What is a Faculty Learning Community?

Faculty Learning Communities (FLC’s) are peer-led groups of faculty, staff, and graduate students who engage in an active, collaborative, year–long program structured to provide encouragement, support, and reflection.

  • Stimulate innovation and create experiential, collaborative learning environments
  • Increase collaboration and make the best use of limited funding
  • Provide a flexible professional development structure to support learning of any topic
  • Increase communication and collaboration among faculty who, by the nature of their work in individual classrooms, are often isolated from colleagues

Participant Expectations

  1. Attend at least eight monthly meetings. FLC leaders may decide with their group to attend a workshop in replacement of or in addition to the normal monthly meetings.
  2. Propose and construct your “Big Idea Project.” The Big Idea Project can be one project completed by the entire group or each member can have their own project. Some examples of what this project could be are:
    • Targeted to making a change in a course; ie: transforming a unit, module or the entire course
    • Creating a resource listing technologies and their application to active learning and some ideas on how to use each one
    • Conducting research that can contribute to the scholarship of teaching and learning on a practice that they’ve implemented
  3. Attend end of year lunch in which each FLC will present their Big Idea Project (individual or group)

2020-2021 FLCs

Affordable Access for Student Success
Overview

Participants in this FLC will interact with experts from across UF’s campus as well as multidisciplinary external project advisors to guide the creation of their own OERs. Participants in this year-long program will form a small cohort of instructors committed to the development of free, open course materials through intensive training and mentorship. Over the course of the program, participants will develop an initial prototype for an OER, as well as a long-term project plan. This learning community will be held in Spring/Fall 2021.


Note: Acceptance into this FLC is by application only. The application deadline is October 9th. For more information about this FLC, visit the Affordable Texts website.

Assessment Innovations
Overview

The Assessment Innovations FLC will explore and evaluate practices to enhance learning and improve academic integrity. You will consider good practice for integrating assessment in the learning environment of a course. Exploration of this topic will fall into four main phases: 1) Discovery of current practices through literature review, 2) Pilot (where feasible) of practices within courses, 3) Evaluate the pilot results, and 4) Share findings with the broader UF community. Register for Assessment Innovations.

Participant Expectations

  • Review the literature and research to identify useful assessment practices
  • Attend meetings which will be held approximately every two weeks during the "discovery" phase
  • If feasible, implement a new assessment practice in a course that you teach
  • Discuss the results of your pilot with the FLC members
  • Share your findings with the full UF community through your preferred medium (book chapter, article, podcast, workshop etc.)
Strategies to Mentor Online
Overview

For most faculty and staff members, mentoring consists of meeting your mentor/mentee in a face-to-face setting. It is possible to mentor online, but what are the best strategies for mentoring online? This FLC will explore best-practices and determine the best strategies for mentoring online and lay the foundation for research and publication on the topic of online mentoring. Register for Strategies to Mentor Online.

NOTE: This focus was determined by current FLC members. However, if there is a large enough interest in another mentoring area we can create a second mentoring FLC.

Teaching with Technology CoP
Overview

This community of practice (CoP) will explore teaching with technology including delivering courses and teaching with emerging technologies online or in a physical classroom. Together, instructors and instructional designers will explore innovative approaches to active learning with technology. Sessions will provide community members with the opportunity to collaboratively brainstorm strategies to resolve current technology challenges. This CoP will provide support and engagement for all levels of expertise from newbies (new to teaching with technology) to experienced (those looking to go beyond the basics and are interested in AI, virtual exchange, new technologies). Register for Teaching with Technology CoP.

NOTE: A community of practice (CoP) is a group of people who share a common concern, a set of problems, or an interest in a topic and who come together to fulfill both individual and group goals. Communities of practice often focus on sharing best practices and creating new knowledge to advance a domain of professional practice. Interaction on an ongoing basis is an important part of this.

Team-Based Learning
Overview

Team-based learning (TBL) is a learning method that incorporates collaborative learning teams in a structure of pre-class preparation, readiness assurance and team applications. This evidence-based method empowers students to expand their ability to apply the content they are learning. With TBL, instructors emphasize the key points of the content application and at the same time encourage student development of interpersonal skills (eg, communication and teamwork). This FLC is a perfect fit for instructors who are new and experienced with TBL. Participants will be able to learn best practices to implementing TBL, discuss challenges they have encountered with TBL, and design education research focused on TBL. Register for Team-Based Learning.

Registration

The link to each FLC’s registration form is located in the drop down menu above. Some forms will require you to login with your UF Google Account. Once you’ve registered, you will be added to the Faculty Learning Communities Canvas course. If you’re interested in hosting a future FLC, start planning your session with our campus collaborators form. Please contact Zaina Sheets if you’d like to become an FLC facilitator.

Sponsored by the Provost Office