Current Faculty Learning Communities

The Center for Teaching and Learning is pleased to announce the 2018-2019 AY Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs). A Faculty Learning Community is a specifically structured community of practice that includes the key goals of building community, engaging in scholarly (evidenced-based) teaching, and the development of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (Cox & Richlin, 2004). The CTL provides $750 to each FLC to support community activities. FLCs may have as few as six or as many as sixteen participants. Participants can expect to meet approximately once every three weeks during the 2018-2019 academic year. If you have questions about the CTL's FLC program, please contact Lisa LaCross (

2018-2019 Faculty Learning Communities:

Assessment in Creative Disciplines

This FLC will explore opportunities to authentically assess creative output in disciplines that are not easily assessed through traditional methods.  Specifically, this FLC is interested in how self-evaluation, reflection, critique and peer feedback might be used as evaluation tools.


1. Refine our approach to implementing more subjective forms of evaluation in the classroom.
2. Finalize development of a rubric for student reflection that has been considered in the 2017-2018 FLC term.
3. Implement these approaches in courses that are not appropriately assessed with strictly objective measures.

Meeting time: Wednesday afternoons

Facilitators: Alison Farley ( and Rebecca Atkins (


Collecting and Analyzing Data on Student Learning in Active Classrooms

The goal of this FLC would be to identify and analyze "acceptable evidence" of student learning (knowledge, skills, habits of mind, values) in our classrooms. For many, this is a start to SoTL and to showing the impact of their redesign work to a broader audience; for others, they just want to use data to improve their courses once they're implementing them. 


1. Identify formal and informal assignments, data or products that make student learning visible & collecting & organizing that data;
2. Collectively analyzing that data, e.g., one person brings in student work (either raw or partially analyzed) and we all lay eyes on it to interpret what we see/don't see and brainstorm next steps;
3. Create resources/guides to help other faculty who want to engage in the same process in their classrooms.

Meeting time: Thursday or Friday afternoons

Facilitator: Colleen Kuusinen (


Everything You Wanted to Know About Teaching (But Were Afraid to Ask)

This FLC is designed for faculty interested in improving their teaching and student learning through discussion with other faculty. Using short readings from education research publications to prompt discussion, the Teaching FLC will provide a relaxed and informal forum for participants to explore their teaching practice and will encourage participants to consider and implement changes, large or small, in their teaching with the support and feedback of other participants.  This year we propose to delve more deeply into active learning by discussing the physiological, cognitive, and psychological basis for learning and devoting a large portion of the FLC to how learning works. This will evolve into projects focused on how to better engage students with active learning practices that should result in better retention and understanding of class material. The proposed outcome for the FLC is that each participant will develop new teaching activities designed to promote metacognition and active learning and implement them in their course(s). Each participant will be asked to prepare and share with their colleagues a 2-3 page description of the challenges that were faced and include some assessment of the activity's effectiveness. These projects will be documented and presented at the conclusion of our FLC.


Participants will explore, promote, and implement teaching activities designed to enhance metacognition and active learning in their courses.  The ultimate goal of this FLC is to promote active learning in a learner-centered environment for both the student and the instructor.  Each FLC participant will develop and document a new activity to enhance metacognition and use active learning in their course.

Meeting time: Tuesday afternoons

Facilitators: Gaylen Edwards ( and Adrian Burd (


Hybrid Course Development

The Hybrid Course Development (HCD) faculty learning community is designed for faculty who are new to hybrid learning and interested in implementing a hybrid course module in an upcoming academic year.  HCD participants will explore the theory and research behind hybrid course design, discuss how hybrid course design can be leveraged for optimal student learning, and meet with faculty who are experienced hybrid teachers to discuss effective practices in the implementation of a hybrid course.  Participants will also get an introduction to the Media Cooperative, a partnership between the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Office of Online Learning.


Participants will explore effective pedagogical strategies and how to engage students in a hybrid course  (i.e., interaction between students, student-instructor, and student-content).

Participants will consider the technology available to support hybrid course implementation.

Participants will develop plans for the implementation of their first hybrid course module including opportunities for peer feedback and review of course plans.

Meeting time: TBD by participant availability

Facilitators: Meg Mittelstadt ( and Steve Balfour (


Improvisation, Creativity, and Critical Thinking for Enhanced Learning and Teaching

This FLC will provide an orientation to improv technique for faculty new to improvisational theatre as well as giving more experienced faculty a forum to develop their skills. As a locus for both experiential work and discussion, the FLC will explore how the theory and practice of improvisational theatre apply to pedagogy, critical thinking skills, and creativity. 


1. To introduce faculty to the techniques and ethos of improvisatory theatre
2. To develop improvisatory skills in a collegial and supportive environment
3. To instruct faculty on practical ways that they can incorporate improvisation into their own classrooms
4. To further explore how the concepts of theatrical performance can nourish and inform the practices of teaching and creative thinking

Meeting time: Thursday evenings ~7-9pm

Facilitators: Jerry Gale ( and Edwin Sperr (


Intersection of Active Learning, Student Development, and Student Success

Numerous studies indicate that active learning, which is broadly defined as engaging students in their learning, enhances students' academic performance (Prince, 2004). Other studies demonstrate the need to consider student characteristics to promote student success (Tinto, 2006).  This FLC will explore active learning, student development theory, and the emerging profile of UGA students in order to design pedagogical approaches and strategies that promote student learning, development, and success.  Participating faculty must be interested in exploring the intersections of learning and development and infusing active learning strategies into a course. Participating faculty members agree to participate in an assessment of the course as it is currently designed and in an assessment of the course upon revision.
Prince, M. (2004). Does active learning work? A review of the research. Journal of Engineering Education, 93(3), 223-231.
Tinto, V. (2006). Research and practice student retention: What next? Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice, 8(1), 1-19.


1. Examine active learning pedagogical practices and strategies
2. Examine college student development theories
3. Examine college student demographics and characteristics 
4. Identify active learning approaches and strategies that consider students' development and characteristics and begin to assess their impact

Meeting time: TBD by participant availability

Facilitators: Beate Brunow ( and Kara Fresk (


Junior Faculty - Sponsored by Faculty Affairs

Given the limitations of doctoral education, getting started as a new faculty member in a new organization with a multitude of new roles requires that each person "reinvent the wheel."  The purpose of the Junior Faculty Learning Community is to help new faculty smoothly integrate into their new roles of research, teaching and service, and to do so with the support of a peer community and the appropriate support personnel on campus. This FLC is open to faculty within three years of starting their first faculty position. Though the FLC is open to new faculty of all ranks, the emphasis of the FLC will be those who are involved in teaching and/or research.

Key questions guiding this FLC:
1.  What knowledge, skills and preparation is required for new faculty to prepare themselves for their research, teaching and service roles?
2.  What resources are available to help new faculty achieve balance and efficiency?
3.  How can peer mentoring benefit new junior faculty?
4.  How can new junior faculty thrive at UGA?

Meeting time: TBD by participant availability

Facilitators: Susanna Calvert ( and Adam Milewski (


Non-Tenure Track Faculty - Sponsored by Faculty Affairs

This ongoing FLC is sponsored by the Office of Faculty Affairs, and is continuing to work on action items supporting faculty in non-tenure-track roles (e.g., lecturer, academic professional, clinical faculty, public service, research scientist, etc.). Building on prior years' work, the FLC will focus this year on topics including supporting new non-tenure track (NTT) faculty, enhancing mentoring, disseminating data and information on best practices for NTT faculty support, and developing information for department heads and other campus leaders.


Building on prior years' work, the FLC will collaborate with the Office of Faculty Affairs, and plans to focus this year on topics including supporting new NTT faculty, enhancing mentoring, disseminating data and information on best practices for NTT faculty support, and developing information for department heads and other campus leaders.

Meeting time: Thursday afternoons

Facilitators: Paul Matthews ( and Clair McClure (


Service-Learning Research

The Service-Learning Research FLC will focus this year on supporting faculty participants to understand, design and undertake scholarship of teaching & learning projects around academic service-learning pedagogy. Participants should have experience with service-learning/community-engaged teaching and should have a research question in mind relating to the pedagogy (e.g., impacts on students, community, faculty, or institution). The FLC may also collaborate on addressing larger, campus-wide questions around teaching and learning via academic service-learning.


1. Collaborate with other practitioners of service-learning to better understand impacts and outcomes of the pedagogy

2. Design and undertake SoTL projects around academic service-learning pedagogy

Meeting time: Wednesday afternoons

Facilitator: Paul Matthews (


Spaces for Productivity and Collaboration - Sponsored by Faculty Affairs

Whether we are preparing to teach a course or writing a manuscript, it can be a challenge to protect time on our schedules to be productive. This FLC is designed to discover physical places and create intellectual space to work on individual projects while keeping one another accountable and sharing tips, tricks, tools, and practical application of pedagogy. The FLC will meet in different locations around Athens to explore places suitable for out-of-office work, including meeting with students, grading, writing, and collaborative meetings. During each meeting, we will set aside time for members to gain feedback on projects, learn about teaching/research skills or pedagogical tools/strategies for productivity, or collaborate on projects; the majority of each meeting will be set aside as productive time for individual projects.  Once a semester the FLC will devote one meeting for a professional development training based on the interest of the group that help further collaboration and productivity across teaching and research.

The main goal of this FLC is to increase productivity and collaboration within the group to positively impact teaching and research and be able to share outcomes with the larger UGA faculty community.

Meeting time: Thursday 3:00-5:00pm

Facilitators: Kristi Farner ( and Don Chambers (


Sustainability Across the Curricula

In order to move towards a healthy, equitable society while maintaining earth's basic systems, we as educators must cross disciplinary divides and infuse sustainability principles into every discipline, teaching our students to approach problems holistically and to integrate social, economic, and environmental concerns as they apply knowledge learned to the grand challenges of our time.  The Sustainability Across the Curricula Faculty Learning Community will function as a working group on sustainability in the curriculum.  This year the FLC will focus on UN Global Goal #2 - Zero Hunger - exploring food sustainability in various forms.  In addition to the UN Global Goal website and targets, we will use the book Project Drawdown, and network with the UN Regional Center for Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development Greater Atlanta.  Faculty will explore how their courses and research intersects with Global Goal 2 and how individual disciplines can contribute.  


1. Explore sustainability education through our many disciplines and contribute to on-going scholarship in this area.

2. Share ideas, resources, and practical ways to incorporate sustainability into the curriculum.

3. Provide an interdisciplinary forum to foster conversation and collaboration to address grand challenges in the curriculum.

4. Identify ways to locally address UN Global Goal # 2 Zero Hunger through our curriculum and engage our students in this complex topic through experiential learning.

Meeting time: Tuesday or Thursday morning

Facilitators: Tyra Byers ( and Ron Balthazor (