UC Blue Ash College

Faculty Learning Communities

Faculty Learning Communities have been recognized as a particularly effective form of faculty support in teaching and learning. By bringing together a group of faculty from different disciplines for in-depth conversations over an extended period of time, faculty are able to work through problems, share what works, and adapt their teaching practice to accommodate what they have learned.

In addition, these groups build a community of support as faculty adapt to changes in technology, student populations, and an evolving college culture. When we come together in community, we are stronger and happier.

Creating Communities Since 2001

UC Blue Ash has offered faculty learning communities since being invited to participate in the Ohio Teaching Enhancement Program (OTEP) in 2001. Initially, participation was sponsored by a FIPSE grant led by Dr. Milt Cox, Miami University. Over the next nine years, the OTEP group has continued with a strong tradition of supporting faculty in these groups as they learn about the literatures of cognitive science and scholarly teaching, as well as design classroom-based research projects to assess teaching. Over 60 faculty have participated in OTEP. Participants present their projects at teaching conferences. Several go on to publish their studies in scholarly journals. In addition to this Scholarship of Teaching and Learning faculty learning community, the Peer Review of Scholarly Teaching group has enrolled over 40 faculty since 2003. In this group, faculty created documentation of their teaching practices. The reflective process frequently led to changes in classroom activities.

Another faculty learning community, Critical Thinking, was started in 2006 as a result of a need seen by our Academic Assessment Committee. Finally, in 2010-2011, the UCBA Learning & Teaching Center in partnership with the CET&L expanded the learning community offerings to include a variety of interest areas for faculty.

2018-2019 UCBA Faculty Learning Communities

Manuscript FLC

  • Facilitator: Rita Kumar
  • First Monday of each month from 4:00 to 5:00pm
  • Sept. 10, Oct. 1, Nov. 5, Feb. 4, Mar. 4, Apr. 1

This FLC is designed for faculty who have a project that needs to become a manuscript ready for publication, or who have manuscripts underway. In this group we will identify publishing venues; discuss organization, style, and tone; work with various citation styles; and provide peer reviews. By the end of the year, you should have a manuscript ready to send off to the appropriate journal.

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Classroom Research FLC (formerly OTEP)

  • Facilitators: Adam Chekour and Marissa Oehlhof
  • Third Wednesday of each month from 4:00 to 5:00pm
  • Sept. 19, Oct. 17, Nov.21, Jan. 16, Feb. 20, Mar.27, Apr. 17

This FLC is designed to support a classroom based research project through experimental design, the IRB approval process, data collection, quantitative and qualitative data analysis, and presentation of results. Sessions will include presentation of best practices as well as peer review and moral support through the IRB process. By the end of this FLC you should have a classroom research project ready to present at a professional conference and to write up for publication. Prior to our first meeting, participants must have completed/renewed the IRB CITI training.

Mind, Brain and Learning FLC

  • Facilitators: Deb Frame and Patrick Owen
  • Second Monday of each month from 12:30 to 2:00pm
  • Sept. 10, Oct. 8, Nov 19, Feb. 11, Mar. 11, Apr. 8

Faculty who are experts in their own field of study, but may not be experts in the area of learning, memory, and cognitive processing, are often encouraged to alter their teaching to incorporate interactive classroom activities or new teaching designs in response to a teaching workshop, conference, or talking with a colleague about how to facilitate their students’ learning. Additionally, faculty members may find themselves supporting their students’ learning with successful classroom activities, but are unable to explain why a certain the teaching technique works based upon an understanding of how the mind, brain, and learning works . These are topics that we will explore during the yearlong Mind, Brain, and Learning (MBL) Faculty Learning Community (FLC).

During the fall 2018 semester, FLC participants will be asked to select at least one classroom activity or problem area of their course content for review and possible revision. Once projects are identified, FLC members will be encouraged to examine their project from a “mind, brain, and learning” perspective. We will use FLC meetings for in-depth explorations of what works and what does not work, and most importantly, why some activities may be better for some instructors and/or with specific content. Based upon our group discussions, FLC members will be encouraged to revise their own project and to assess their revised class activity to ensure revisions improve students’ learning. It is our hope, that this in-depth exploration with follow-up assessment will be shared (1) as a reflection during FLC members’ Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure (RP&T) dossiers, as UCBA Faculty Learning Workshops, or at as part of a scholarly conference presentation or publication.

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2018-2019 UCBA Faculty and Staff Learning Communities

First Generation College Student LC

  • Facilitators: Monica Hennessy, Tamika Odum, Kay Gowsell
  • Second Wednesday of each month from 4:00 to 5:00pm
  • Sept. 12, Oct. 10, Nov. 14, Feb. 13, Mar. 13, Apr. 10

First-generation college students account for nearly half of UCBA’s student population. Several factors can affect the graduation likelihood of first-generation students.  This FLC will focus on building a collective community of support professionals. The Supporting First-Generation Students FLC is open to faculty, staff, and administrators interested in learning more about how to support first generation college students in working toward a successful college experience. We will explore scholarship related to supporting first-generation college students and learn how to apply this knowledge in practical settings in an effort to help equip first-generation college students for success. This FLC will serve as both a reflective and collaborative space for faculty, staff, and administrators. It will help foster a UCBA community of faculty, staff and administrators who support one another in trying out new pedagogies supportive of first generation students, and will create a space for colleagues to share their insights and lessons learned as they continue to develop as reflective practitioners.

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Accessibility LC

  • Facilitator: Pam Rankey and Helene Harte
  • Second Tuesday of each month from 12:30 to 1:30pm
  • Sept. 11, Oct. 9, Nov 13, Feb 12, Mar 12, Apr. 9

Making content accessible (Blackboard Course or Organization, or Other Resources), especially when providing electronic content, will be the focus of this Faculty and Staff Learning Community.  This LC will explore instructional and assistive technologies and related procedures to make materials accessible.  Based on the interests of the group, this will likely include tools readily available in common applications, Universal Design for Learning, best practices, and UC Resources. We also intend to explore more challenging scenarios as identified by participants, for example describing more complex charts or diagrams.

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Contact Information

Learning and Teaching Center