Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs)

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​​“Extensive documentary evidence suggests that effective learning communities have important benefits for students and faculty. Faculty benefits include diminis​hed isolation, a shared purpose and cooperation among faculty colleagues, increased curricular integration, a fresh approach to one’s discipline, and increased satisfaction with their students’ learning (Lenning & Ebbers, 1999).” 


The Faculty Center for Innovative Teaching (FaCIT) is pleased to announce the continuation of an initiative introduced in 2011, which focuses on the development and support of Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) at Central Michigan University. A Faculty Learning Community (FLC) is a cross-disciplinary group of faculty, graduate students and professional staff who will engage in an active, collaborative, and yearlong program focused on enhancing teaching and learning. FLC members will participate in regular seminars and/or activities that provide learning, development, the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), and community building. Each FLC will be led by two facilitators and members will develop and share one dimension of their collective work at a poster session at the CMU Great Lakes Conference on Teaching and Learning​ in May. 

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Call for FLC Proposals

The Faculty Center for Innovative Teaching (FaCIT) invites applications for Faculty Learning Communities on an annual basis. An announcement is sent out to the campus community via multiple channels to notify potential participants of the call for proposals.​

FLC Impact and Member Quotes 

Overall, FLC members continue to value their engagement in an FLC. Eighty-five percent of participants who responded to an FLC evaluation rated their overall experience as “good” or “excellent” (N = 47, 65% response rate). In addition, as a result of participating in an FLC, participants (selected responses, N = 42) reported the following:

  • 55% engaged in formal conversations on FLC topics with colleagues outside of the FLC
  • 55% learned a new teaching strategy
  • 38% implemented a new teaching strategy into the classroom 
  • 29% developed a research study
  • 10% implemented a new research strategy into their work

In addition, to assess what FLC members were able to implement as a result of information gained from their participation in an FLC, members responded with the following: 

  • I gained a greater understanding of assessment and online tools as a result of participating in the FLC. I plan to use a wider range of online tools in my teaching because of my involvement in the FLC. I also gained a better understanding of best practices. As a result of what I've learned, I've incorporated better communication and organizational strategies for my students. I've also added more formative assessments for my students.
  • I have redesigned my syllabus to align learning activities and assessment with course objectives. More precise rubrics were developed to assess individual and group work. More timely feedback and interaction with students helped students learn better.
  • CATs flipped classroom techniques re-designing assignments & rubrics developing a community of learners active learning practices visual syllabus etc.
  • The classroom assessment techniques as well as the reminder to provide an overview at the beginning of the course as well as time for reflection and review at the end have been most helpful strategies that I've learned and implemented right away this semester. 

When asked, “What did you like the best about the FLC initiative?” FLC members responded as follows: 

  • The professors who attended were well informed.  We had a core of people who attended regular, and it gave the group cohesiveness.  I loved how everyone was willing to share their ideas about teaching.
  • It provided dedicated time for faculty to improve their profession. The proposed ideas will go beyond the meeting room and actually make it into the classroom.  This type of productivity and application is rarely seen as a result of "meetings".
  • The collegiality and the opportunity to have mean​ingful dialogue about teaching and learning.
  • The opportunity to wrestle with a problem with faculty from across campus.
  • The exchange of ideas and resources.

Moreover, because one of the goals of the FLC initiative is to engage in SoTL, a number of conference presentations and publications either have been approved or are in progress as a result of membership involvement in the FLC.

FLC Co-facilitators Responsibilities

  • FLC co-facilitators are responsible for applying for a new FLC. (Note: FLCs are required to reapply for funding each academic year, for a maximum continued funding of three academic years.)
  • FLC co-facilitators will each receive a stipend of $300 per semester, for a total of $600 per year, for their leadership work in the FLC program. (Please note that while CMU staff may lead an FLC, only CMU faculty - fixed-term or regular – are eligible for the stipend.)
  • Co-facilitators are required to convene at least one face-to-face meeting each month of the academic year, September - May.  Additional meetings are encouraged.
  • Co-facilitators are responsible for tracking the names and contact information of their active members, and recording meeting attendance/membership participation and reporting that information twice a year (December and June) to FaCIT.
  • Co-facilitators are responsible for coordinating the communication between all members of the FLC, including arranging the meeting times and locations.
  • Each FLC will be required to create and maintain a Blackboard site (or other collaborative site) to support the goals and purposes of the group (e.g., facilitate communication, post resources, and store FLC working documents). 
  • ​One FLC co-facilitator or member must be responsible for providing refreshments and coordinating purchases and receipts, etc. Receipts must be submitted to FaCIT in order to process reimbursements. ​

FLC Member Responsibilities

  • Each FLC will be granted $300 per semester, for a total of $600 per year, to use for refreshments, sup​plies, books, honor​aria for guest speakers, or other materials th​at directly support FLC goals and projects. 
  • Members interested in joining a new FLC will be asked to contact approved FLC co-facilitators (posted on the FaCIT FLC webpage) or the Faculty Center for Innovative Teaching (FaCIT) for details. 
  • Periodically, co-facilitators and members will be asked to revisit and articulate their FLC goals.  If the FLC decides to conduct a survey, present a workshop, offer a presentation (campus-wide or at an external conference), or oversee a similar program or product related to their FLC, FaCIT can assist in helping the members secure funding or provide support for their goals.
  • FLC members will be required to share their work collectively at a public poster session on campus near the end of the Spring 2014 semester. This year, the poster session will be held during the Great Lakes Conference on Teaching and Learning in May. Posters will be produced by the FLC members and printed by FaCIT. All FLC members participating in the poster session will receive free registration for the Great Lakes Conference on Teaching an​d Learning.
  • FLC co-facilitators and active participants will each receive a letter of recognition in Summer 2014 for their work on the FLC, with a copy sent to his/her chairperson(s) and dean(s).
  • FLC co-facilitators and members are encouraged to include their FLC work as part of their RPT package and/or in OFIS. 

FaCIT Responsibilities

  • FaCIT will assist with the promotion of the FLC and invite membership via the FaCIT website and promotional emails, if needed.​
  • FaCIT will provide an orientation for all FLC co-facilitators to provide resources and information focused on developing and sustaining a supportive learning community.
  • The Faculty Center for Innovative Teaching can provide support for finding and reserving a meeting room.
  • FaCIT will provide each FLC with an instructional design liaison who will be available to provide access to relevant scholarship and resources on the FLC topic upon request.
  • The FaCIT FLC liaison may visit regularly scheduled meetings in order to support the group’s inquiry and/or to assist with the identification of appropriate contacts or resources. 
  • FaCIT can provide professional design assistance for poster and/or publications. 

​2014-2015 FLC Topics​

To join or to learn more about 2014-2015 FLCs, specific interests and proposed goals, and meeting plans, please contact the facilitators listed below. 

A Framework for Engaging and Supporting International Students
Patricia Chase, College of Graduate Studies, chase1pb@cmich.edu 
David Freed, College of Graduate Studies, freed1de@cmich.edu 

Aggression and Bullying: The Impact on Teaching and Learning
Judy Jacobs, Global Campus, jacob3jl@cmich.edu 
Cal Posner, Global Campus, posne1cs@cmich.edu 
Co-sponsored by Global Campus and FaCIT

Applied Technology Instruction
Jay Batzner, College of Communication and Fine Art, batzn1j@cmich.edu
Phil Lundquist, Education and Human Services, lundq1pa@cmich.edu
Trey Stohlman, College of Communication and Fine Arts, stohl1ta@cmich.edu 
Tiffani Waite, College of Communication and Fine Arts, waite1tm​@cmich.edu

Developing and Integrating an Interdisciplinary Instructional Framework based on the Common Core Standards
Scott Roberts, College of Education and Human Services, rober4s@cmich.edu 
Jim McDonald, College of Education and Human Services jim.mcdonald@cmich.edu 

Information Literacy Education in the Health Sciences (Fall 2014 ONLY)
Bradley Long, College of Medicine, long3ba@cmich.edu 
Francisco Martinez, College of Medicine, francisco.martinez@cmich.edu 

Mobile Devices in Student Field Experiences and Assessment​
Kathryn Dirkin, College of Education and Human Services, dirki1kh@cmich.edu 
Michael Reuter, College of Science & Technology, reute1ma@cmich.edu 

MSA Core Courses:  Commonalities for Student Success
Richard Hayes, Global Campus, hayes1rl@cmich.edu 
John Zappala, College of Graduate Studies, zappa1jg@cmich.edu 

Multiple Paths for Technology Enhanced Activities in Mathematics (MPTEAM III) (Fall 2014 ONLY)
Dennis St. John, College of Science & Technology, stjoh1d@cmich.edu 
Ana Dias, College of Science & Technology, dias1al@cmich.edu 

Strong Starts: Surviving and Thriving at CMU
Sarah Marshall, College of Education and Human Services, marsh4sm@cmich.edu 
Eron Drake, the Faculty Center for Innovative Teaching, drake1ee@cmich.edu​ 
All faculty who have recently joined CMU (within the past two years) are encouraged to participate.​

Past FLC Topics 

​2013-2014 FLC​s​

Achieving Appropriate Rigor a​nd Teaching Critical Thinking Skills to Improve Student Performance
Julie Hill-Janeway, Global Campus, hillj1jm@cmich.edu
Don Blouin, Global Campus, bloui1df@cmich.edu 
Co-sponsored by Global Campus and FaCIT

Advancing Blended Learning through the TPACK Model: Pedagogy, Technology and Content
Regina Umpstead, Educational Leadership, umpst1r@cmich.edu
Kay Harris, Educational Leadership, bye1fk@cmich.edu ​

Applied Technology Instruction
Facilitator: Jay Batzner, Music, jay.batzner@cmich.edu

Area Improvement Meetings (AIM) for Student Achievement
Lauren McConnell, Communication and Dramatic Arts, mccon1lb@cmich.edu
Ed Hinck, Communication and Dramatic Arts, hinck1e@cmich.edu

Developing Globally Competent and Culturally Adventurous Graduates: Globalizing Curricula
Larry Corbett, Teacher Education and Professional Development, corbe1lj@cmich.edu 
Margaret Partlo, Educational Leadership, partl1ma@cmich.edu

Making Sense of Common Core Standards within an Interdisciplinary Instructional Framework
Abalo Adewui, Teacher Education and Professional Development, ​adewu1af@cmich.edu
Betsy VanDeusen-MacLeod, Teacher Education and Professional Development,vande4ea@cmich.edu

Multiple Paths for Technology Enhanced Activities in Mathematics (MPTEAM) II
Tibor Marcinek, Mathematics, marci1t@cmich.edu
Donna Ericksen, Mathematics, erick1db@cmich.edu 

Service Learning/Civic Engagement within Honors: Reflection and Transformative Learning 
Jeanneane Wood-Nartker, Human Environmental Studies, wood1bj@cmich.edu
Sue Bowlby, Human Environmental Studies, bowlb1sk@cmich.edu
Co-sponsored by the University Honors Program and FaCIT

The Capstone Experience: Helping Students Succeed
Trish Chase, Master of Science in Administration, chase1pb@cmich.edu 
John Zappala, Master of Science in Administration, zappa1jg@cmich.edu 

2012-2013 FLCs

Achieving Appropriate Rigor and Teaching Critical Thinking Skills to Improve Student Performance​
Julie Hill-Janeway, Global Campus, hillj1jm@cmich.edu
Clarence Nixon, Global Campus, nixon1c@cmich.edu
Co-sponsored by Global Campus and FaCIT

Building Community and Increasing Student Engagement through Blended Learning
Barbara Klocko, Educational Leadership, klock1ba@cmich.edu
Tammy Hullender, Educational Leadership, hulle1tl@cmich.edu

Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Course "Water as Life, Death, and Power" and Certificate in "Global Health and Social Justice"
Anja Mueller, Chemistry, muell1a@cmich.edu
Stephen Juris, Biology, juris1sj@cmich.edu
Cathy Willermet, Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work, wille2cm@cmich.edu

Internships and Experiential Learning
Jeff Hoyle, Marketing & Hospitality Services Administration, hoyle1ja@cmich.edu
Zac Williams, Marketing & Hospitality Services Administration, willi1zs@cmich.edu

Multiple Paths for Technology Enhanced Activities in Mathematics (MPTEAM)
Dennis St. John, Mathematics, stjoh1d@cmich.edu
Douglas Lapp, Mathematics, lapp1da@cmich.edu

Service Learning Civic Engagement within Honors: Value-added Paradigm
Jeanneane Wood-Nartker, Human Environmental Studies, wood1bj@cmich.edu
Sue Bowlby, Human Environmental Studies, bowlb1sk@cmich.edu
Co-sponsored by the University Honors Program and FaCIT

2011- 2012 FLCs

Teaching in Honors: Developing Faculty-Led International Programs that Promote Student Transformation
Nicole Sparling, English Language and Literature, sparl1nl@cmich.edu
Donna Ericksen, Mathematics, erick1db@cmich.edu
Co-sponsored by the University Honors Program and FaCIT.​

Integrating Technologies into the Classrooms and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
En-Bing Lin, Mathematics, enbing.lin@cmich.edu
Eric Linton, Biology, eric.linton@cmich.edu

International Experiences and Learning: An Exploration of Outcomes
Anne Hornak, Educational Leadership, horna1am@cmich.edu
Betty Kirby, Educational Leadership, kirby2ea@cmich.edu

Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Course “Water as Life, Death and Power” with ANT, BIO, CHM, ENV, GEO, SOC Designators
Anja Mueller, Chemistry, muell1a@cmich.edu
Stephen Juris, Biology, juris1sj@cmich.edu
Cathy Willermet, Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work, wille2cm@cmich.edu

Reaching Higher: Transforming Teaching and Learning Through Peer-to-Peer Collaboration
Barbara Klocko, Educational Leadership, klock1ba@cmich.edu
Tammy Hullender, Educational Leadership, hulle1tl@cmich.edu​​
Co-sponsored by the Department of Educational Leadership and FaCIT.
Teaching in Honors: Service Learning and Class Learning Projects for the Greater Good
Facilitator: Deb Bailey, Human Environmental Studies, baile2dc@cmich.edu
Co-sponsored by the University Honors Program and FaCIT​

The Pedagogy and Assessment of Learning Technologies and Classroom Engagement & Assessment Through iOS-based Mobile Learning 
Jim McDonald, Teacher Education and Professional Development, mcdon1jt@cmich.edu
Michael R​euter,​ College of Education and Human Services Technology Operations/Recreation Parks & Leisure, reute1ma@cmich.edu
Daniel Bracken, Office of Information Technology, brack1dj@cmich.edu​
Co-sponsored by the College of Education and Human Services and FaCIT.

​Contact ​​​

For questions, contact us at facit@cmich.edu or 989.774.3615

Adapted from programming and materials developed by Faculty and Organizational Development at Michigan State University. Used with permission.​​​

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