Faculty Learning Communities

Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) are small groups of faculty and instructors who meet regularly throughout the semester or year about a specific topic related to teaching and learning.

FLCs provide opportunities to:

  • engage in active, collaborative discussions across disciplines in a supportive environment
  • learn about and implement innovative teaching techniques
  • explore teaching topics in greater depth than a workshop permits
  • collaborate on scholarship and research related to teaching and learning

Spring 2021 Communities

Student Engagement: Creating a sense of community in an online course

Students in online courses can feel lonely and isolated, but research suggest forming strong connections improves student learning, motivation, persistence, and retention. In this community, you will discuss how to help students feel connected to you and to one another.

In-Person Teaching During COVID: Flexible teaching, physical distancing and live streaming

COVID adds new complexities to teaching in-person courses. How do you promote active and collaborative learning while trying to maintain physical distancing? How do you plan for flexibility in your course design, should circumstances require that in-person courses move online? If you are simultaneously live streaming your course for remote students, how do you manage two groups of students and the technology? This community provides the opportunity for you to address these questions by sharing your experiences and learning from your colleagues.

Book Club: Small Teaching Online by Flower Darby and James Lang

In Small Teaching Online, Flower Darby proposes practical and feasible applications of evidence-based principles to help your online students learn. This book is available electronically from the University Libraries, so you can read the book and discuss it with your colleagues from across the university.

Teaching Synchronous Online Courses

Managing a synchronous online class session can be intense, and it can be challenging to keep students actively engaged. In this community, you will experiment with strategies for active learning and share your experiences from your own teaching. This community is system agnostic, so join us regardless of what web conferencing tool you are using!

Teaching with Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams can be a powerful tool for teaching, but it is fairly new at NIU. This community will explore Teams beyond its web conferencing application, including text chat, file sharing, assessment, and more. Collaborate with your peers while you experiment and explore how Teams can transform your teaching.

What to Expect

FLCs are different from CITL’s other programs and services, so here are a few hints for what to expect from the experience:

  • You will meet 3-4 times during the semester
  • Session dates and times will be determined based on participant availability
  • Each FLC will be limited to 12 participants to promote active participation
  • FLCs are open to faculty, instructors, and teaching staff (SPS and Civil Service); unfortunately, FLCs are not open to graduate teaching assistants at this time
  • CITL staff are organizing and facilitating the community but will generally not be presenting
  • FLC meetings will be held online

Contact Us

Center for Innovative
Teaching and Learning

Phone: 815-797-2477
Email: citl@niu.edu

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