Faculty Learning Communities
A Faculty Learning Community is is a cross-disclipinary faculty and staff group of up to six to fifteen members. These members engage in an active, collaborative, semester- or year-long program with a set curriculum and specific objectives and deliverables. CELT FLCs include a focus on enhancing teaching and learning. An FLC has frequent seminars and activities that provide learning, development, discussion of relevant scholarship, and community building practices. Members of an FLC may select a focus course or project in which to try out innovations, assess student learning, and prepare a course or project mini-portfolio; pursue an intellectual question or body of scholarship in order to become more current in their field; or work with colleagues to solve a common disciplinary or institutional problem.
There are two categories of FLCs: cohort-based and topic-based. Cohort-based FLCs address the teaching, learning, and developmental needs of an important group of faculty or staff that has been particularly affected by the isolation, fragmentation, stress, neglect, or chilly climate in the academy. The curriculum of a cohort FLC is shaped by the participants to include a broad range of teaching and learning areas and topics of interest to them. Some cohort-based FLCs at CSU Chico are the New Faculty Pedagogy FLC and the Senior FLC.
Each topic-based FLC has a curriculum designed to address a special campus need, issue, or opportunity. In some cases faculty and professional staff members propose topics to the FLC program director, who then advertises a call for applications across the university. These FLCs offer membership and provide opportunities for learning across all faculty ranks and cohorts and make appropriate professional staff members available to focus on a specific theme. A particular topic may be new and involve an FLC for one or many years, ending when the teaching opportunity, interest, or issue of concern has been satisfactorily addressed. Multidisciplinarity and community are the elements that allow FLCs to excel in teaching and learning pursuits. Examples of FLCs in this domain are the Diversity FLC and the Civic Engagement FLC.
The goals of an FLC may include the following:
*Build university-wide community around a topic of common interest
• Increase faculty interest in undergraduate teaching and learning
• Investigate and incorporate ways that diversity can enhance teaching and
• Nourish the scholarship of teaching and its application to student learning
• Broaden the evaluation of teaching and the assessment of learning
• Increase faculty collaboration across disciplines
• Encourage reflection about general education and the coherence of learning
• Build an assessment plan for a disciplinary department, GE program, or other unit
• Increase financial support for teaching and learning initiatives
• Create an awareness of the complexity of teaching and learning
Evidence that student and faculty learning is improved through FLCs is found in the analysis of student learning that appears in the participants’ course miniportfolios, in the results of teaching projects, and in final reports.
Reference- Introduction to FLC article