Faculty Learning Communities

Follow this link to propose a Faculty Learning Community for next year!

The Center for Teaching and Learning offers UGA faculty and post-doctoral scholars the opportunity for cohort-based instructional development through its Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) program.

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 meet approximately once every three weeks during the academic year.

flc image with faculty memberCTL FLCs have the additional goal of sharing the outcomes of their discussions with the larger teaching and learning community (either at UGA or beyond). This FLC Engagement Project (the FLC EP) might take many forms, such as a CTL workshop, resources for instructors at UGA, the development of curriculum to be implemented in academic courses at UGA, the submission of a journal article, a conference presentation, etc.

2020-2021 Faculty Learning Communities


Meeting times tbd by the group.

The purpose of this faculty learning community is to explore models of mentoring that improve capacity-building mentoring relationships by utilizing proven strategies that encourage buy-in, engagement, and growth.  Rooted in motivational, transformational leadership and mentoring theories, we will have critical discourse around topics that address larger, campus-wide questions around cultivating an ecosystem of mentoring at the University. If you've ever thought, "How can I reach this person and get them to buy into the vision?”, "How can I get my direct report(s) to be more independent and reach their fullest potential?", or "How can I help this graduate student develop critical thinking skills?"…then this FLC is for you! 

(facilitated by James Anderson, II & Jeremy Daniel, financial support from Faculty Affairs) 

Meeting times tbd (Tu/Th) by the group.

This FLC will create a community of faculty members interested in supporting and improving their students’ writing and communication skills, and the development of their own writing assignments, instruction, and feedback – for face-to-face and online delivery. In addition, this community will consider opportunities to foster a culture around writing that is inclusive and accessible to all students and faculty, at all levels, and in every field, in any learning environment. Together, we will discuss a range of issues related to student writing in the classroom at UGA, such as teaching writing effectively in large classes and facilitating the transfer of writing-related knowledge and skills throughout a program of study. In addition, this group will consider writing at UGA more generally, working to identify roadblocks and opportunities when it comes to delivering a comprehensive writing curriculum and supporting writing across such a large and diverse campus. Ultimately, this group will collaborate on 1) a digital platform highlighting collaboratively-created campus resources related to writing and teaching writing and 2) an event to foster UGA’s culture of writing as part of Write@UGA 2021.

(Facilitated by Lindsey Harding & Sara Steger)

Meeting time tbd by the group.

With an increasingly diverse population of college students on the horizon, conversations including terms like inclusivity, universal design, and cultural awareness frequently enter course design discussions. Moreover, rates of retention of students of color are increasingly troubling and faculty note several barriers to proper pedagogical supporting of students of color (Ribera, Priddie, & BrackaLorenz, 2018). Faculty lack training to support students of color who choose to attend predominantly white institutions, or to support retention of these students. The purpose of this FLC is to explore the scholarship concerning culturally responsive teaching this conversation in higher education. Moreover, we will discuss culturally responsive teaching and brain development, culturally relevant pedagogy, universal design, and more.

(facilitated by Megan Brock)

Meeting times tbd (Tu/Th) by the group.

The purpose of this FLC is to create a community focused on coordinated courses across campus. We welcome participation by those interested in coordinated courses; we also encourage participation by faculty who run large enrollment courses while supervising teaching assistants. We will create a repository of resources for coordinated courses, including documents focused on best practices for course coordination, assessment in coordinated courses, and a snapshot of current practices across coordinated courses on campus.

(facilitated by Jennifer Royal)

Meeting times tbd (Tu/Th) by the group.

This FLC is aimed at faculty who wish to improve the effectiveness of their teaching and the quality of student learning in face-to-face, online, and remote classes. The design of the FLC involves relaxed discussion of ideas with other faculty (using short readings as a focus for those discussions), and participants implementing some of these ideas as part of their existing classroom activities. This year, each member of the FLC will develop and implement at least one idea to enhance student engagement using significant learning experiences in their teaching. In addition, participants will contribute to a document describing these ideas, their implementation, and a reflection on its effectiveness.

(facilitated by Adrian Burd & Gaylen Edwards)

Meeting times tbd by the group.

To be effective, educators must not only master their discipline, but must also learn how to  communicate with their students. They must deeply listen, engage appropriately, participate in the moment, and think on their feet. Not surprisingly, these same communication skills are essential to the work of the student as well. Improvisational theatre is a discipline that has been used in many settings to promote and improve robust communication skills. 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 expand on 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. 

(facilitated by Jerry Gale, Ruth Harman, and Edwin Sperr

Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (every two to three weeks).

This FLC will allow participants to learn about a variety of theories, strategies, and tools for motivating students in the (physical and virtual) classroom. Student motivation has been a topic of educational research for over 50 years, with several theories emerging that describe different kinds of motivation for different purposes, and myriad strategies for promoting each. Incorporating these many theories into a broader discussion about student motivation will allow the FLC to draw out several best practices in student motivation by integrating the lessons learned from each theory. Accordingly, we will cover a broad range of theories, including but not limited to: (1) the MUSIC Model of Motivation; (2) Expectancy-Value Theory; (3) Self Determination Theory; (4) Expectancy-based theories such as self-efficacy, self-concept, and self-worth; (5) Goal-oriented theories; (6) Interest theory; (7) Flow; (8) Attribution Theory; and (9) Self-Intelligence theories (particularly mindset). Discussions of each theory will include reading key literature, discussing the goals and situations to which each theory is best suited, and surveying tools available to promote and assess student motivation. The community will discuss how each of these theories can help keep our students motivated in the context of hybrid and online teaching models encouraged in response to COVID-19.

(facilitated by John Morelock & Nicki Sochacka)

Thursdays, 3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

This ongoing FLC continues to work on action items supporting faculty in non-tenure-track (NTT) 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 NTT faculty, implementing a mentoring program, reviewing relevant UGA and USG policies, disseminating data and information on best practices for NTT faculty support, and disseminating relevant information more strategically to department heads and other campus leaders. 

(facilitated by Paul Matthews & John Brocato, financial support from Faculty Affairs)

Wednesdays, 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The Service-Learning Scholarship and Research FLC focuses on supporting faculty participants to understand, design and undertake scholarship of teaching & learning projects around academic service-learning pedagogy and related forms of community engagement. 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 will also collaborate on piloting the assessment instrument (Service-Learning Quality Assessment Tool) being developed for national dissemination.

(facilitated by Paul Matthews)

Thursdays @ 8:00 a.m. (every three weeks).

COVID-19 has disrupted life as we know it, laying bare many of the flaws in our current systems, from waste and inefficiencies in our food system, to a lack of affordable housing, to minimal access to health care. However, despite the devastation, there have been silver linings including cleaner air, fewer green-house gas emissions, and enhanced habitat for non-human species. We have an opportunity now to reflect and move forward with intention as we determine what the new normal will look like. How can we use the lessons we’ve learned to enhance the sustainability and resilience of our communities, country and the world? How can we capitalize on the generosity and sacrifice for the common good  built during this time? How can we continue the environmental gains? And how can we rebuild economies and communities that are regenerative and equitable. This Sustainability FLC will explore how the COVID-19 global crisis dares us to re-envision our future with a focus on the 17 UN Global Goals developed in 2015 to end poverty, fight inequality, and stop climate change. Particular attention will be given to developing curricula that engages students and connecting interdisciplinary faculty research to these topics.

(facilitated by Tyra Byers & Malcolm Adams)

Follow this link for more information about past CTL FLCs, 2007-2020. (PDF)

For more information about the CTL’s Faculty Learning Communities, please contact Ashley Harlow.

© University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602