The LMU Faculty Learning Communities (FLC) program brings faculty together to discuss ideas about teaching, teaching challenges, and educational research. Faculty interested in leading an FLC submit a proposal to the CTE, identifying a central theme related to teaching and learning to be discussed in-depth over the year. Each FLC group consists of 6 to 10 members, typically from different disciplines. The facilitator works with the CTE Director to organize a group. Typically, groups commit to meeting for 1.5 to 2 hours every three weeks for one year. Groups that elect to meet at the CTE will have food provided for their meetings. In groups that want to have in-depth discussion of books on teaching, each member of the group will be provided with a copy of the book to be discussed. Some groups may elect to meet virtually using Zoom video conferencing software.
Both tenure-line and term LMU faculty may participate in the FLC program.
All groups are expected to submit a brief report to the CTE at the end of the year. FLC members are encouraged to assess changes in their classes that result from participation in the FLC activities and group discussions, and determine whether improvements occurred in teaching and learning as a result. FLC members are encouraged to give presentations open to the LMU faculty through the CTE, engage in educational research, present results in publications where appropriate, and to apply for externally funded educational grants.
A small stipend is available for members of an FLC who participate in a majority of FLC activities. Each FLC facilitator will be provided a baseline stipend of $2,000, distributed upon submission of the final brief report.
FLC Proposals should be no longer than 2 single-spaced pages and describe the theme, facilitator’s background related to the theme and/or why they are interested in forming an FLC on that theme. Faculty should identify a key text (or alternative) that will serve as the basis of the FLC in-depth discussions. Faculty should articulate individual Learning Outcomes for members (e.g., revise course syllabi) and describe anticipated group goals, including ideas for assessing outcomes. Finally, faculty should describe the general structure of the FLC (i.e., anticipated activities and needs) and identified costs.
Faculty interested in being an FLC facilitator should email their proposals to: firstname.lastname@example.org
2022-2023 Transformative Pedagogy
The goal of this FLC was to develop comfort with transformative pedagogical techniques, while building community among LMU faculty. This FLC included topics such as: Ignatian Pedagogy, the tipped classroom, social-emotional learning, and the pedagogy of kindness. We also unpacked hidden assumptions about learning that implicitly affect our teaching. This supportive FLC offered space for faculty across departments and disciplines to share and learn from one another.
2022-2023 Equity of Access = Equity of Experience
Through the framework of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and being aware of accessibility considerations, this FLC discussed how to remove the spotlight from any real or perceived deficits and resistances to foster a space in which all participants can stretch and shine. Faculty participants learned to: easily leverage the Learning Management System (LMS) to check for and remediate student accessibility concerns, enhance video and presentation materials to better support all learners, and understand how thoughtfully using technology can support learner needs and preferences.
2021-2022 Faculty Learning Community: Access Pedagogy
Access Pedagogy is a Faculty Learning Community designed to explore and learn principles of universal design and disability justice and apply them to existing and new courses at LMU. Guided by feminist and anti-racist activist scholarship, our concepts of universal design and disability justice critique constructions of space, communication, and flourishing that reflect only a slim subset of human bodyminds. The goal of this FLC is to identify ableism at work in our syllabi, language, classrooms, and pedagogy, and operationalize what we learn to revise and re-construct. Individual faculty will revise their syllabi and teaching philosophy to reflect principles of universal design and disability justice.
2020-2021 Faculty Learning Community: Anti-Racist & Anti-Imperialist Pedagogies
In this yearlong learning community, faculty explored anti-racist and anti-imperialist pedagogies, as well as developed their understanding of the barriers to such work in the university setting. Collectively, they curated a reading list that grounded their discussions. The goals of this FLC were threefold: (1) To understand the history of anti-racist and anti-imperialist resistance within the university setting; (2) To facilitate conversations on best practices in anti-racist and anti-imperial pedagogy; and (3) To imagine a third university.
Faculty Learning Communities
Fall 2023: Knowledge, Authorship, Creativity: Pedagogical Considerations in the Era of AI
ChatGPT and its cousins Midjourney, DALL-E and others (collectively referred to as “Generative AI” technology) shine a bright light on the nature of knowledge, authorship, and creativity, and challenge us to clarify the meaning and goals of a university education. What does it mean for students to produce a work, and how is this used to promote and assess learning? This FLC responded in a holistic manner to the questions raised about human-centered knowledge, expression, authorship, and originality in the context of a university education. The topics facilitated discussion across all subjects, addressing: (1) general principles and values, while (2) understanding and appreciating discipline-specific differences, towards the goal of (3) providing a general framework for future discussion and policies concerning Generative AI. Looking for more articles about AI in higher education? Check out the CTE’s website.