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- Jun 2020
Here are a few recommendations for designing a Faculty Learning Community centered around new technologies: Evolving Outcomes: Begin with clear outcomes for the community, and ask faculty to articulate their own project objectives in their applications for participation. However, keep in mind that there is an inherent openness to this process. Rework project outcomes as needed and provide progress updates at the beginning of each meeting. Multi-channel Communication: Include multiple types of interactions throughout the term to meet the many needs of participating faculty. Allow the participants to design the format of their face-to-face group meetings. Then supplement these scheduled sessions with one-on-one design meetings, online communications, self-help resources, and triage sessions. Campus Partners: Use the participant applications to imagine what types of support the faculty might need, and identify the people on campus best able to offer this support. Reach out to these campus partners in advance of the FLC, gauging their interest and availability to offer demonstrations, create online learning tools, purchase technologies, or meet with faculty one-on-one. Community Building: Remember that this is a community, and build it as such: work to develop a good rapport among participants; listen deeply to each participants’ goals; learn about disciplines outside of one’s own; require a certain level of participation; and bring drinks and food. Good learning environments tend to blend the formal and informal, supplementing expectations and plans with the free flowing nature of discussion and discovery.
I am especially interested in the "Evolving Outcomes" mentioned. How do we go about articulating initial outcomes for an FLC at my organization?
FLCs are extended gatherings (typically a semester or more) in which participants organize around a clear objective but in an informal structure. Perhaps most importantly, the FLC itself is a process that develops as the group proceeds. The community members work together to direct the shape of the experience. This design engenders ownership (Cox & Richlin, 2011; Moore & Hicks 2014) in the project without requiring the faculty to become technical experts—ownership that promotes sustainable success.
Very brief definition of faculty learning community.
Building Faculty Learning Communities: New Directions for Teaching and Learning, Number 97, edited by Milton D. Cox, and Laurie Richlin, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2011.
Check LSU Libraries for this resource?