Upcoming 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. All faculty are eligible to apply, unless otherwise noted.

2017 - 2018


Fall 2017 & Winter 2018 (year long) - Innovations in Distance Learning

Departments or collaborative groups of faculty are invited to join a new initiative focusing on strategic delivery of distance education. There are many reasons to focus our attention and efforts on promoting innovative approaches to the design of new distance learning opportunities. Whether to relieve bottlenecks within a major, to create dynamic, integrative curricula across linked or related courses, or to meet summer or academic year enrollment goals, our current challenges require an enhanced level of faculty support. Therefore, the Pew FTLC has created a special Faculty Learning Community grant opportunity for faculty that provides several new support mechanisms as well as access to tools with which to design and implement course projects related to university, college, and departmental strategic goals. Through this new initiative, faculty are invited to join with their colleagues to create and implement new distance learning offerings. 

Meeting Time/Dates/Location: TBD

Facilitator: TBD

Fall 2017 - New Faculty Teaching Institute

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 2017 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 this site

Fall 2017 & Winter 2018 (year long) - Strong-Start Initiative: Engaging First-Year Students to Ensure Success

How can we become a student-ready university?

What defines the current generation of students and in what ways are they changing? How accurate are our perceptions of their college readiness? Does a focus on college readiness hinder our approach to supporting student success? In other words, how might we change the way we perceive the weaknesses, the strengths, and the needs of our first-year students and adjust what we do in the classroom and on campus? As a faculty learning community, we will explore these questions and take a close look at the issue of student readiness both nationally and in our own community. Drawing on resources such as those developed by the FTLC’s Strong Start Initiative, participants will also support each other as they integrate best practices into their own classrooms. Members of this Faculty Learning Community will have the opportunity to apply for funding to attend the 37th Annual Conference on the First-Year Experience in San Antonio in February.

Meeting Time/Dates/Location: 1-2:30pm, Thursdays; every two weeks starting September 28th (12 meetings throughout the year); JHZ, Allendale campus (room TBD)

Facilitator: Donovan Anderson, andersdo@gvsu.edu, 331-2452

Fall 2017 & Winter 2018 (year long) - Civic Engagement Faculty Learning Community Sponsored Project

The Civic Engagement Faculty Learning Community Sponsored Project formed in 2016 aims to explore civic engagement nationally, regionally, and at GVSU.  Upon completion of the Civic Engagement Student Learning Outcomes, the group is working to partner with academic departments to provide links to pedagogical examples, as well as teaching tools to consider.  These student learning outcomes will also be shared with attendees at the events in the Pew FTLC Civic Series.  

Meeting Time/Dates/Location: TBD

Facilitator: Patty Stow Bolea, boleap@gvsu.edu, 331-3498



Winter 2018 - Building Mentoring Networks

What is your role in developing successful mentoring relationships? How can you make the most out of your mentoring network?

Mentoring is a critical component to professional development at all steps on the academic ladder from first year faculty member to senior colleague. Each transition means learning new rules—written and unwritten—and navigating new challenges and adapting to new conditions. This FLC will use Power Mentoring: How Successful Mentors and Protégés Get the Most Out of Their Relationships by Ellen A. Ensher and Susan E. Murphy to consider what it means to create a strong mentoring network that meets your diverse needs. We will reflect on how to improve current mentoring relationships and how to identify new mentors and incorporate them into our mentoring networks. Additionally, we will consider how our mentoring relationships affect our roles as peer mentors, mentors to junior faculty, and mentors to undergraduate students.    

Meeting Time/Dates/Location: bi-weekly meetings TBD

Facilitators: Kim McKee, mckeeki@gvsu.edu

Fall 2017 & Winter 2018 - Online & Hybrid Teaching Learning Communities (CHS, Allendale, Pew Campus)

Sponsored by IDeL (Instructional Design for eLearning) and the Pew Faculty Teaching & Learning Center, this faculty learning community will provide a venue for faculty-led dialogue and to share collective expertise regarding online/hybrid instruction at GVSU. At the first meeting, faculty will determine discussion topics and to assign various faculty to act as lead facilitators for subsequent meetings. The Instructional Designers from IDeL will assist in organizing meeting agendas, collecting minutes, and posting resources shared at the various meetings to a Blackboard organization for further distribution. 

Meeting Time/Dates/Location: 

Allendale (KHS 4402)
Friday 11:30-1pm (9/15, 10/20, 11/17 and 12/1)

CHS (CHS 209)
Wednesday 1-2:30pm (9/13, 10/18, 11/15, and 12/6)

Pew (DEV 302E)
Thursday 9:30-11am (9/21, 10/26, 11/16 and 12/7)

Facilitator: Kim Kenward, kenwardk@gvsu.edu, 331-2131

Winter 2018 - Reacting to the Past Pedagogy: Gamification in the High-Impact Classroom

How can immersive role-playing support student learning, engagement, and retention?

In its bi-weekly meetings, our FLC will alternate the "why" and the "how" of Reacting to the Past. We will immerse faculty members in a RTTP experience during each of our sessions as we play the game Greenwich Village, 1913. We will end each of our sessions with discussion of readings from SOTL literature on gamifying the classroom, simulation learning, and RTTP specifically.  We will structure the FLC in this way because both facilitators believe that the best way to understand what Reacting to the Past is all about is to dig in and experience it first-hand.  At the same time, we also think it's important to highlight and explore the body of scholarship that supports this practice as pedagogically sound. 

Meeting Time/Dates/Location: bi-weekly meetings TBD

Facilitators: Gretchen Galbraith, galbraig@gvsu.edu, Jae Basiliere, basiliej@gvsu.edu

Winter 2018 - Team-Based Learning in the Classroom

How might Team-Based Learning  make your classroom more student-centered?

Team-Based Learning (TBL) is a method of teaching and learning in which students work in persistent teams inside the classroom throughout the semester to engage with and explore course content and concepts.  The course syllabus is split into 5-7 Learning Modules (LMs).  Each LM involves a three-step cycle: student preparation (textbook and other readings, videos, etc.), readiness testing (students take a quiz on the preparation work first individually and then as a team), and application-focused team exercises.  The goal of this Faculty Learning Community is to work through the book “Getting Started with Team-Based Learning” that describes how to enact the TBL process in a course.  Though it is definitely not necessary to enjoy the FLC, we encourage faculty members to sign up for the FLC with a departmental partner with whom to work.

Meeting Time/Dates/Location: bi-weekly meetings TBD

Facilitators: John Gabrosek, gabrosej@gvsu.edu, Neal Rogness, rognessn@gvsu.edu

Winter 2018 - Universal Design for Learning

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 they use. This faculty learning community is for faculty who are interested in becoming more familiar with the concept of UD and UDL. Faculty of all learning levels, knowledge and expertise are welcome.

Meeting Time/Dates/Location: TBD

Facilitators: Julia VanderMolen, vandjul1@gvsu.edu, 331-5566, Kimberly Kenward, kenwardk@gvsu.edu, 331-2131, Dana Munk, munkd@gvsu.edu, 331-8539

Winter 2018 - Using the Power of Design Thinking in the Classroom: Universal Methods of Design (Part II)

[Note: This Faculty Learning Community is open only to faculty who participated in the Fall 2018 - Using the Power of Design Thinking in the Classroom: Universal Methods of Design FLC.]

How might we be able to apply the concepts of design thinking to structure conversations and create and build meaning in our subject matter?

Applying the design thinking process can be challenging.  With what subject matter does it work best? How does one find the time to create and innovate? How does one give up control in the classroom and still teach content? This Faculty Learning Community will explore ways to unpack and explore some of the tried and true methods of facilitating conversations in human-centered design while researching complex problems, developing innovative ideas, and designing effective solutions.  Martin & Hanington's Universal Methods of Design (Beverley, MA: Rockport Publishing) will be used as a resource for the discussion.

Meeting Time/Dates/Location: TBD

Facilitator: Jody Vogelzang, vogelzjo@gvsu.edu, 331-5059

Fall 2017 - Affiliate Faculty Professional Development: Staying Current in One's Field

What are best practices for contingent faculty who want to stay current in their respective fields and continue to develop as teachers?

This Faculty Learning Community, facilitated by two members of the CLAS Affiliate Faculty Advisory Committee, will give Affiliate Faculty an opportunity to explore best practices around developing their teaching practice and staying current in their field. Additional topics may include working conditions, workload, evaluation processes, opportunities for development and advancement, and roles within their respective units. The group will use The Peak Performing Professor: A Practical Guide to Productivity and Happiness by Susan Robison as a resource for the discussion. The FLC will use the book to focus on “techniques, strategies, and practical tools for managing the complexities of academic life while maximizing professional potential.”  In addition, this learning community will utilize Robison’s strategies to help faculty “anchor their work, roles, and use of time” in a way that will help them “integrate their personal and professional lives into a seamless whole.” 

Meeting Time/Dates/Location: 10-11:30AM, Fridays; 9/15, 9/29, 10/13, 10/27, 11/10, 11/17, 12/1, 12/8; JHZ 3068

Facilitator(s):   Dauvan Mulally, mulallyd@gvsu.edu, 331-3547, Julie White, whiteju@gvsu.edu, 331-3072

Fall 2017 - Creative Development: Transforming Education through Design Thinking, Innovation, and Invention

How might we continue to spark creative growth for both learners and educators through the use of Design Thinking?

Creativity in the classroom can increase independent thinking and inquiry, adaptive problem-finding and problem-solving, and success when meeting new and unexpected challenges. Designing a classroom culture where creativity is valued and prioritized with continual support and maintenance remains challenging. One approach to help inspire creativity is applying concepts and mindsets outlined through Design Thinking methodology. Design Thinking is an interdisciplinary and integrative approach to identifying problems, prototyping out-of-the-box ideas, and continually refining in a human-centered manner. Through the use of design thinking, this group will aim to inspire participants to explore a creative spirit that helps to build a creative and innovative classroom for students.

Meeting Time/Dates/Location: 2:30-4:00PM, Mondays; 9/25, 10/9, 10/23, 11/6, 11/20, 12/4; Allendale Campus (Kindschi Hall of Science room 4429)

Facilitators: Amy Gyorkos, gyorkosa@gvsu.edu, 331-3357, David Coffey, coffeyd@gvsu.edu, 331-3747

Fall 2017 - English 400 Curriculum Redesign

How can English 400: Critical Issues in K-12 Literacy better prepare our English Education students to successfully teach English Language Learners, students growing up in poverty, students of color, and speakers of non-standard dialects of English?

The English faculty who teach English 400: Critical Issues in K-12 Literacy would like to redesign some of the curriculum for English 400 as well as create a community engagement partnership and project that we hope will become a key part of the course. The new English 400 is expanded to include our Secondary English majors and it will have a strong focus on preparing future English and Language Arts teachers to work with those populations that tend to be least well-served by our education system: English Language Learners, speakers of Black English and other non-dominant English dialects, students of color and students growing up in poverty.  In our Faculty Learning Community, we hope to first identify and then begin to build a relationship with a community partner that would benefit from having the assistance of GVSU students in their regular programming and would offer our students the chance to work with people from the populations listed above. We plan to meet bimonthly in the Fall 2017 semester and ideally begin implementing the new curriculum in the Winter 2018 semester.

Meeting Time/Dates/Location: bi-monthly meetings TBD

Facilitator: Karen Pezzetti, pezzetka@gvsu.edu, 331-3449 

Fall 2017 - Embracing Issues that Haunt Us: Problems AND Polarities

What issues are recurring, appear unsolvable and keep you up at night? Are you wasting time, energy and other resources trying to “solve” a problem that you believed was solved earlier?

This FLC will distinguish between problems you can solve AND polarities or paradoxes that you can manage. Dilemmas abound in academia, just as they do in business, practice and personal spaces. Though many times, these issues appear as if they are problems, in actuality many complex issues are polarities, which are interdependent pairs of values, beliefs or alternative points of view. Managing a dilemma or polarity, offers sustainable outcomes through key management strategies. Key polarities are often involved in situations that are laden with conflict and tensions, validating the need for all disciplines to apply a polarity lens. This interprofessional FLC will focus on deepening knowledge of polarity thinking across multiple disciplines and explore strategies to apply polarity thinking at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) classrooms, colleges and within the greater GVSU community.

Meeting Time/Dates/Location: 6 meetings over two semesters; dates/times/location TBD by participants.

Facilitator: Evelyn Clingerman, clingere@gvsu.edu, 331-5611

Fall 2017 - Evaluating Resources, Misinformation, and Fake News: Promoting Advanced Information Literacy in the Classroom

In a “post-truth” society how do we know what we “know” – how can we tell what news is “fake” and which facts are “alternative”?  Moreover, how do we educate students to evaluate the information they encounter in a variety of contexts and disciplinary conversations?

We’d like to explore approaches to teaching information literacy skills such as evaluation of information and understanding the nuances of authority and credibility, especially given the ubiquity of these issues in modern media and politics.  Ideally, the group that comes together will represent a wide variety of disciplines, in order to enable mutual exploration of familiar and unfamiliar contexts in our discussions.

Meeting Time/Dates/Location: Mondays, 2:30-4:00PM, 9/18, 10/.9, 10/30, Final Meeting TBD; LIB216, Allendale Campus

Facilitators: Debbie Morrow, morrowd@gvsu.edu, 331-2618, Hazel McClure, mcclureh@gvsu.edu, 331-3077

Fall 2017 - Preparing Students for Freelance Careers

How can we best prepare students to succeed in freelance careers?

Are your students entering a field where hiring freelance workers is becoming more prevalent or already the norm? Whether writers, artists, consultants, or innovators creating a startup business, more and more of the workforce is composed of independent workers. How are we at GVSU preparing students to succeed in this environment? Students may be well-educated in their field, but are there other skills they need to thrive professionally? This Faculty Learning Community intends to consider the demands of freelance work in various fields, take stock of resources currently available at GVSU, and propose steps to improve how our students are prepared to navigate the challenging world of freelance work.

Meeting Time/Dates/Location: Fridays, 10:30-11:30AM, 9/8, 9/22, 10/6, 10/20, 11/17, 12/1, Allendale campus.

Facilitators: Hannah Seidel, seidelh@gvsu.edu, 331-3487, Len O'Kelly, okellyle@gvsu.edu, 331-8174

Fall 2017 & Winter 2018 - Seidman College of Business Hybrid/Online Teaching Learning Community (open to SCB faculty only)

How can we improve our course design for instructional effectiveness?  What technology tools can we use to improve learning and comprehension?  What tools can we use to evaluate the learning objectives in our courses?

The goal of this faculty learning community is to explore ways to create, improve, deliver and evaluate our course content. Faculty and staff will engage in a collaborative manner to share ideas increasing pedagogical knowledge on the processes of hybrid/online course design. Given the faculty have had various experiences and training, they will be able to suggest topics or areas of the greatest need for improvement which creates a positive synergy where faculty support faculty to explore, learn and improve instruction in all content areas. This committee is open to all faculty in the Seidman College of Business to promote openness, relevance, and empowerment of faculty with support from peers in similar disciplines. Whether faculty are new to the hybrid/online process or looking for ways to improve their respective courses. This learning community seeks to help faculty get started or expand the knowledge of those who are looking for new and innovative ways to their courses. 

Meeting Time/Dates/Location: TDB - Proposed Dates: 9/20, 10/18, 11/15, 12/6*, 1/24, 2/21, 3/21, 4/18 (*optional); Pew Campus/Seidman College of Business

Facilitator: Kevin Barrons, Seidman College of Business, barronke@gvsu.edu, 331-7458

Fall 2017 & Winter 2018 - Social Network Data Analysis

Our learning community will focus on the pedagogy of social network data analysis.  Over the course of the academic year, participants will review contemporary theory and identify strategies to improve how applications are taught in the social sciences and journalism.  The review will encompass computational methods and identify areas where computational methods suitable for undergraduate instruction should be developed.  The community will build a repository of resources on social networks to build into existing courses. 

Meeting Time/Dates/Location: TBD - Participants will meet bi-weekly throughout the academic year.

Facilitators: Whitt Kilburn, Department of Political Science and Data Inquiry Lab, kilburnw@mail.gvsu.edu, 331-2320 and Jerry Scripps, Department of Computer Science, scrippsj@gvsu.edu, 331-2060

Fall 2017 - Thanks for the Feedback: Giving and Receiving Feedback from Peers

How can we learn to better receive feedback from colleagues?

Faculty feedback is crucial to professional growth, yet many of us are uncomfortable receiving and giving feedback. Feedback is an integral component of the faculty review process; to be effective colleagues we need to be able to provide constructive responses to our peers. Participants will read Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen, discuss the examples and advice shared by the authors, and work to apply the principles to their own experience.  The authors explain the science behind why feedback is so challenging and share practical solutions. Discussion will center around how to receive and provide feedback, including a focus on understanding personal triggers that block the reception of feedback, how to separate appreciation, coaching, and evaluation, cultivating a growth identity, navigating conversations and concluding with five action steps.  This FLC will meet six times on alternating campuses throughout the semester.  The dates and time will be determined once participants are identified.

Meeting Time/Dates/Location: TBD

Facilitators: Ashley Rosener, rosenera@gvsu.edu, 331-5937, Lindy Scripps-Hoekstra, scrippsl@gvsu.edu, 331-5073

Fall 2017 - Using the Power of Design Thinking in the Classroom: Universal Methods of Design

How might we be able to apply the concepts of design thinking to structure conversations and create and build meaning in our subject matter?

Applying the design thinking process can be challenging.  With what subject matter does it work best? How does one find the time to create and innovate? How does one give up control in the classroom and still teach content? This Faculty Learning Community will explore ways to unpack and explore some of the tried and true methods of facilitating conversations in human-centered design while researching complex problems, developing innovative ideas, and designing effective solutions.  Martin & Hanington's Universal Methods of Design (Beverley, MA: Rockport Publishing) will be used as a resource for the discussion.

Meeting Time/Dates/Location: Wednesdays, 3:00-4:30PM

9/20 – CHS 140
10/4 – CHS 140
10/18 – CHS 140
11/1 – CHS 240
11/15 – CHS 140
11/29 – CHS 240

Facilitator: Jody Vogelzang, vogelzjo@gvsu.edu, 331-5059

Page last modified November 21, 2017