About Faculty Learning Communities
The goal of a Faculty Learning Community (FLC) is enjoyable scholarly exchange among peers, but these groups can also create positive change. At other universities and colleges, faculty learning communities have been shown to enhance faculty perception of teaching as an intellectual pursuit, strengthen scholarly interests, improve teaching skill, and support experimentation in the classroom (Cox, 2001; O’Meara, 2005). They can also build a sense of community and promote cross-disciplinary conversation.
The Faculty Learning Community program was inaugurated in Fall 2012. At St. Thomas, Faculty Learning Communities are year-long cross-disciplinary groups with 8-14 members; they are organized around a particular topic related to faculty life and have a reading and discussion agenda. A faculty leader organizes monthly meetings; he or she plans the format, the details of the meeting situation, and goals for each meeting. All St. Thomas faculty, adjunct and full-time, are welcome to participate in an FLC. Announcements to lead and participate in communities are posted on our OneStThomas site and via email.
Cox, M. D. (2001). Faculty learning communities: Change agents for transforming institutions into learning organizations. In D. Lieberman (Ed.), To improve the academy, Vol. 19 (pp. 69-93). Boston, MA: Anker Publishing Co.
O’Meara, K. (2005). The courage to be experimental: How one faculty learning community influenced faculty teaching careers, understanding of how students learn, and assessment. Journal of Faculty Development, 20(3), 153-160.