Faculty Learning Communities

 

What are Faculty Learing Communities (FLCs)?

FLCs are small groups of instructors that come together periodically to discuss a particular topic, issue, or practice. The goal is to advance teaching and learning through reflection, dialogue, and peer support, while building networks among instructors with common interests and a diversity of experience. There are a number of different opportunities to join an FLC on campus, including the TLTC's Elevate Fellows Program, the Office of Undergraduate Studies' Faculty Fellows Program, and various groups organized within colleges and departments. The TLTC routinely hosts a number of FLCs in the Fall and Spring semesters. For Fall 2018, TLTC is piloting a different way of convening FLCs by focusing on the needs of specific campus constituencies.

How do I join an FLC?

Enrollment for Fall 2018 FLCs is currently closed. Please check back in December for news about registration for our Spring 2019 FLCs. 

Please note:

  • The FLC will be offered if we get at least 6 participants. Some in-person FLCs will be capped at approximately 12 participants.

  • Unless indicated otherwise in the description, the FLC meeting times will be decided based upon a schedule that works for the majority of interested participants.

  • FLCs will be expected to identify a deliverable that benefits the individuals within the group (e.g. completion of a teaching portfolio or ELMS course space), groups within the UMD, or broader higher education community (e.g. summary of best practices, recommendations or guidelines for faculty).

  • Where applicable, TLTC will consider requests for funding to disseminate an FLC’s deliverable(s) to a broader audience (e.g. campus workshop or conference presentation).

 

Fall 2018 FLCs:

Online Course Design Learning Community 
FLC Coordinator: Louisa Nkrumah, Learning Experience Designer, TLTC

This community will use the book, Jumpstart Your Online Classroom, to discuss aspects of online course design. Over the course of the semester, participants will specifically work to create or revise an online course within ELMS.  This FLC is open to any instructor of record at UMD. The TLTC will provide a copy of the book for FLC participants.

University of Maryland Extension Learning Community
FLC Coordinator: Samantha Elliott, Assistant Director for Faculty Programs, TLTC

The instructors who work within the University of Maryland Extension Program use many informal education opportunities to help constituents across the state. This synchronous, fully online FLC will facilitate conversations between extension instructors. A deliverable for the UMD extension instructor community will be conceived of and produced by FLC participants based upon perceived community needs and participant interests. This FLC is open to any instructor associated within the University of Maryland Extension Program.

Adjunct Instructor Learning Community
FLC Coordinator: Samantha Elliott, Assistant Director for Faculty Programs, TLTC

Adjunct instructors at UMD are often working professionals who also teach a single course at the University.  As such, it can be difficult to take advantage of campus resources and join a community of instructors. We will pilot this FLC in an asynchronous, online environment where interested adjunct faculty can discuss elements of teaching and learning with their peers and TLTC staff at a time that works with their personal schedules. This FLC will attempt to identify specific needs of the UMD adjunct instructor community and create a set of recommendations to address those needs.  This FLC is open to any adjunct instructor at UMD.

Diversity and Inclusion Learning Community: Teaching Neurodivergent Students
FLC Coordinator: Samantha Elliott, Assistant Director for Faculty Programs, TLTC

Neurodivergent students (e.g. students with dyslexia, dyspraxia, autism spectrum disorder or ADD/ADHD) are enrolling in higher education in record numbers. When surveyed, many instructors feel that they are not trained to fully understand and meet the needs of these highly capable individuals with specific instructional strategies. This FLC will explore the literature on neurodiversity, discuss various aspects of teaching neurodivergent students, and develop a guide of best practices for other instructors within the UMD community.  This FLC is open to any instructor of record at UMD. 
 

Graduate Student Learning Community
FLC Coordinator: Marissa Stewart, Assistant Director for Graduate Programs, TLTC

Graduate student instructors have a variety of different roles: they are students and teachers, mentees and mentors, trainees and also future colleagues. It can be difficult to manage these various identities and to know where there are resources to help prepare for their future careers. In addition to providing a space for graduate students to discuss their experiences as instructors at UMD, this learning community will also help graduate students prepare to develop their own course that they can use in their job application materials. We will discuss the process of backward course design, design learning outcomes for a hypothetical course, and work towards creating a sample syllabus. This FLC is open to any graduate student at UMD with an interest in teaching.