Faculty Development

Learning
Communities
What Is a Learning Community?

A Learning Community (LC) is a cross-disciplinary, faculty-driven group of 6-12 members (which can include staff and graduate students as well) engaging in a yearlong program to promote the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). Their activities include frequent seminars and activities that provide learning, research-based development, and community building. Participants typically engage in bi-weekly seminars and retreats and present results to the campus. LCs increase faculty interest in teaching and provide an atmosphere which allows faculty to investigate new teaching methods and partner with staff and students.

These communities are designed to build collaboration and fellowship among faculty, staff, and students from across the university. A Learning Community is focused on colleagues sharing expertise with one another to enhance knowledge and improve learning for students.  For more details on the Learning Community structure and process, see the More Information link at the bottom of the page.

Call for 2017-2018 Learning Communities

Proposals due Monday, April 17. The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning is proud to announce new Learning Communities for 2017-2018 across a range of academic interests, all of which focus on enhancing student and faculty success. Faculty, along with staff and graduate students, are invited to participate. Read more about facilitating a learning community.  Submit a proposal here.

Facilitating a Learning Community Workshop was held on Wednesday, March 22. Download the PowerPoint and watch the workshop recording to hear from current learning community participants (listed below).

Multimedia Tools in Education: Visualizing Data
Facilitator: Greg Allar, International Studies (allar@oakland.edu)
There is no question that technology is changing the face of education. Information overload is a recurring theme in education, which presents new challenges both to faculty and to students. Faculty members strive to include new and insightful perspectives into their discipline, while students grapple to comprehend complex concepts and trends. One aspect of technology, which remains relatively underutilized, is data visualization. In a society that has become much more visually oriented there exists a number of software programs designed to help faculty and students analyze data, pinpoint emerging trends and identify meaningful correlations. Data visualization is one way that faculty can create powerful graphics to facilitate learning and foster high level thinking skills in their students.

Learning Objectives

  • To help faculty learn how to integrate data analysis and visualization practices into their teaching
  • To extend these practices to the department and university level to track meaningful trends such as student enrollment

Open to: Faculty/Staff/Grad Students


Service Learning: Design, Practice and Scholarship
Facilitator:Tanya Christ, Reading and Language Arts (christ@oakland.edu)
This learning community aims to bring together a broad array of course instructors (both faculty and graduate students) who are interested in teaching service-learning courses and need support for course design or implementation, or who are teaching service-learning courses and would like to improve their teaching through Scholarship of Teaching and Learning projects. By making the learning community cross-disciplinary, broader expertise for course design, knowledge about service-learning implementation, and research design for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning projects will be shared.

Learning Objectives

  • To (re)design a service learning course
  • To implement this course design
  • To produce Scholarship of Teaching and Learning projects related to service-learning courses

Open to: Faculty/Staff/Grad Students


PAST LEARNING COMMUNITIES

Click here to view the document with all of our past Learning Communities in one place.


More Information

More About Learning Communities and Proposals

Proposing a OU Learning Community

What is an OU Learning Community?How can the support funding be used?
What are the goals of OU Learning Communities?What is required if I want to propose an OU Learning Community?
On what kinds of topics can an OU Learning Community focus?If I am currently leading a faculty learning community, can I submit a proposal to continue the community for a second year?
What is involved in facilitating an OU Learning Community?What Learning Communities have there been in the past?

What is an OU Learning Community?
  • Active, collaborative year-long program
  • 6-12 faculty, graduate students and professional staff
    • who are interested in exploring a topic related to teaching and learning
    • who represent a variety of disciplines (cross-disciplinary interaction)
    • who are willing to meet bi-weekly to explore the topic
  • Oakland Learning Communities will be
    • led by a topic expert from OU’s faculty
    • some communities will be relevant and specific to faculty, while others will be inclusive including faculty, staff and students
Back to the top of the page.

What are the goals of OU Learning Communities?
  • Faculty collaborating with one another and staff and students to share expertise, to improve student learning and improve teaching
  • Shared inquiry about a topic of mutual interest
  • Building friendships and mentorships across disciplines
  • Introducing new knowledge into the teaching environment
  • Advance the scholarship of teaching and learning
Back to the top of the page.

On what kinds of topics can an OU Learning Community focus?
  • All groups will engage in aspects of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)
    • SoTL recognizes teaching as scholarly work and encourages members to use research to better understand and improve their own teaching practices and how such work will improve learning across the campus.
    • SoTL values the dissemination of work through such activities as presentations and scholarly articles.
Examples of topics might include:
  • problem-based learning
  • case study methods
  • mentoring undergraduate research
  • engaging students in large classes
  • effective methods for teaching adults
  • student learning through writing
  • critical thinking, service learning
  • high impact practices
  • diversity
  • leading study abroad
Back to the top of the page.

What is involved in facilitating an OU Learning Community?
  • Submit a proposal.
  • If accepted, seek membership and participation with assistance from CETL.
  • Organize regular sessions (approximately twice a month).
  • Facilitate sessions.
  • Submit a final report.
  • Share results of LC with others on campus.
Back to the top of the page.

How can the support funding be used?

Up to $1,500 is available for the following:
  • Support for books and materials related to the topic
  • Support for travel to conference on learning community topic (or to teaching and learning conference)
  • Support for travel for regional expert on the selected topic to come to OU
  • Support for other activities may be available if approved
Back to the top of the page.

What is required if I want to propose an OU Learning Community?
  • When the call opens, fill out an application. Calls normally open each winter and are due at the end of March.
  • Agree to share what you have learned and done in a campus forum.
  • Complete a final report on the results of the learning community and how funds were used.

If I am currently leading a faculty learning community, can I submit a proposal to continue the community for a second year?

Yes, a proposal can be submitted to continue a current learning community, but new objectives should be provided.  
 

Faculty Development
Institutes
What Are Faculty Development Institutes?

Faculty Development Institutes are sustained programs which run throughout the academic year and focus on developing a teaching strategy or approach. The cohort (10-15 members) meets approximately once a month with a coach/mentor. Times and dates will be decided by group members. 

The program provides an opportunity to learn new skills and strategies and then have time to develop, implement, reflect and revise them throughout the fall semester. 

All sessions meet in the Learning Studio - 200A Elliott Hall.

New FDIs will begin in Fall 2016 and will call for participants in September 2016.


2016-2017
Designing Learning for All: Universal Design of Learning
Amanda Nichols Hess, CETL Faculty Fellow
  • Explore how to meet the learning needs of an increasingly diverse and varied student population. 
  • Learn about the principles of universal design for learning (UDL) and other instructional design strategies to reach learners both online and face-to-face. 
  • Examine best UDL practices in technology and pedagogy to increase student success.
  • Incorporate at least one of these concepts into instructional practices. 
  • Share knowledge and experiences within the faculty development institute and with department colleagues as well.
Contact Amanda at nichols@oakland.edu for questions and interest in this FDI.
______________________________________________________________________________
 
Mentoring for Emerging Faculty
Judy Ableser, CETL Director
  • Mentoring to help support teaching and acclimation into campus life as an academic.
  • Professional and social networking and connections with other faculty who are also new/nearly new to teaching at a university.
  • An opportunity to extend, practice, reflect and reinforce skills and knowledge that are introduced during the "Nuts and Bolts of Teaching and Learning Workshops."

Contact Judy at ableser@oakland.edu for questions and interest in this FDI.
______________________________________________________________________________
 
Course Redesign to Increase Student Success
Keith Williams, CETL Faculty Fellow
  • Explore the characteristics of "gateway" or "intro/foundation" courses and courses with high student failure rates.
  • Investigate strategies and practices for redesigning courses.
  • Receive feedback on planning and implementation of course redesign.
Contact Keith at williams9@oakland.edu for questions and interest in this FDI.

 

PAST FDIs

2015-2016
Mentoring for Emerging Faculty - Judy Ableser, CETL Director
  • Mentoring to help support teaching and acclimation into campus life as an academic.
  • Professional and social networking and connections with other faculty who are also new/nearly new to teaching at a university.
  • An opportunity to extend, practice, reflect and reinforce skills and knowledge that are introduced during the "Nuts and Bolts of Teaching and Learning Workshops."

Team-Based Learning (TBL) - Training and consulting with Richard Sabina and David Thomas, OUWB School of Medicine Faculty

  • Receive foundational training and consultation in Team-Based Learning (TBL) from certified TBL Collaborative Trainer-Consultants (TBLC).
  • Receive feedback and general oversight while creating and implementing a TBL module.
  • Learn how to transform a TBL module into teaching scholarship.
Teaching with Technology for Technophobes - Facilitated by Kathleen Spencer
  • Learn basic classroom and organizational technology skills.
  • Aimed for faculty who do not use and/or are afraid to use technology.
  • This group will work slowly and patiently to support faculty to use a range of technologies.


2014-2015
Mentoring for Emerging Faculty - Judy Ableser, CETL Director
  • Mentoring to help support teaching and acclimation into campus life as an academic.
  • Professional and social networking and connections with other faculty who are also new/nearly new to teaching at a university.
  • An opportunity to extend, practice, reflect and reinforce skills and knowledge that are introduced during the "Nuts and Bolts of Teaching and Learning Workshops."

High Impact Practices - Byungwon Woo, CETL Faculty Fellow

  • Explore various impact teaching practices for lasting learning experience for students
  • Plan and implement high impact practices
  • Work with a team to brainstorm ideas, plan and receive feedback on high impact practices


2013-2014

Using Technology for Effective Teaching - coaching with Chris Kobus - CETL Faculty Fellow

A resource for online and flipped teaching, and using technology to enhance the traditional classroom environment.
  • Learn about the availability of hardware/software resources on campus and beyond, and how to best use them.
  • Learn best practices for effective use of multimedia and technologies for face-to-face, online and flipped classrooms.

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning - coaching with Dana Driscoll - CETL Faculty Fellow
The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) recognizes teaching as scholarly work and encourages faculty to use research to better understand and improve their own teaching practices. This FDI seeks to create a supportive community of teacher-researchers who are interested in SoTL for the improvement of their own teaching (and for wider dissemination for interested faculty). Topics include: defining SoTL, developing SoTL projects, methodologies of SoTL, collecting and analyzing data, adapting findings to classroom practice, and ethics/IRB issues.

Mentoring for Emerging Faculty - mentor - Judy Ableser - CETL Director

Mentoring to help support teaching and acclimation into campus life as an academic. Professional and social networking and connections with other faculty who are also new/nearly new to teaching at a university. An opportunity to extend, practice, reflect and reinforce skills and knowledge that are introduced during the "Nuts and Bolts of Teaching and Learning Workshops."