.  Various instructional methods and strategies effect various learning outcomes and assessments. All are difficult to measure as we clarify what is being studied and how outcomes are measured and interpreted.  The literature and research are complicated and should stimulate faculty to think about teaching and learning in nontraditional ways.

Active learning requires students to do meaningful learning activities and thinking about what they are doing, metacognitively.  Active learning encompasses learning styles, teaching strategies, and formative assessments.  By design, flipped and active learning environments offer continuous opportunities to assess learning.  These are the topics that will be discussed, researched, and analyzed in this FLC.

Learning Objectives:

  • Nursing faculty in the FLC will learn about and try 2-4 new teaching strategies during the year 2018-19.
  • Nursing faculty will share teaching strategies that have worked or have not worked and gain support from each other to continue making their classrooms more active.

 

NOTE:  This FLC is limited to faculty in the Kirkhof College of Nursing

Meeting Dates/Times:  TBD

Location/Campus:  Health Campus

Facilitator:  Nancy Schoofs, Nursing, schoofsn@gvsu.edu

Co-facilitator:  Susan Harrington, harrinsu@gvsu.edu

Interested?  You register for this FLC by applying for an FLC Participation Grant.

NOTE:  This FLC is limited to faculty in the Kirkhof College of Nursing


Classroom Engagement Through Gameful Thinking

Winter 2019

How might gamification of classroom activities and semester-long gameful design increase engagement of students and that of the instructor?

The FLC will facilitate faculty collaboration to gain insight about immersive feedback environments and redirecting failure into a progress indicator.  Juul submits that we play games to seek out failure (Juul, 2013).  Humans desire the feeling of competence and success, but only when it feels deserved. Games create the environment, where grunt work, or skill practice, allow the player to have a good relationship with failure.  Games create the feeling that we are escaping failure, escaping inadequacy, by continually trying to get better at the task.  This behavior is fundamental to learning, so it is of no surprise that playing games has been found beneficial to learning (Granic, Lobel, & Engels, 2014).  Structuring assignments and other course activities into gamified environments further promotes student and faculty engagement.  Active learning techniques are a short game approach, which can be complemented by long game mechanics such as grades, Blackboard digital badges, and experience points.  This FLC will review current gamification peer-reviewed research as well as evaluate tools to facilitate adoption of gameful design for college courses.  Adoption of specific digital tools allows for gamification of large enrollment introductory courses (Machajewski, 2017).

FLC Participants will:

  • Compare current research on gamification in education
  • Evaluate digital and analog tools for facilitation of learning games
  • Experience gamified learning activities

Meeting Time/Dates: TBD

Location/Campus:  Allendale Campus

Facilitator:   Szymon Machajewski, Computing and Information Systems, machajes@gvsu.edu

Interested?  You register for this FLC by applying for an FLC Participation Grant.


Expansion of Pedagogy Using Design Thinking in a Simulation Setting

Fall 2018—Winter 2019 (Year-long)

How might we create medically based vignettes and case studies using the problem-solving process of design thinking and implement them in the simulation lab?

Buoyed by the success in writing a medical related case study using the design thinking process in the Winter of 2018, this group is looking to expand the design thinking problem solving process with a case in the simulation lab.  Using standardized patients (SP) to build empathy, the case will disclose attitudes and values of the end user as the case develops. The case will continue to develop using design, iteration, and prototyping.  The actual case will be tested with an interdisciplinary group of students in the simulation lab.

FLC participants will:

  • Adapt the Design Thinking Process to a new pedagogy: Simulation
  • Collaborate as an interdisciplinary FLC in development of the medical case study, answer key, and teaching notes (including SP instructions)
  • Submit the final project for publication and presentation

 

NOTE:  This FLC is limited to participants of the Winter 2018 Using the Power of Design Thinking in the Classroom: Universal Methods of Design Faculty Learning Community

Meeting Days/Times:  TBD

Location/Campus:  Health Campus

Facilitator: Jody Vogelzang, Allied Health Sciences, vogelzjo@gvsu.edu

Interested?  You register for this FLC by applying for an FLC Participation Grant.

NOTE:  This FLC is limited to participants of the Winter 2018 Using the Power of Design Thinking in the Classroom: Universal Methods of Design Faculty Learning Community


Improving Faculty Advising for Undergraduate Students

Fall 2018—Winter 2019 (Year-long)

What are the best practices for faculty advising undergraduate students?

All faculty are expected to advise undergraduate students, but the level of training faculty receive to become effective advisors varies greatly.  Effective advising likely contributes to better student outcomes, improved student perception of their home department and GVSU, and higher student retention.  This Learning Community will meet monthly in the coming academic year to discuss recent and seminal papers on topic pertaining to effective advising.  It will be instructive to learn about advising practices in different departments, we all likely have something to learn from one another.

Participants will:

  • Understand the various roles of a faculty advisor and that of their advisees
  • Understand the best practices of good faculty advisors
  • Become aware of the advising resources available at GVSU
  • Have actionable items to improve their advising and for other members of their home department

Meeting Days/Times:  TBD

Location/Campus:  Allendale Campus

Facilitator: Joe Jacquot, Biology Department, jacquotj@gvsu.edu, 616-331-3523

Interested?  You register for this FLC by applying for an FLC Participation Grant.


The Mindful Prof: Contemplative Pedagogical Theory and Techniques

Fall 2018 & Winter 2019 (Year-long)—begins in October 2018

How can mindful, contemplative approach enhance learning and teaching?

Studies show that contemplative practices in teaching can enhance students’ learning outcomes. In this FLC, participants will read and discuss some of the leading scholarship, learn mindful pedagogical techniques to incorporate in their classrooms, and share experiences and insights.

Participants will read (and receive free copies of):

  • Dalton, Dorman and Byrnes, eds. The Teaching Self (2018)
  • Barbezat and Bush. Contemplative Practices in Higher Education: Powerful Methods to Transform Teaching and Learning (2013)
  • David and Sheth. Mindful Teaching and Teaching Mindfulness: A Guide for Anyone Who Teaches Anything (2009)

 

Digital Badge:  To earn a badge associated with this Faculty Learning Community and for more information about the FacultyBadges@GVSU Initiative, visit our FacultyBadges@GVSU website.

Meetings Times/Dates:  TBD

Location/Campus:  Pew Grand Rapids Campus

Facilitator:  David Eick, Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow, eickd@gvsu.edu

Interested?  You register for this FLC by applying for an FLC Participation Grant.

 


Mentorship Development Group: In Support of the Student Success Network

Fall 2018—Winter 2019 (Year-long)

How do we further develop faculty mentors to meet the needs of the first-year student?

The Student Success Network (SSN) is a new initiative that connects faculty members with incoming 1st year students.  The goal of this group will be to explore best practices in training and developing current Faculty members as mentors for 1st year students.  This group will be charged with creating the training curriculum for the SSN and its Faculty mentors.  In addition to creating the training curriculum, this group will explore the key messages to be shared with students through the year, review assessment surveys to explore the SSN's success and help prioritize action items for the program moving forward.  Faculty members interested in further supporting the 1st year student are encouraged to apply; preference will be given to faculty serving as SSN mentors in 2018-2019.

Participants will:

  • Become familiar with the literature encompassing student mentorship programs
  • Identify the essential components to a faculty mentor curriculum
  • Understand the current SSPN and offer suggestions for improvement for the future

 

Digital Badge:  To earn a badge associated with this Faculty Learning Community and for more information about the FacultyBadges@GVSU Initiative, visit our FacultyBadges@GVSU website.

Meeting Time/Dates:  TBD

Location/Campus:  Allendale Campus

Facilitator: Brian Hatzel, Professor of Movement Science, hatzelb@gvsu.edu

Interested?  You register for this FLC by applying for an FLC Participation Grant.


Online/Hybrid Language Learning

Fall 2018—Winter 2019 (Year-long)

How can the tools and strategies associated with online and/or hybrid education be applied to language learning?

Last year MLL was awarded a Distance Learning Innovation Grant to develop strategies for applying the methodology of online/hybrid learning to the language classroom. While a large number of faculty from MLL and Classics joined the group, due to a general lack of past experience with the issues involved our focus was necessarily on developing the basic familiarity with the state of the field. The goal of this group is to continue that work with a focus more on active application. Concretely, this will involve proposing and teaching new online/hybrid language courses, converting existing language courses to online/hybrid formats, and applying online/hybrid strategies to current language programs in order to enhance learning outcomes and overcome obstacles such as time and classroom space.

Learning Objectives

  • Increase familiarity with the methodologies associated with online/hybrid education
  • Explore ways of adapting the existing language curriculum to include online/hybrid learning
  • Collaborate on the creation of new online/hybrid courses to enhance the language curriculum

Meeting Times/Dates: TBD

Location/Campus:  Allendale Campus

Facilitator:  Jeremy Robinson, robinjer@gvsu.edu, 1-8907

Co-facilitator:  Megan Cai, caim@gvsu.edu, 1-2870

Interested?  You register for this FLC by applying for an FLC Participation Grant.


Reading Program Review: Reflecting, Rethinking, and Revising

Fall 2018-Winter 2019 (Year-long)

How can we collaboratively reflect on our current program in hopes of providing students with a cohesive and comprehensive learning experience?

This FLC creates a collaborative space for the Literacy Studies faculty in the College of Education to build a cohesive literacy program for graduate candidates in our master’s degree program.

Participant outcomes:

  1. Incorporate the new 2017 International Literacy Association standards into our courses/rubrics.
  2. Reflect (and perhaps rethink) on the standards we have decided to asses in each course within the program.
  3. Revisit the key assignments for each course, specifically looking at how we are building the candidates’ experiences through the program.

Meeting Times/Dates:  TBD

Location/Campus:  Pew Grand Rapids Campus

Facilitator:  Elizabeth Stolle, stollee@gvsu.edu

Interested?  You register for this FLC by applying for an FLC Participation Grant.


Telling Tales: Using Stories to Construct Professional Identity

Fall 2018—Winter 2019 (Year-long)

How can we use storytelling as a tool to clarify and construct our professional identities and those of our students?

The construction of professional identity is a fundamental aim of teacher education. The objective of this FLC is to explore the use of storytelling as a pedagogical tool to clarify and construct professional identity. For the purpose of this FLC, identity is conceptualized as how one explains oneself as a particular kind of person, in a particular context, at a particular time (Beauchamp & Thomas, 2009; Gee, 2000). Professional identity is created by comparing and differentiating oneself from other professionals (Marin, Tur & Chaillinor, 2018). According to positioning theory (Bamburg & Georgakopoulou, 2008), identities are constructed by the dynamic and reciprocal interaction between personal and contextual factors.

Stories play an important role in the process of identity construction. In fact, identity may be seen as a personal narrative, the building blocks of which are the stories we tell about ourselves; stories which help us understand and articulate a sense of self, give structure and meaning to our lives, and communicate who we are. At the same time, storytelling is a collaborative experience, a relational activity that can promote empathy and connect people.

In this FLC, participants will brainstorm, craft, and share a true personal story which is central to their professional identity. They will also reflect on the role of storytelling in clarifying and constructing professional identity. Finally, participants will identify ways in which they might use storytelling as a pedagogical tool to help their students construct their professional identities.

Note: This FLC is limited to faculty in the College of Education.

Meeting Time/Dates: TBD

Location/Campus: Pew Grand Rapids Campus

Facilitator: Mary Bair, College of Education, bairma@gvsu.edu

Interested?  You register for this FLC by applying for an FLC Participation Grant.

 


What the Best College Teachers Do

Fall 2018

What makes a college teacher a "best teacher?"

The purpose of this learning community is to discuss Ken Bain's What The Best College Teachers Do. Having studied nearly 100 highly successful instructors, in this book he limns the practices and techniques they used in order to challenge, engage and inspire students. We will discuss Bain’s recommendations and consider their applicability, with a view toward broad/major rethinking of courses and how to teach them. 

Meeting Time/Dates:  TBD

Location/Campus:  Allendale and Pew Grand Rapids Campus

Facilitator:  Majd Al-Mallah, Modern Languages and Literature, almallam@gvsu.edu

Interested?  You register for this FLC by applying for an FLC Participation Grant.




Page last modified October 4, 2018