Faculty Learning Communities
... share pedagogical ideas and explore the possibilities together.
Virtual Book Discussion Group: Teaching to Transgress by bell hooks
February 18 (intros, no prior reading necessary), March 11 (first book discussion), April 1, April 22
We will build community as we discuss and engage hooks’ insights, strategies, and critical reflections on transformational pedagogical practice in the university classroom. When theory and practice meet, space for liberatory education is created. hooks states that "the classroom is the most radical space of possibility in the academy" (p.12). How can we position our teaching practices to promote the dismantling of existing systems of domination (racism, sexism, class exploitation, imperialism etc.)?
Participants will be responsible for finding a paper or e-copy of the book: hooks, bell (1994) Teaching to Transgress. Education as the practice of freedom: Routledge.
Facilitators: Kim Case and Rachel Gómez
Inclusive and Equitable Teaching Faculty Learning Community
Every other Wednesday starting September 16 (sign-up by 9-8-20)
The Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence invites faculty members who are interested in pedagogical practices for building an inclusive and equitable classroom to participate in the Inclusive and Equitable Teaching FLC. This faculty learning community will meet to discuss recent research in inclusive and equitable teaching to expand our current knowledge to the frontier of pedagogical research in higher education. We will brainstorm potential cross-disciplinary projects to reflect our VCU faculty commitment in teaching excellence and inclusion.
Facilitator: Ching-Yu Huang
Transformative Education Across the Disciplines
September 30, October 28, November 18, January 27
Change (or transformation) can be big or small, obvious or subtle. This faculty learning community will explore how education changes our students and us in all of these ways. If a goal of your teaching is to produce any sort of change in students' knowledge, skills or abilities, then you are a transformative educator! Open to faculty of all disciplines, we will explore major theories of transformative education and talk through practical applications we can use immediately in practice.
Facilitator: Andrew T. Arroyo
“Is This For a Grade?”: Nontraditional Grading in the College Classroom
September 24, October 8 & 22, November 5 & 19
Are you sick of arguing with a student over an 89 versus a 91? Have you ever thought about getting rid of traditional grading? If so, join our faculty learning community to explore the history of traditional grading and to learn about alternate grading practices that increase student equity and self-efficacy, faculty transparency, and collaboration amongst students and instructors. We’ll discuss several alternate grading strategies – contract grading, ungrading, and specs grading – and explore how to implement them into a variety of disciplines.
Facilitators: Thea Pepperl and Alli Tharp
Tenured Mid-Career FLC
September 25, October 30, November 20
Are you a tenured Associate Professor? Do you want to go up for Full Professor some day or maybe even next year? Whether you just got promoted to Associate Professor or got promoted years ago, now is the time to plan for Full Professor! The group will focus on making your plan, preparing your materials and narratives, and navigating the promotion process from Associate Professor to Full Professor. This community will be a place to share best practices, get feedback, share insights, and take concrete steps toward promotion. Come join our squad. Co-sponsored by ADVANCE IT grant.
Facilitators: Sharon Zumbrunn and Kaprea Johnson
Term Mid-Career FLC
September 28, October 19, November 16, December 7
Whether you just got promoted to Associate Professor or have been one for years, now is the time to plan for Full Professor! The idea of the next promotion may seem complicated, stressful, and daunting. This group aims to make the process a little easier. In this group, we’ll focus on how Term faculty navigate the promotion process from Associate Professor to Full Professor. This community will be a place to share best practices, get feedback, share insights, and take concrete steps toward promotion. We’ve got your back. Co-sponsored by ADVANCE IT grant.
Facilitators: Peyton Rowe and Maureen Moslow-Benway
Lucky for us, VCU faculty are extremely motivated to share pedagogical ideas and explore the possibilities together. This energy feeds into interest groups, called faculty learning communities (FLC) that meet for one semester and sometimes for the full academic year. The FLC model provides a structure for coming together to discuss teaching and learning or any topic that impacts faculty success.
Some of our most recent FLC groups have focused on trends in higher education, inclusive teaching practices, race and gender in the academy, and designing full online summer courses. In other FLCs, you may read and discuss a book such as Small Teaching Online by Flower Darby or Teaching to Transgress by bell hooks.
Whatever the interest topic, the FLC facilitator and group members operate under a small-group learning process and identify goals and outcomes for the group. For example, FLCs may produce teaching guides and sample inclusive statements for syllabi or present to VCU faculty and host workshops.
SOTL— An FLC might come together to design a study on teaching and learning using an interdisciplinary approach. A group of faculty interested in TILT, transformation in teaching and learning, could collect data on student learning outcomes in courses using and not using the TILT framework.
Please stay tuned to our announcements and newsletter to find out more about FLCs being offered each semester. And if you have an idea for a new FLC, please do reach out to our team!