A Faculty Learning Community (FLC) engages a small group of 6-12 faculty members in focused areas of interest and connected learning opportunities that broaden faculty’s understanding of a topic and extend related teaching techniques. As a “community of learners,” each FLC supports collaboration, creates connections for isolated teachers, facilitates interdisciplinary communication, fosters teaching innovation, and promotes peer learning and networking.
Additionally, a FLC creates time and space for faculty to reflect on their work and incorporate their learning into their classrooms to enhance student learning. The length of a FLC could range from 4 weeks to a year when areas of interest have been satisfactorily explored and addressed.
Topic-based Learning Communities
Topic-based FLCs focus on a specific theme. Interdisciplinary faculty members participate in book clubs, seminars, brown bag lunches, or biweekly meetings to discuss, collaborate, and reflect on the theme. Themes of FLCs include, but are not limited to, Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching, Teaching in the Core, and One University Digital Initiative.
Cohort-based Learning Communities
Cohort-based FLCS are composed of specific faculty groups to address a broad range of teaching, learning, and/or developmental issues. For example, senior faculty, junior faculty, new faculty, mid-career faculty, future faculty, department chairs or new department chairs can form their cohort-based FLCs to address their specific needs.
Cox, M. D. (2004). Introduction to faculty learning communities.(PDF) New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 97, 5-23.
Cox, M. D., & Richlin, L. (2004). Building faculty learning communities New Directions for Teaching and Learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
If you interested in faculty learning communities, please contact The Center for Teaching Excellence.