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Faculty learning communities

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Developing Effective Faculty Learning Communities to Improve Student Performance

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Faculty learning communities

  1. 1. Developing Effective Faculty Learning Communities to Improve Student Performance Dr. Patrick Blessinger HETL Association & St. John’s University (NYC) Workshop 6thAnnual University Learning andTeaching Showcase Montclair State University ResearchAcademy May 8, 2015
  2. 2. What are Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) and Why areThey Important? • A FLC is any faculty-led, purposely designed group of faculty members whose aim is to improve teaching and learning practices in order to create better learning environments and facilitate improved academic achievement in students. • Per Cox (2004), FLCs typically consist of 6-15 or more (8 to 12 is the recommended size) faculty members (usually from different disciplines) who collaborate on curriculum issues and use seminars and other peer led activities that provide faculty with learning, professional development, and collegial community building. Image by Niall Kennedy, “Community”, CC BY-NC 2.0 http://www.units.miamioh.edu/flc/whatis.php
  3. 3. What are Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) and Why areThey Important? • There are two types of faculty learning communities: cohort-based and topic-based. • Per Cox (2004), cohort-based learning communities address the teaching, learning, and developmental needs of specific cohorts of faculty (e.g. new or junior faculty), or perhaps faculty that may feel isolated or who are struggling with meeting their course learning outcomes. • Per Cox (2004), topic-based learning communities co-design a curriculum that address a special teaching and learning need. Image by Niall Kennedy, “Community”, CC BY-NC 2.0 http://www.units.miamioh.edu/flc/whatis.php
  4. 4. Thinking Deeply about FLCs Group Exercise and Discussion • Form into groups of three or four people. • Group members can be within the same discipline or across disciplines. • Introduce yourselves to each other; what discipline do you teach in. • Begin dialogue about a faculty learning community – it can be about creating a new FLC or about enhancing an existing FLC. • Each group will go through each of the questions of the analysis phase and come up with tentative answers . • Each group will briefly discuss their answers. Image by Niall Kennedy, “Community”, CC BY-NC 2.0
  5. 5. Learning Community Planning Framework Create a Project Plan Adapted from Lenning, et al (2013) • ANALYSIS PHASE • Develop a clear purpose for your learning community • How did the idea for a learning community come about? • Why do you want to form a learning community? • What are your main goals for the learning community? • What is your mission (purpose) statement for the learning community? • Conduct a situation analysis (environmental scan) • Who are the key stakeholders impacted by the learning community? • What resources are available to support the learning community? • What challenges might you encounter in forming a learning community?
  6. 6. Learning Community Planning Framework Adapted from Lenning, et al (2013) • DESIGN PHASE • Determine the type(s) of learning communities needed • What type of membership format do you need?: SLC and/or FLC (topic or cohort based) • What type of delivery format do you need?: F2F or online or blended • What type of duration format do you need? Short-term or long-term • What type of disciplinary format?: Intra or inter or trans • How will you select members for your learning community? • What are the specific goals and objectives of the learning community?
  7. 7. Learning Community Planning Framework Adapted from Lenning, et al (2013) • IMPLEMENTATION PHASE • Determine how the learning community will be implemented • How will you build the learning community? • How will you develop a culture of learning? • What are the core values and group norms needed? • What are the key roles and responsibilities of the members? • What resources are needed to be successful? • What legal and ethical issues must be addressed? • What institutional policies must be addressed?
  8. 8. Learning Community Planning Framework Adapted from Lenning, et al (2013) • ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION PHASE • How will student learning (cognitive) be assessed? • Formative and summative • Research-based evidence of learning • Research strategies and methods • Learning Assessment Report • How will student well-being (affective, social) be assessed? • How will the learning community, as a program, be evaluated? • Learning goals and objectives • Program Evaluation Report
  9. 9. Thank you for your time! Learning Communities are 21st Century Learning
  10. 10. References • Anderson, L.W., & Krathwohl, D. R. (Eds.). (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. NewYork, NY: Longman. • Angelo,T. A. (1997).The campus as a learning community: Seven promising shifts and seven powerful levers. AAHE Bulletin, 49(9), 3-6. • Blessinger, P., Cozza, B., & Cox, M. (2015). Principles of Effective Faculty Learning Communities in Higher Education: A Qualitative Analysis of Faculty Participation. Learning Communities Journal. (manuscript in press). • Blessinger, P. (2015).The future of higher education: towards a democratic theory of higher education. Chapter in P. Blessinger & J.P. Anchan (Eds) Democratizing higher education: International comparative perspectives. • Blessinger, P., & Carfora, J.M. (2014). Innovative approaches in teaching and learning: An introduction to inquiry-based learning for faculty and institutional development. Chapter in P. Blessinger & J.M. Carfora (Eds) Inquiry-based learning for faculty and institutional development: A conceptual and practical resource for educators. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing. • Blessinger, P. (2013). Improving pedagogical performance through learning communities. Proceedings of the International Research and Science Conference. Pedagogical education: Current problems, concepts, theories and practice. St. Petersburg, Russia. RAE IPAE, 2013, 184-193. • Blessinger, P., & Kovbasyuk, O. (May, 2012). Higher education needs to build global learning communities. The Guardian. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/higher-education-network/blog/2012/may/23/global-virtual-learning-environments • Bloom, B. S. (Ed). (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives:The classification of educational goals. Handbook 1: cognitive domain. NewYork, NY: McKay.
  11. 11. References • Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L., & Cocking, R. R. (1999). Learning: From speculation to science. In J. Bransford, A. Brown, & R. Cocking (Eds), How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school (pp. 39-66).Washington, D.C: National Academic Press. • Boyer Commission of Educating Undergraduates in the Research University. (1998). Reinventing undergraduate education: A blueprint for America’s research universities. Stony Brook, NY: State University of NewYork at Stony Brook. • Brooke, C., & Gruenewald, D. (2003). Building bridges between academic affairs and student affairs: Learning communities at Iowa State University. Paper presented at the North CentralTeaching Symposium. Minneapolis, MN. • Cox, M. D. (2004). Building faculty learning communities: New directions for teaching and learning, no. 97 (pp. 5-23). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. • DuFour, R., & Eaker, R. (1998). Professional learning communities at work: Best practices for enhancing student achievement. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. • Dunlop, L. & Pettitt, M. (2008). Assessing student outcomes in learning communities:Two decades of study at community colleges. Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, 15(2), 140-149. • Fink, L. D. (2003). Creating significant learning experiences: An integrated approach to designing college courses. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. • Gabelnick, F., MacGregor, J., Matthews, R. S., & Smith, R. S. (1990). Learning communities: Creating connections among students, faculty, and disciplines: New directions for teaching and learning, no. 41. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  12. 12. References • Huber, M.T., & Hutchins, P. (2005). The advancement of learning: Building the teaching commons. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. • Kouzes, J. M. & Possner, B. Z. (1987). The leadership challenge. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. • Kovbasyuk, O., & Blessinger, P. (2013).The nature and origins of meaning-centered education. Chapter in O. Kovbasyuk & P. Blessinger (Eds) Meaning-centered education: International perspectives and explorations in higher education. NewYork: Routledge Publishing. • Kuh, G. D., Kinzie, J., Schuh, J. H., & Whitt, E. J. (2010). Creating conditions that matter. San Francisco, CA: Jossey- Bass. • Lenning, O.T., & Ebbers, L. H. (1999). The powerful potential of learning communities: Improving education for the future. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report, vol. 26, no. 6. Washington, D.C.:The George Washington Graduate School of Education and Human Development. • Gabelnick, F., MacGregor, J., Matthews, R. S., & Smith, R. S. (1990). Learning communities: Creating connections among students, faculty, and disciplines: New directions for teaching and learning, no. 41. San Francisco, CA: Jossey- Bass. • Huber, M.T., & Hutchins, P. (2005). The advancement of learning: Building the teaching commons. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. • Kouzes, J. M. & Possner, B. Z. (1987). The leadership challenge. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  13. 13. References • Kuh, G. D., Kinzie, J., Schuh, J. H., & Whitt, E. J. (2010). Creating conditions that matter. San Francisco, CA: Jossey- Bass. • Lenning, O.T., & Ebbers, L. H. (1999). The powerful potential of learning communities: Improving education for the future. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report, vol. 26, no. 6. Washington, D.C.:The George Washington Graduate School of Education and Human Development. • Mentkowski, M., & Associates. (2000). Learning that lasts: Integrative learning, development, and performance in college and beyond. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. • Mezirow, L. (2003).Transformative learning as discourse. Journal ofTransformative Education, 1(1), 58-63. • Ortquist-Ahrens, L., & Pratt, K. (1999).The role of the facilitator in faculty learning communities: Paving the way for growth, productivity, and collegiality. Learning Communities Journal, 1(1), 29-62. • Shapiro, N. S. & Levine, J. H. (1999). Creating learning communities: A practical guide to winning support, organizing for change, and implementing programs. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. • Soven, M., Lehr, D., Naynaha, S., Olson, W. (Eds). (2013). Linked courses for genernal education and integrative learning: A guide for faculty and administrators. Sterling, VA: Stylus. • Zhao, C., & Kuh, G. D. (2004). Adding value: Learning communities and student engagement. Research in Higher Education, 45(2), 115-138.

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