Now, in its 13th academic year at MSU, the Faculty Learning Community (FLC) program supports year-long faculty-led discussion groups on focused topics in teaching, learning and academic life. Facilitators and members of each FLC are MSU faculty, academic specialists and academic staff with an interest in and commitment to the topic of the FLC. FLC members share their work with other faculty at a poster session at the MSU Spring Teaching and Learning Conference in May.
For a complete description of each FLC and its objectives, or to contact facilitators about joining an FLC, see below.
- Accessibility through Creative Innovation
- Assessment, Instructional Best Practices and Continuous Improvement of Student Learning in General Science Education
- Enriching the Faculty-International Student Experience
- GLBTQ Faculty
- Integrity and Ethics on Campus
- What Shapes the Way We Teach? Four Lenses for Critical Reflection
The University has recently adopted high standards for accessibility that will ensure all faculty, staff, and students can access the knowledge, experiences, and opportunities here at MSU. But what does that mean for professors? What are the expectations for the curriculum you develop? What resources are available to you? What features of D2L enhance the creation of accessible courses? What is the timeframe for implementing the policy? The task of becoming accessible can seem daunting…unless you have a community of practice.
Come join this Faculty Learning Community (FLC) and work with other professors/instructors/staff dedicated to creating and revising materials that can be used by everyone. The focus of this FLC will be on Universal Design (UD) of which accessibility is one of the main components. Your participation in the FLC will help bring you up to date on the current state of UD on campus, connect you to literature on the topic, and provide you some skills in creating accessible materials. One of the best aspects of this FLC is that we will be working with IT Services to help identify the resources faculty and staff will need campus-wide. So, come have a voice in accessibility support while you learn with your peers and build a network that will help support you in creating accessible experiences. To join this group, contact Cathleen firstname.lastname@example.org or Stephen email@example.com.
Assessment, Instructional Best Practices and Continuous Improvement of Student Learning in General Science Education
Gabriel J. Ording
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education
Peter De Costa
International students often struggle with academic and social adjustment and acceptance at MSU. Faculty find themselves frustrated that trusted assumptions about how best to teach a given course can fall short in a class with high international student enrollment. This FLC will expand upon the first year discussion to continue to consider ideas and practices regarding how best to minimize the perceived challenges and weaknesses of international students in the learning environment and to maximize our ability to exploit the strengths they bring in diversity, perspectives, and thought processes. We propose focusing on student performance data and metrics, as presented by EASE reporting, MAPWORKS, and NSSC data, to better analyze where issues lie that might be addressed by our group. To join this group, contact Patricia firstname.lastname@example.org or Peter email@example.com.
This FLC will address issues related to being a GLBTQ faculty member at MSU. There is currently no community for GLBTQ faculty on campus, which means that there is not a space in which faculty are able to talk together about issues related to sexuality and gender identity. It is likely that this absence undermines GLBTQ feelings of belonging to the campus community broadly, and this group seeks to have an impact on the health and well being of GLBTQ faculty on campus. To join this group, contact Lily firstname.lastname@example.org or Daniel email@example.com
This FLC will strive to promote a culture of academic integrity and ethical conduct through fostering positive discussions related to integrating the theory and philosophy of academic integrity and ethical conduct throughout the university. In the upcoming year, this group will look to expand the dialog centering on academic integrity from the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 FLCs to look at how academic integrity relates to ethics and conduct overall on campus and create additional resources to support faculty in educating about the importance of academic integrity. Proposed discussion topics would include the following: 1. Myths and realities regarding integrity on campus; 2. The connection between academic integrity and professional ethics; 3. Public perceptions of integrity; 4. The academic misconduct process; 5. Best practices in prevention and assessment of what?; 6. Addressing collaboration; 7. Managing difficult conversations related to integrity and ethics; 8. Mentoring and advising graduate students for integrity. To connect with this group, contact Adele firstname.lastname@example.org or Shannon email@example.com.
How can Stephen Brookfield’s “four lenses of critical reflection” – our own learning experiences, pedagogical literature, student responses and observations by colleagues – serve as tools for us to examine, question, develop and enhance our teaching practices? Our readings in Brookfield’s Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher, and written reflections by each group member, will form the basis of our discussions and eventual article.
Our audience encompasses anyone teaching college students, including semester-long courses and/or individual sessions (such as information literacy sessions in the library). Our critically reflective discussions would benefit faculty from across diverse disciplines. Whether teaching face-to-face or online, large lectures or small classes, all instructors and academic staff will benefit from participating in our conversations.
Through our poster presentation at the MSU Spring Teaching and Learning Conference, we will reach the conference participants and other FLC members, but through the final article, we hope to reach a much larger audience.