Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs)
Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs), identified as high-impact practices by the AAC&U, are central to the UA goal to foster culture change among faculty. The FLC groups focus their discussions and projects on learning about and experimenting with evidence-based teaching practices.
In Fall, 2013, three Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) were formed as part of the UA AAU Undergraduate STEM Education Project. Members of the AAU Project Leadership Team developed the curriculum and acted as Facilitators. During the first year, the groups studied important peer-reviewed literature that documents the compelling evidence regarding the effectiveness of active learning strategies. They used the Learning Cycle as a foundation for creating learning tasks that encourage students to explore topics before concepts are introduced and to apply what they have learned after the concepts have been explained.
In subsequent semesters, the FLCs read books such as Make It Stick by Brown, Roediger and McDaniel, 2014 and Small Teaching by James M. Lang, 2016. To learn from one another, they often perform peer observations. The program has grown to nine groups that met in Fall 2016 and nine new groups (with many returners) that met in Spring 2017.
In Spring 2017, the semester began with an All-Members Kickoff that focused on teaching students how to learn. The groups of 7 or 8 faculty members with common interests met seven times throughout the semester and, in many cases, focused their discussions on the learning strategies included in the Learning to Learn Series. The semester wrapped up with a workshop with renowned educator, Saundra McGuire.
In Summer 2017, Tom Wilson, Honors College, led efforts to clearly define and document the Mission, Goals, Expected Outcomes, Assessment Plan and Implementation Strategies for the UA Faculty Learning Communities Program. To learn more, please contact Tom Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In some cases, colleges, departments or other groups wish to form Faculty Learning Communities with special interests. Professionals in the Office of Instruction and Assessment (OIA) can help guide these groups. Contact information for the OIA is available at: http://oia.arizona.edu/contact.
News and Updates
The UALI FLC Program is going strong in Fall 2017:
- Nine FLCs
- Ninety Members
- Thirteen Facilitators
- Wide variety of disciplines, stages of careers, backgrounds, etc.
The topic for the Kickoff Event, funded by a grant from the Commission on the Status of Women, focused on Inclusive Excellence at the University of Arizona.
FLC Schedule and Topics - Fall 2017
Members and Facilitators Lists - Fall 2017
The list of Members and Facilitators for Fall 2017 are available at the link below. The first list is organized by Member Name and the second list is organized by FLC Group.
Guide to the UA Learning Initiative Faculty Learning Communities
In Summer 2017, Tom Wilson, Honors College, led efforts to clearly define and document the Mission, Goals, Expected Outcomes, Assessment Plan and Implementation Strategies for the UA Faculty Learning Communities Program. The below link provides access to the results of those efforts. To learn more, please contact Tom Wilson at email@example.com.
FLC Learning Logs and Reflections
FLC members are encouraged to maintain a FLC Learning Log, individually or as a group. The Learning Logs can be used to prepare summative FLC Reflections at the end-of-semester. The FLC Reflections may be useful when preparing teaching portfolios which are required in all promotion dossiers. The end-of-semester-reflections could include:
- short reflections on the FLC experience;
- a summary of increased knowledge and confidence;
- a brief report on resources and services that were beneficial;
- a reflection on the participant's own engagement;
- an action plan for making changes to teaching;
- ideas for scholarly contributions; and
- needs and desires for further resources and services.
If you wish to learn more about Learning Logs and Reflections, please contact Mascha Gemein, firstname.lastname@example.org, in the Office of Instruction and Assessment.
Assessment Plan for UALI Faculty Learning Communities
The Assessment Plan for the UALI Faculty Learning Communities details the Individual and Institutional goals and defines the metrics that are used to ensure that the expected outcomes are achieved.
FLC Policies and Procedures
Policies and Procedures (P&P) have been established for the UALI Faculty Learning Communities to ensure that the necessary actions take place in a timely fashion in order to support the individual and institutional goals and objectives. The P&P provide guidelines for program directors, program administrators and faculty facilitators.