Faculty Learning Communities

Faculty learning communities pursue interdisciplinary inquiry into specific issues and questions about teaching and learning in higher education.

Faculty learning communities (FLCs) are driven by their members' curiosity and commitment to lifelong learning. Through meaningful collective inquiry, FLCs seek to foster a collegial environment that values pedagogical exploration and promotes collaborative learning. Ultimately, FLCs contribute to teaching excellence at Virginia Tech by sharing their work with the university community in a format most appropriate for the audience (e.g., a workshop, a PDF guide, online resource website, conference presentation, scholarly article).

Five FLCs are offered during the 2019-2020 academic year:  

  1. Collegiate Faculty
  2. Adjunct Faculty
  3. Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Writing
  4. Exploring Tools for Group Work and Peer Review
  5. Design Methods for Student Learning

Collegiate Faculty and Adjunct Faculty

The Collegiate Faculty and Adjunct Faculty FLCs provide cohort-based communities of practice for collegiate faculty and adjunct faculty.   Each FLC's agenda will be driven by faculty needs with a focus on helping faculty navigate curriculum, programs, governance, processes, and procedures to meet their goals. The faculty will work together to formulate goals for a project they would like to complete by the end of the academic year. Projects will likely span a range of tasks, but may include designing a new course, enhancing learning activities, designing curricula elements, and/or conducting an educational research study. Each group will meet about once a month for project support and continued community building and will share its work with the teaching community at Virginia Tech in the format most appropriate for the audience (e.g., a workshop, a PDF guide, online resource website, Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy presentation, scholarly article).

Applications for the 2019-2020 Collegiate Faculty FLC and the Adjunct Faculty FLC are due by noon on Monday, September 16, 2019. To apply, please complete the online application form

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Writing

Participants in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) Writing FLC will focus on developing SOTL research projects and writing their results. The FLC structure is intended to provide support and accountability for those engaging in SOTL projects. Throughout the course of the year, support staff from the Center will provide resources, facilitation, and coordination with campus partners.

Applications for the 2019-2020 SoTL Writing FLC are due by noon on Monday, September 16, 2019. To apply, please complete the online application form.

Exploring Tools for Group Work and Peer Review

Participants in the Exploring Tools for Group Work and Peer Review FLC will focus on exploring issues related to integrating group work into the classroom. The cohort will set their specific area of focus; however, in general, the cohort will explore technological and non-technological tools intended to enhance group work and collaboration as well as tools and techniques to assist with peer review (i.e., students rating each other as a team member). Throughout this process, support staff from the Center and Learning Experience Design (a unit of TLOS) will provide resources, facilitation, and coordination with campus partners.

Applications for the 2019-2020 Collegiate Faculty FLC are due by noon on Monday, September 16, 2019. To apply, please complete the online application form.

Design Methods for Student Learning

As with any industry trend, buzzwords quickly become part of everyday vernacular. For example, “design” and “design thinking” have made their way into the language of teaching and learning, but instructors are often left with strong misconceptions and loosely defined understanding about how methods found within the vast variety of design fields can be applied to their teaching and improve student learning.

Through the establishment of this learning community, we will meet 7-8 times over the course of the academic year to explore four stages of designnative to the field of instructional design but incorporating methods and insights native to other areas of design.. Participants will engage in discussions and critical exploration of their own course design and engagement with students through each of the four phases: analysis of student needs, development of course structure, implementation, and evaluation. Through the collaborative examination  and application of design methods, learning community members can expect to engage in a more learner-centered approach to teaching and involve students in the course development process.

Applications for the 2019-2020 Design Methods for Student Learning FLC are due by noon on Monday, September 16, 2019. To apply, please complete the online application form.