Faculty Learning Communities and Cohorts


Opportunities to Engage with Other Colleagues through a CNDLS Learning Community or Cohort

Do you want to engage with colleagues from across the University around issues of teaching and learning? Would you appreciate exploring new ideas and approaches you might use in the classroom? We invite you to browse through the opportunities below and consider joining one of our communities to explore approaches and topics in teaching and learning. Please reach out to us if you have further questions about any of these programs, or if you would like to talk with someone in CNDLS about which community experience would be right for you.

Book Clubs: A small gathering of faculty or graduate students meeting regularly over the course of 6-12 weeks. The goal is to explore a particular topic area relevant to teaching and learning by reading a preselected book or set of articles. The book club is facilitated by CNDLS staff and sometimes a faculty facilitator whose role it is to support conversation, reflection, learning, and community building amongst the group. For more information about the AT Program Book Club, contact James Olsen. For more information on the Engelhard Conversations on Teaching visit the Engelhard Conversations on Teaching webpage or contact Mindy McWilliams.

Faculty Cohorts: A semester or year-long opportunity for a group of faculty (ranging in size from 6 to 18 participants) to engage with colleagues across the university to re-imagine an aspect of their teaching or their students’ learning. The cohort supports interdisciplinarity and community to explore the redesign and implementation of an aspect of a course, based on a theme such as student well-being, blended learning, or inclusive pedagogy, to name a few. Depending on the structure and goals for the cohort, participants may meet monthly in-person exclusively, or there may be an online component of the cohort experience in addition to in-person meetings. More information about our cohort opportunities can be found at the project websites below:
Doyle Faculty Fellows Cohort, Engelhard Faculty Fellows Cohort, Mentoring Initiative, CNDLS TEL Faculty Colloquium

Communities of Practice: A community of practitioners who share a concern or a passion for something they do and an interest in learning how to do it better, CNDLS’ Communities of Practice are currently extensions of cohort experiences, and as such are ways for cohort members to extend their work and stay in touch with a large group sharing their interest even after their cohort semester or year has completed. Currently, the Doyle Faculty Fellows Program and the Engelhard Project maintain Communities of Practices and hold regular events and gatherings for alumni from those programs.

Faculty-Led Learning Communities: Learning Communities are self-directed, structured, interdisciplinary groups—predominantly made up of 8-12 faculty, although communities may also include staff and students—which gather to learn together about a specific topic. In the first few meetings, the community as a whole discusses and determines a more narrow focus, the concrete outcome(s) for the group, and the agenda for community meetings. The model is a sustainable way to foster faculty-led innovation, professional development, and active peer-to-peer engagement across the university. To learn more about the faculty learning communities model, see literature from Milton Cox and University of Miami. Current Learning Communities include the Digital Humanities Learning Community and the Digital Assignments Learning Community. Please contact CNDLS or visit our Learning Communities page if you’d like more information about faculty learning communities.

Innovation Design/Sprint: A short-term design lab space or environment where multiple faculty and staff groups can explore a teaching, learning, assessment, or curricular challenge. Groups engage in design-centered work over the course of two to four days, and are coached by a CNDLS staff person, culminating in a brief presentation. One current Innovation Design Sprint is the Productive Open Design Space (PODS) offered within the Teaching, Learning & Innovation Summer Institute (TLISI) annually in May. There is an application process that typically is announced in the late spring semester each year. For more information, visit the Productive Open Design Spaces (PODS) website or contact Maggie Debelius.