Past Faculty Learning Communities (2020-2021)


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.


2020-2021 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.

 

Go back to the list of Past Faculty Learning Communities by academic year


2020-2021 FACULTY LEARNING COMMUNITIES


The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing

Winter 2021

How might faculty use what Perry calls "structured procrastination" to accomplish tasks while putting off more important ones? 

In this year of professional upheaval, do you find yourself putting off important projects and then blaming yourself for losing focus or being unproductive? In John Perry's book, "The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing," he offers a philosopher's perspective on legitimizing procrastination by making good use of the time we spend avoiding other things. In this FLC, we will explore the ways in which we currently use our time, the important aspects of our work that we often avoid or neglect altogether, and what holds us back from accomplishing all that we set out to do. 

Meeting Dates/Times: Meeting from 8–9am on the following Mondays

  • February 1 & 15
  • March 1, 15, & 29
  • April 12

Location/Campus: Zoom

Facilitator: Kathryn Stieler, Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow and Department of Music, Theatre and Dance, stielerk@gvsu.edu

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

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

Winter 2021

How can understanding the origins of our divisions in America help us to understand the obstacles our students face, and to put our students on more equal footing for learning?

This FLC would use Isabel Wilkerson's eponymous best-seller to explore the roots and drivers of caste in America, what she calls caste's "pillars" and "tentacles." This is clearly a discussion that invites a variety of disciplines to contribute. It will examine the "consequences" of caste, its "undertow" and the "backlash" against elites in general and liberal education in particular. It will ask how they may have expressed themselves in participants' classrooms and relationships with students, and probe how they pose obstacles to student learning and to the public conversation going forward. Finally, it will explore the ways in which Wilkerson's analysis helps us mobilize liberal education and lifelong learning in supporting all our students, and repairing the public conversation.

Meeting Dates/Times:  TBD

Location/Campus: Zoom

Facilitator:  Fred Antczak, Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow and English Department, antczakf@gvsu.edu

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


edX Teaching & Learning in the Diverse Classroom (Spring)

Spring 2021 (May 10–June 22)

How can faculty create and sustain inclusive, student-centered learning environments?

This FLC will use a five-module, self-paced edX course that offers an inclusive teaching framework with multiple entry points for reflection and exploration of the research on learning and diversity. Anchored in the lived experiences of students and instructors, faculty will explore strategies for inclusive course design, student-centered pedagogical practices, facilitating learning across difference, and change efforts that support student engagement, achievement, and belongingness. Faculty should come with a course in mind to design or revise for inclusion during the FLC.

***This FLC is open to Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies faculty only***

Meeting Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: Zoom

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

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

 

 


edX Teaching & Learning in the Diverse Classroom (Summer)

Summer 2021 (June 28–August 9)

How can faculty create and sustain inclusive, student-centered learning environments?

This FLC will use a five-module, self-paced edX course that offers an inclusive teaching framework with multiple entry points for reflection and exploration of the research on learning and diversity. Anchored in the lived experiences of students and instructors, faculty will explore strategies for inclusive course design, student-centered pedagogical practices, facilitating learning across difference, and change efforts that support student engagement, achievement, and belongingness. Faculty should come with a course in mind to design or revise for inclusion during the FLC.

***This FLC is open to Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies faculty only***

Meeting Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: Zoom

Facilitator: Dana Munk, Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow and Department of Movement Sciencemunkd@gvsu.edu

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


Emile (Rousseau)

Winter 2021

What can twenty-first century instructors in a crisis glean from this Enlightenment treatise designed to educate citizens for democracy?

"Perhaps the most prominent educational radical of all" according to Susan Blum , a key influence on Maria Montessori, Rousseau proposed learning approaches we would characterize today as experiential, student-centered, and deep in Emile: or On Education (1762). Upon its publication Rousseau was forced to flee France for England, and the work was placed on the Vatican's Index of forbidden books, where it remained until 1966. 

This FLC is a new installment in our series, "Effective Teaching: Classic and Contemporary Thought."

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

  • January 29
  • February 12 & 26
  • March 12 & 26
  • April 9 & 23

Location/Campus: Zoom

Facilitator:  David Eick, Modern Languages and Literatures and Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow, eickd@gvsu.edu

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


Hood Feminism

Winter 2021

How might understanding "hood feminism" inform COE faculty's pedagogy and practice?

Through reading and discussing Hood Feminism, participants will have an opportunity to examine race and gender, particularly connected to education and educational opportunities. Each participant will be invited to examine their own belief systems and how these beliefs impact teaching and learning. Discussions will also include topics such as: food insecurity, access to quality education and health care, as well as issues of gender of race. Especially as our student population remains primarily white, it is important for teacher educators to understand themselves and others. We also need to ensure that racially diverse students feel protected and respected. Participants will be encouraged to develop understanding and skills to engage in conversations about bias, race, gender, inequity, and racism.

***This FLC is open to COE faculty only***

Meeting Dates/Times:  Meeting from 2–3pm on the following Tuesdays

  • February 2 & 16
  • March 2 & 16

Location/Campus: Pew Grand Rapids Campus

Facilitator:  Erica Hamilton, College of Education, hamilter@gvsu.edu

Co-Facilitator: Kelly Margot, College of Education, margotk@gvsu.edu

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


How Humans Learn: The Science and Stories Behind Effective College Teaching

Summer 2021

How might a better understanding of research in the fields of developmental psychology, anthropology, and cognitive neuroscience give us insight into designing a more effective classroom experience for our students?

Joshua Eyler, the author of How Humans Learn, makes a strong case for how scientific research can add immeasurably to our knowledge of how students learn and the attendant implications for improved teaching. Designing curricula and courses that honor the fundamental ways in which human beings learn leads to deep and sustainable learning. This FLC will grapple with the principles and tools presented in the book and work to apply them in our own teaching practice.

 

Meeting Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: Zoom

Facilitator: Kathryn Stieler, Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow and Department of Music, Theatre and Dancestielerk@gvsu.edu

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


How Learning Works

Fall 2020

What must happen in order for learning to occur?

How do students' brains function? (No jokes, please.) What must happen in order for learning to occur? In this FLC, instructors will glean practical and applicable tips drawn from research in cognitive psychology, anthropology and neuroscience. The seven principles announced by the title respond to these questions: How does students' prior knowledge affect their learning? How does the way students organize knowledge affect their learning? What factors motivate students to learn? How do students develop mastery? What kinds of practice and feedback enhance learning? Why do student development and course climate matter for student learning? How do students become self-directed learners?

This FLC is part of our new series, "Effective Teaching: Classic and Contemporary Thought."

Meeting Dates/Times:  Meetings from 11 a.m.—12 p.m. on the following Fridays

  • September 25
  • October 9 & 23
  • November 6 & 20
  • December 4

Location/Campus: Zoom

Facilitator:  David Eick, Modern Languages and Literatures and Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow, eickd@gvsu.edu

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


Internships: Approaches, Strategies, and Best Practices

Fall 2020-Winter 2021

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

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 Dates/Times:  TBD

Location/Campus: Zoom

Facilitator:  Dauvan Mulally, Modern Languages and Literatures, mulallyd@gvsu.edu

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


KCON Writing Circle

Fall 2020—Winter 2021

How might a faculty writing circle motivate and support faculty to create and disseminate their scholarship efforts?

This writing circle will help KCON faculty develop their scholarly writing skills through peer accountability, support and review. This group will meet monthly and share progress towards writing goals. Selected speakers will be asked to present on topics that support scholarly writing. The group will report end of year outcomes. In addition, a writing retreat will be planned for an intensive, supportive writing experience. The group will collaborate with the Writing Center and other university resources.

This is a closed group—open to KCON faculty only.

Meeting Dates/Times:  TBD

Location/Campus: Zoom

Facilitator:  Susan Strouse, Nursingstrouses@gvsu.edu 

Co- Facilitator: Rebecca Davis, Nursingdavirebe@gvsu.edu

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


LEADS Collaborative Circle

Winter 2020

Through the practice of collaboration, how might we best support our LEADS students and faculty?

The LEADS program presents students and faculty with new, exciting opportunities and challenges. This FLC will provide a space to support our LEADS teaching faculty. Based on faculty input, each meeting will focus on a featured topic/question/challenge. For example, who are adult learners, teaching in an accelerated formate, or how to engender community and belonging in an online environment. Additionally, this will be a space to share resources with one another as well as workshop any challenges.

This is a closed group—open to faculty who are or who will be teaching in the LEADS program.

Meeting Dates/Times:  February 11 at 10am (first meeting)

Location/Campus: Zoom

Facilitator:  Denise Goerisch, Integrative, Religious, and Intercultural Studies, goeriscd@gvsu.edu

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


Making Time, Making Change

Fall 2020

How might I use my time in a way that better reflects my values?

Do you long for a more balanced schedule or routine? Do you have trouble finding time to do the projects that interest you most? Are you tired of engaging in activities that feel like a waste of time? A lack of time may be the single most commonly experienced challenge for faculty, and particularly this year with its additional complexity. This FLC will use Douglas Reimondo Robertson’s book, Making Time, Making Change: Avoiding Overload in College Teaching, as a starting point for examining how we currently use (or waste) our time and imagining how we might improve the use of this precious resource to lead to a more rewarding, value-driven teaching life.

Meeting Dates/Times: Meetings from 8—9 a.m. on the following Mondays

  • September 14 & 28
  • October 12 & 26
  • November 9 & 23
  • December 7

Location/Campus: Zoom

Facilitator:  Kathryn Stieler, Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow and Department of Music, Theatre and Dancestielerk@gvsu.edu

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

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.


Making Waves in the African Diaspora -- Part Two: Watery Graves and Wake Work

Fall 2020—Winter 2021

How does the image of the ship relate to the ways in which writers, artists, and musicians aesthetically depict slavery's ubiquitous and contradictory presence in transatlantic spaces?

Continuing with the topic that we began in FW19/20, this Faculty Learning Community will look at Christina Sharpe's “In the Wake:On Blackness and Being”. The Community will examine Sharpe's use of the ship traveling the Black Atlantic to analyze how writers, artists, and musicians aesthetically depict legacies of slavery in contemporary transatlantic spaces.

Meeting Dates/Times:  TBD

Location/Campus: Zoom

Facilitator:  Sherry Johnson, Englishjohnsshe@gvsu.edu

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


The Miracle of Mindfulness: How to be Calm, Slow Down, and Be More Present in a Fast-Paced World

Fall 2020

How can one ease one's anxiety and get more adept at handling daily tumult and stress?

Explore how to ease anxiety and find calm with the ancient and popular practice of mindfulness.  Research has shown that mindfulness practice can help relieve stress, regulate emotions, achieve focus and clarity, strengthen communication skills, and cultivate an appreciation for what is most important.  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 to help incorporate mindfulness meditation practice into a daily routine.

Meeting Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: Zoom

Facilitator: Martina Reinhold, Physician Assistant Studiesreinholm@gvsu.edu

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


Oliver Wilson Student Summer Success Program

Winter and Spring 2021

What are promising practices for preparing faculty to better support incoming students for college-level instruction and more broadly, college-readiness?

We will explore teaching strategies including in-class assessments, pace of instruction, instructional scaffolding, collaboration across units and academic support services, and more to aid instructors in further developing pedagogical practices that will support students who need additional academic support for success.

This is a closed group—open to OWS faculty only.

Meeting Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: Zoom

Facilitator: Ayana Weekley, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studiesweekleya@gvsu.edu

Co-Facilitator: Christine Rener, Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Centerrenerc@gvsu.edu

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


Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Fall 2020

How can this foundational text of progressive pedagogy inform our teaching during a social crisis?

In our current situation, Paulo Freire's 1968 classic is as relevant and indispensable as ever. Freire sheds light on the oppressive power dynamics inherent in what he calls the traditional "banking model of education," in which the instructor dominates and thereby dehumanizes the student. As a solution, Freire discloses how instructors can engage in partnership and dialogue with students to help them analyze their situation, liberate themselves, realize their potential, and promote social justice.

This FLC is part of our new series, "Effective Teaching: Classic and Contemporary Thought."

Meeting Dates/Times: Meetings from 11 a.m.—12 p.m. on the following Fridays

  • October 2, 16, & 30
  • November 13
  • December 11

Location/Campus: Zoom

Facilitator: David Eick, Modern Languages and Literatures and Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow, eickd@gvsu.edu

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


Practicing Mindfulness- Finding Peace in a Frantic World

Winter 2021

Everyday life is so frantic and full of troubles that we have largely forgotten how to live a joyful existence. How can we become more adept at handling our daily tumult, busyness and stressful situations both at work and home? 

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 helps us to stop running and develop a more fulfilling and harmonious life. Mindfulness practice encourages the development of greater awareness, allowing us to be more present in the moment. Studies have shown that teachers who practice mindfulness bring a calmer and more engaged presence to their students. In this FLC, participants will have the opportunity to discover what can be done to put an end to the habitual thoughts, emotions and busyness that limit us from achieving happiness and harmony. 

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 Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: Zoom

Facilitator: Martina Reinhold, Physician Assistant Studiesreinholm@gvsu.edu

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


Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools

Winter 2021

How might a faculty reading of Monique Morris’s book, “Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools,” lead to collaborative efforts on racial justice in our classrooms,
campus, the Grand Rapids community, and beyond?

An underexplored topic, “Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools” chronicles how Black girls are misunderstood and severely punished by the very institution supposedly charged with helping them to flourish. The topic is timely as the number of police killings of innocent Black men and women, including Breonna Taylor from Grand Rapids, resulted in protests across the country and the world this past summer. Thus, this FLC provides a space for faculty who are actively looking for ways to engage with each other on issues of racial justice and anti-racist efforts in our classrooms, campus, the Grand Rapids community, and beyond.

Faculty in CCPS and COE are encouraged to apply. All others are welcome.

Meeting Dates/Times: 

  • Monday, January 25 from 11 a.m.–12pm
  • Monday, February 22 from 11 a.m.–12pm
  • Monday, March 8 from 11 a.m.–12pm
  • Thursday, March 11 from 7pm–9pm
  • Monday, March 22 from 11 a.m.–12pm
  • Monday, April 26 from 11 a.m.–12pm

Location/Campus: Zoom

Facilitator: Leanne Kang, Educational Foundationskangl@gvsu.edu

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


Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Developing Healthy and More Effective Ways of Communicating

Spring/Summer 2021

We spend so much of our lives talking to each other, but how much are we simply running on automatic, relying on old habits and hoping for the best? Are we able to truly hear others and speak our mind in a clear and kind way, without needing to get defensive or go on the attack?

By the time we reach adulthood, most of us have learned to operate through such deeply engrained patterns of language and behavior that virtually all of our communication involves projection, assumption, and bias. No wonder we often feel so cut off and all alone! In this FLC, participants will explore how to weave together mindfulness practice and principles of Nonviolent Communication to learn how to think, speak and listen wisely, with authenticity and care.

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 Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: Zoom

Facilitator: Martina Reinhold, Physician Assistant Studiesreinholm@gvsu.edu

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


Sometimes It Ain't Easy and That Is Okay

Winter 2020—Fall 2020

How can we introduce "desirable difficulties into our courses to promote student learning?

Cognitive science has identified some ways  of learning/studying that seem difficult/ineffective to students, but are actually key to developing understanding. In the winter semester we will examine these "desirable difficulties" (DD) and the research supporting them. During the later part of the first semester, participant will begin designing/revising selected aspects of their course to include one or more DD. During the next semester, the fall, these will then be implemented in the course. Also during the fall, participants will meet to discuss the implementation, data collection, and evaluation of impact of the DD on student learning. At the end of the FLC the participants will be encouraged to turn in a brief write up of their results for dissemination on Scholar Works.

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 Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: Zoom

Facilitator: Tom Pentecost, Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow and Chemistry Department, pentecot@gvsu.edu

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


Super Courses

Spring 2021

How might an instructor turn a good course into a super course?

Author Ken Bain previously identified useful examples of what the best college teachers and students do in eponymous books (2008 and 2012, Harvard UP) which became instant classics in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Now Bain has taken a similar approach in Super Courses: The Future of Teaching and Learning (2021, Princeton UP), identifying commonalities in the most effective courses. He purports to update those earlier works in the light of new research on how the learning brain works and on how to assess real learning as opposed to mere memorization. Participants in this FLC will read Bain's new book, share reflections with and glean ideas from fellow participants, and perhaps home in on a few realistic and feasible ways in which to make a good course super.

Meeting Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: Zoom

Facilitator: David Eick, Modern Languages and Literatures and Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow, eickd@gvsu.edu

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


What the Best College Students Do

Winter 2021

What do the best college students do, and how can we empower GVSU students to adopt similar approaches?

In What the Best College Teachers Do Ken Bain and his research team identified commonalities in the approaches of successful instructors and distilled them into practical tips the rest of us can follow. He similarly discloses common threads in What the Best College Students Do: imbued with a growth mindset, they take risks, shrug off failures, follow their intellectual curiosity, and aim even higher than straight A's. Participants in this FLC will glean ways in which to support students in cultivating fruitful habits for academic and lifelong success. 

This FLC is a new installment in our series, "Effective Teaching: Classic and Contemporary Thought."

Meeting Dates/Times: Meeting from 2–3 p.m. on the following Fridays

  • February 5 & 19
  • March 5 & 19
  • April 2, 16 & 30

Location/Campus: Zoom

Facilitator: David Eick, Modern Languages and Literatures and Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow, eickd@gvsu.edu

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


Writing for Publication

Winter 2021

How might a structured writing process, within a supportive group, help faculty revise an article and submit it to an academic journal?

This FLC will provide a structured process for faculty participants to overcome writing anxiety and inertia and work on their academic writing. Each participant will engage in the process of revising a draft paper (e.g. conference presentation) into an article and submitting it for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. At the same time this FLC will also provide an authentic setting for faculty to get to know one another, and each others' work.

This is a closed group—open to COE and CCPS faculty only. 

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

  • January 29
  • February 5, 12, 19 & 26
  • March 5, 12, 19 & 26
  • April 2, 9 & 16

Location/Campus: Zoom

Facilitator: Mary Bair, Educational Foundationsbairma@gvsu.edu

Co-Facilitator: Patty Bolea, Social Workboleap@gvsu.edu

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


Ungrading

Spring 2021

In the age of Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter, how can we grade more equitably and shift the focus from grades to learning?

Many instructors find grading to be the least pleasant part of their job (perhaps in a tie with department meetings and going up for review). Among students, research shows an inverse correlation between a learning orientation and a grade orientation. What can faculty do to shift the focus from grades to learning? What should institutions do? How can we grade equitably in the age of Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter? What do grades mean, anyway? Participants in this FLC will read Ungrading (ed. Susan Blum, West Virginia U Press, 2020) as a point of departure to ponder these questions and come up with potential solutions.

Meeting Dates/Times: TBD

Location/Campus: Zoom

Facilitator: David Eick, Modern Languages and Literatures and Pew FTLC Faculty Fellow, eickd@gvsu.edu

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