Faculty Learning Communities@SJSU

We hope you’ll consider joining us for one of the Center for Faculty Development’s 2020-2021 Faculty Learning Communities.  This year, we are pleased to announce the following five FLCs.  If interested, please complete this form by 18 September 2020. 

  • Inclusive Excellence - Interested faculty will explore efforts to address equity and inclusion in the classroom. Faculty will make determinations about how to achieve inclusive excellence in their courses through exploration of course design, teaching practices, student learning needs, and CSU and SJSU institutional data.
  • Examining Privilege in Course Design and Teaching - Interested faculty will explore privilege broadly and come to understand their own forms of privilege in connection to their course design and teaching. Faculty will work to redesign their courses, improve teaching practices and inform student learning by disrupting the ways privilege influences faculty decision making and teaching particular to courses.
  • Algorithms of Oppression Book Study: Teaching with Technology - Interested faculty will read Algorithms of Oppression by Safiya Noble. Faculty will use the book as guidance/framework for how they use technology in their courses to be supportive of student growth and success. Faculty will also explore systemic and institutional forms of oppression that influence student success.
  • Authentic Assessment - Interested faculty will deepen their knowledge about authentic assessment. Faculty will explore ways to create and redesign assessments for their courses to measure discipline-specific skills.
  • Trauma-informed Pedagogy - Interested faculty will build and/or deepen their knowledge about the impacts of trauma on learning and student success. Faculty will develop new practices as well as improve their practice holistically in order to be more intentional in how they support all students in navigating their college experience.

 

FLCs@SJSU:  Frequently Asked Questions

What are FLCs?

Faculty Learning Communities (or FLCs) create spaces for small groups of 6-12 faculty to learn, grow and experiment in relation to a shared commitment or goal. Faculty learning communities support a return to the foundations of teaching (Layne, Froyd, Morgan and Keinmer, 2002) by inspiring and empowering faculty to pursue projects that are germane to the institution with regard to student success, teaching and learning. Multiple FLCs often operate concurrently within an academic year, creating opportunities for faculty to collaborate with their colleagues across departments and disciplines, nurturing community and disrupting institutional silos.

Faculty learning communities emerge in relation to particular topics of interest. The topics may be predetermined by faculty developers or a faculty development office, but faculty members self-select into the FLCs they wish to join. FLC members guide and determine a community's progress over the year, including choices about meeting dates, readings, training or workshops they may need delivered by on-campus faculty developers, off-campus experiences they have as a group, webinars they participate in, and so on. The Center for Faculty Development does not dictate what faculty members choose to do within their communities, but they can and will provide assistance, guidance and support upon request (Rege, 2011).

What are the goals of a FLC? (Cox, 2004)

  • Build university community through teaching and learning
  • Increase faculty interest in undergraduate teaching and learning
  • Investigate how DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives) informs teaching and learning
  • Broaden evaluation of teaching and assessment of learning
  • Increase collaboration across disciplines
  • Increase financial support for teaching and learning initiatives

What is produced within a FLC?

  • Improved teaching practices
  • Cross-disciplinary connections and learning in support of student success across majors
  • Individual or group research to support all faculty members
  • Presentations openly delivered to the university community about the outcomes of new teaching practices and research insights

What are the outcomes of a FLC?

  • Support for early career faculty, including graduate teaching associates and lecturer faculty
  • Mid-career and late-career faculty reengagement with innovative teaching practices and interdisciplinary issues
  • Strengthened student success as informed by the progress and projects generated through the FLCs

How are FLCs created?

The Center for Faculty Development is pleased to support up to five Faculty Learning Communities each academic year. Each FLC will include up to 12 faculty members. Any faculty member is welcome to participate in a FLC. Each FLC will participate in an orientation meeting. Once in their FLCs, faculty members decide on their meeting schedule, who will lead the community, ideas for exploration particular to the community topic, etc.

Why are FLCs important?

FLCs are important because they inform student development and success, they contribute to faculty development and learning as a whole, and they inform the strategic goals of an institution (Cox, 2003).

What funds and resources are available at San José State?

Each FLC may receive up to $1200 in funding to support expenses related to their learning goals and outcomes.  As such, FLC members must determine together how they would like to make the most of these funds.  Funds may be spent on materials, participation in training and workshops, support for campus events (e.g., catering), and other allowable purchases.  FLC leaders should reach out to Gina Marin, <gina.marin@sjsu.edu> Administrative Analyst in the Center for Faculty Development for consultation about what is an allowable expense.  All FLC funding requests must be approved in advance. 

How are FLCs evaluated?

Each FLC will select a leader who will be responsible for producing a brief report at the end of the academic year.  This report will include insights related to the FLC’s successes and challenges in meeting their learning goals. The report will also include but is not limited to details about the FLC’s impact on student success, cross-disciplinary collaboration, or other evidence of transformation. CFD staff members will check in 2-3 times/semester with FLC leaders to provide support.

What is the projected timeline for SJSU’s FLCs?

9/18:  Faculty indicate interest in one FLC

Early October:  FLCs convene for orientation

10/31:  FLC leaders submit initial progress report, including proposed learning goals and funding request

Early December and Early February: FLC leaders provide progress updates to CFD

Late April: FLC leaders submit final reports and will provide a presentation to the university community.  The CFD will host a celebration for FLC members

If interested in participating in a FLC this academic year, please complete this form by September 18, 2020. Please note, the form is set to remove FLC options once it has reached a maximum of 12 participants.

 

References

Cox, M. D. (2003). 7: Proven Faculty Development Tools That Foster the Scholarship of Teaching in Faculty Learning Communities. To improve the academy, 21(1), 109-142.

Cox, M. D. (2004). Introduction to faculty learning communities. New directions for teaching and learning, 2004(97), 5-23.

Daly, C. J. (2011). Faculty Learning Communities: Addressing the Professional Development Needs of Faculty and the Learning Needs of Students. Currents in Teaching & Learning, 4(1).

Layne, J., Froyd, J., Morgan, J., & Kenimer, A. (2002, November). Faculty learning communities. In 32nd Annual Frontiers in Education (Vol. 2, pp. F1A-F1A). IEEE

Richlin, L., & Cox, M. D. (2004). Developing scholarly teaching and the scholarship of teaching and learning through faculty learning communities. New directions for teaching and learning, 2004(97), 127-135.