Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

FLC Logo





Proposal forms for 2016-17 Faculty Learning Communities

and Communities of Practice are now available!


Communities of Practice:

A Community of Practice (CoP) is a group of people who share a common concern, a set of problems, or have some interest in a topic and who come together with a facilitator to fulfill both individual and group goals. At SCSU, Communities of Practice are groups of faculty and staff who commit to regularly scheduled seminars on a focus area in teaching and learning followed by actions such as planning and trying out the techniques that are learned.

Objectives of a CoP would therefore include 1) exploration and study of theoretical and practical perspectives on the topic, 2) piloting of short term or semester-long activities in classes or in our broader work with students, and 3) reflecting upon individual and collective experiences.


Faculty Learning Communities :

Faculty Learning community is a cross disciplinary faculty and staff group who engage in a collaborative yearlong program with a curriculum about enhancing teaching and learning. FLC hosts frequent seminars and activities that provide learning, development, teaching, and community building. A small budget provides for supplies, refreshments, professional travel, or speakers.

During the fall semester, members of the FLC will design their SOTL project in the topic area of their FLC. They will conduct a review of the literature, finalize their research questions and develop methods of intervention. They will also apply for the Institutional Review for Human Subjects Research. In the spring semester the members will implement the projects and evaluate the learning of students and themselves. The FLC would then share the results of their work within the university or externally in a peer reviewed conference proposal. The FLC may additionally choose to write up their project for publications.


Please follow these links to the application forms:


2016-2017 FLC Guidelines

FLC 2016-2017 Proposal Form

CoP 2016-2017 Proposal Form and Guidelines

Questions?  Please email




Meta Assessment

The purpose of the Meta-Assessment Community of Practice (CoP) is to create, evaluate and support the implementation of a meta-assessment toolkit for use in academic and co-curricular programs. This CoP, co-sponsored by CETL and the Assessment Steering Committee, is open to Assessment Peer Consultants as well as other interested faculty and staff members.

Members: Joyce Simones, Louise Millis, Wendy Bjorklund, Melanie Guentzel, Kathy Dahlberg, Sandra Johnson, Robin Ewing, and Joy McKenzie

Common Reading Program

The purpose of this FLC is to engage a group of faculty leaders who will explore the use of the 2015-16 Common Reading Program book, Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood and develop and conduct book talks and faculty development workshops for those who wish to adopt the book. The FLC will provide a systematic and recognized structure within which to frame ongoing interdepartmental and interdisciplinary collaborations among faculty members through the Common Reading Program which have been, to this point, relatively ad hoc.

Members: Christine Metzo, Jennifer Quinlan, Cindy Gruwell, Glenn Davis, and Sharon Cogdill

Designing Instructional Strategies for Flipping the Classroom

In “flipped classes” students use technology at home to watch online video lectures, demonstrations, and explanations of assignments. Class time is spent doing what is traditionally called “homework." Flipping a classroom is not just about learning the tools such as Lecture Capture, video production, or linking existing videos to D2L Brightspace. Flipping gives us the opportunity to redesign our courses by making a philosophical shift from a “sage on the stage” to a “guide on the side” model of teaching. In a flipped classroom both the teacher and the students are actively engaged in a partnership for learning. Instructors use technology, scaffolding, and assessment to motivate, and prepare students to take charge of their own learning as well as to plan and design in-class activities and strategies to support that learning. In class, instructors work one-to-one with students, clarify assignments, and offer help as needed. Students work together on assignments, engage in discussions, or collaborate on projects. A major benefit is that teachers spend more time working directly with students instead of lecturing to them.

Members: Jeanne Anderson, Janine Goenner, Mark Petzold, Stephanie Houdek, and Kannan Sivaprakasam


The participants in this FLC are faculty who organize and/or have participated in the Anti-Racist Pedagogy workshop sponsored by CARE and the Multicultural Resource Center. The purpose of the FLC is to develop assessment tools and analyze how faculty members who receive the ARPAC training integrate the pedagogy in their courses.

Members: Darlene St. Clair, Melissa Prescott, Debra Leigh, and Giovanni Antunez

Developing an Interprofessional Practice and Education Course for Autism

The purpose of this Community of Practice will be to implement a Provost’s Action Grant to develop an Interprofessional Practice and Education (IPE) course across several disciplines (Communication Sciences and Disorders, Community Psychology, Counseling and Family Therapy, Child and Family Studies, Special Education Social Work and Kinesiology) that uses evidence-based instructional strategies (e.g., interdisciplinary faculty-student “teams”, problem-based active learning, and experiential learning) and identified SLOs. Also, offer and evaluate a pilot course in summer 2015, co-taught by faculty from across disciplines and a sufficient number of well-prepared students from across the IPE course disciplines. Once completed, consider obtaining approval for the course through SCSU’s University Curriculum Process.

Members: Teri Estrem, Rebecca Crowell, Sue Tarr, and Mary Beth Noll

Designing Courses for Greater Student Engagement and Learning

The purpose of this FLC is to design and assess courses using Integrated Course Design principles to increase student engagement and learning. Each participant will learn the principles laid out in Dee Fink’s ICD model, apply them to redesign a target course for Spring 2015, and assess the impact on student learning using educational research and assessment techniques. Projects, readings, and discussions will be related to a set of core questions the group develops around the topic. Faculty participants will have the opportunity to learn about ICD through a workshop by the facilitator or upon attending the ICD workshop in Chicago, May 20-22, 2014.

Members: Michelle Hammes, Tina Sacin, Carol Borden, Cassidy Dobson, Amy Knopf, Bob Weisman, and Anita Carlson


2013 -2014 FLC PROGRAM

For more information on previous Faculty and Professional Learning Communities:

Please visit 2013 - 2014 FLCS

We are proud to announce that our FLC on Laboratory Course Pedagogy, facilitated by Dr. Nathan Winter, will be presenting this spring at the Lilly Conference on Teaching and Learning in Bethesda, MD.


2012 -2013 FLC PROGRAM

For more information on previous Faculty and Professional Learning Communities:

Please visit 2012 - 2013 FLCS


Lilly Conferences




Definition of FLC:

Milton Cox (2004) defined Faculty and Professional Learning Communities (FLCs) as “ cross disciplinary faculty and staff groups of six to fifteen members (eight to twelve is the recommended size) who engage in an active, collaborative, yearlong program with a curriculum about enhancing teaching and learning with frequent seminars and activities that provide learning, development, the scholarship of teaching, and community building” (pp. 8).

At SCSU, in an FLC, faculty and staff would meet regularly for up to two academic years, create and implement a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning* project for individual or collaborative research question(s), and publish or present their findings in a peer reviewed setting. CETL would support the FLC with books and supplies, food for meetings, and adequate travel funds for presentations.

Possible Topics for FLCs: Collaborative learning, enhancing lectures, formative assessments, use of social media and collaborative technologies, designing courses for flipping learning, multi-disciplinary integration and partnerships.

*The Carnegie Foundation uses this definition of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning:“problem posing about an issue of teaching or learning, study of the problem through methods appropriate to the disciplinary epistemologies, applications of results to practice, communication of results, self-reflection, and peer review.” Cambridge, B. (2001). Fostering the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Communities of Practice. Pps. 3-16 in To Improve the Academy. D. Lieberman and C. Wehlburg, Eds. Bolton, MA: Anker.

Definition of CoP:

In a Community of Practice (CoP), faculty and staff would meet regularly during the academic year, collaboratively find answers to teaching and learning questions, try them out informally in their work with students, and share what they learned with colleagues at SCSU. All this would occur with the support of CETL (books or supplies, food for meetings, and limited funds for professional travel.)

Possible topics for CoPs: Who are the SCSU students today, and how can we teach them more effectively? How can we enhance our lectures? Why don’t my students like group work? Why don’t I find data from my course evaluations useful? Why are the latest theories of learning and how can we use them in our teaching? Are there ways I can integrate curriculum with my colleagues in disciplines other than mine?


  • A new energized sense of community with your peer group around work, learning and food!
  • Recognition of your work as part of your evaluation, tenure, and promotion process. For faculty, FLCs are recognized in three areas of the Articles 22 and 25 processes:  Teaching, Research/Scholarship, and Professional Development. CoPs are recognized in two or three areas of the Articles 22 and 25 processes:  Teaching, Professional Development and/or Scholarship/Creative Work. Facilitators may also include FLC or CoP work as part of their Service to the University and Community.
  • Additional professional development funds to share your scholarship with your colleagues at a teaching and learning conference. 
  • Opportunity to collaborate with your peer group on a conference presentation or publication.

Support from CETL for FLC and CoP projects:

We are very committed to supporting the FLCs in their work.  Here are some things we could do for you:

  • Help with locating mentors from among faculty to work with you.
  • Provide refreshments during FLC meetings
  • Provide or find funds in the university for supplies and resources such as software, books, speakers, etc.
  • Provide or help you find funds for travel to a teaching/learning workshop or conference.
  • Work with supervisors to ensure faculty get credit for this work in their retention, tenure, promotion process.

We are proud to announce that several of our FLCs have presented at the Lilly Conference in Bethesda, MD and have published their work in peer reviewed scholarly journals.