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What is a Faculty Learning Community?

A faculty learning community (FLC) comprises an interdisciplinary group of faculty devoted to enhancing teaching, learning, and the university experience. FLCs have been shown to increase faculty interest in teaching and learning while providing a safe space for faculty to explore and implement new approaches, give and receive feedback, and generate a knowledge base accessible to the broader University community.

Simply put, an FLC is a community of practice devoted to exploring teaching and learning in higher education. Each FLC will grow at its own pace, embrace a unique topic, and target specific outcomes. The FLCs will meet regularly, but input from FLC members will help determine the frequency and format for meetings, the duration, and the goals and outcomes—including any projects to be carried out—for each FLC.

We are very excited to provide such rich opportunities for community building, interdisciplinary collaboration, and explorations of teaching and learning!

Read more about our current Faculty Learning Communities below. Click "join" to fill out a registration form.

2015 - 2016 Faculty Learning Communities

Career Line Faculty

This cohort-based FLC, organized in partnership with the Office for Faculty, serves to bring together non–tenure line faculty who have unique roles and needs on campus. The focus of this FLC will be determined by its members once they come together.
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Data Journal Club

Whether from the sciences, humanities, or social sciences, researchers face an explosion of data in some online form; actively participate in cross disciplinary investigations; maintain collaborative efforts with multiple departments; fulfill demands required from granting agencies, governments, or publishing entities; and need to have their research efforts organized, housed, and preserved. We welcome you to join a small group of interested people to review journal articles on national data management strategies and discuss their relevance to the University of Utah. This FLC is sponsored by the Marriott Library.
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Developing and Assessing Program Level Learning Outcomes

Detailed description coming soon.
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Empathy

The FLC on Empathy will continue the conversations that started with the Empathy Symposium. Participants will focus principally on the following three issues (a) How we as faculty can integrate secular versions of contemplative practices into classrooms to increase empathy and other positive mind-states in pedagogy; (b) whether there is indeed a "paradigm shift" occurring with regard to empathy that can affect higher education; and (c) whether the humanities and the sciences can be brought together around issues related to empathy to enhance collaborative research and teaching.

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Global Learning

The group meets once per month and discussions have been centered on a definition of global learning at the U, gaining knowledge about curriculum/course revision to integrate global and intercultural learning, how to develop global learning outcomes and assessment, how to make the case with those who are skeptical regarding global learning, the connection to diversity, and other topics. We have been reading the book "Internationalization the Curriculum" by Betty Leask and a major topic of discussion has been faculty development focused on global/intercultural learning. We will work with CTLE this semester to create training/development opportunities for faculty and staff on this topic.

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Integrated Learning: Where Does it Happen and How Do We Know?

Detailed description coming soon.
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New Classroom Design

Our classroom spaces are beginning to look like something from a science fiction movie. We have Smart Boards, computers, digital response units, digital projectors, etc. Can it be far away that we beam ourselves in for the lecture along with our students? What is the future of the classroom and how will we use it? This FLC will investigate the future of the classroom and how we can plan for it. The group will report its findings directly to Campus Planning in order to inform the decisions they are making on classrooms being built or renovated today.
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Spiritual and Religious Conversations in Academia

The purpose of this Faculty learning Community is to provide a shared safe space where we can explore our own spirituality and religiosity, look at how these experiences may be linked to the subjects we teach, and learn and practice skills that can help us facilitate classroom dialogues when these topics arise. Spirituality and religiosity are fundamental elements of human diversity. Spirituality is typically defined as an individual dimension of human development associated with such experience as connectedness, meaning, and life purpose. In contrast, religiosity is defined as socially shared rituals, beliefs, and doctrines. Although most students, staff, and faculty have spiritual and/or religious experiences, we tend to avoid talking about them in the classroom and in faculty meetings. However, research suggests that most people want to find ways to talk about these topics, but do not know how to create the “safe spaces” necessary for such conversations. People who identify with any faiths and belief systems, as well as those who identify as agnostic, atheist, or any other categories of religious and spiritual diversity are ALL welcome!
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Sustainability

The University of Utah has begun several initiatives to make the campus more sustainable from both a facilities-based and a curricular standpoint. This FLC will offer you an opportunity to focus on infusing sustainability concepts and issues into your courses and academic endeavors. Possible projects and discussions include interdisciplinary teaming for sustainability education, sustainability literacy assessment, and engaging students and faculty in existing sustainability education projects and programs.

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2014–2015 Faculty Learning Communities

Bennion Center Faculty Fellows
Career Line Faculty
Classroom of the Future
Creativity
Data Journal Club
Empathy
Sustainability
Transdisciplinary Research: Disturbance, Recovery, and Relict Systems

 

 

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Last Updated: 2/8/17