Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

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CETL is now seeking proposals for 2015-2016 Communities of Practice and Faculty Learning Communities!

Communities of Practice

In a 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.) Program faculty could also get together to discuss program related issues, including curricular design, assessment, and pedagogical and instructional strategies.

Possible topics: Who are the SCSU students today, and how can we teach them more effectively? How can we enhance our lectures? Why don’t our students like group work? Why don’t we 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 we can integrate our curriculum within our program or with colleagues in other disciplines?Can technology help us boost the success of our students?

Faculty Learning Communities

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

Interested? There are two options to let us know:

Click on the links embedded in the titles of the two categories of communities above and submit short proposals.


Send an email with your topic or question of interest, colleagues you would like to partner with, and your availability.

Applications are due no later than Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Upon receipt of your information, CETL will work with you to put together an application.


Faculty and Professional Learning Communities 2014-15

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, Luis Estevez 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, Brenda Wentworth 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, Paula Watts, JoAnn Meerschaert, 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, Mark Minger and Anita Carlson




If you are interested in learning more about a focused topic related to teaching and learning and in having on-going pre-scheduled reflective dialogues, here’s a new opportunity: CETL’s Communities of Practice Initiative.


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

We are proud to announce that our BYOD FLC, facilitated by Plamen Miltenoff, presented this spring at the Lilly Conference in Bethesda, MD




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).

Expectations for Faculty and Professional Learning Communities:

The most important thing to remember is that FLCs are intended to provide a supportive structure for whatever faculty currently do in relation to their professional development plans, not in addition to it. For instance, if a faculty member’s goal is to investigate the impact of an instructional strategy on the students taking a course, the FLC is expected to provide a supportive community of colleagues who have a similar goal.

True to their definition,

  • FLCs meet on a regular schedule throughout the school year. 
  • Every FLC has a facilitator who is also a participant.  FLC Facilitators meet regularly with other FLC facilitators and the CETL director to keep in contact, share ideas, and work through challenges as they arrive.
  • FLCs must have a strong sense of community.  Without that an FLC is no different than a series of independent faculty workshops.
  • FLCs must create a well-defined goal or goals culminating in a final project, completed within one academic year after which the group may continue to meet informally or formally.

Ideally projects are:

  • Interdisciplinary, related to teaching and learning.
  • Publish-able in an appropriate public platform:  a scholarly journal, a conference at a national, regional or local level, or even at SCSU as a technical report.
  • Reflective of qualitative and quantitative inquiry – anchored in existing research, rigorous, peer reviewed, etc.

Support from CETL for FLC 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 proces


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