Center for Faculty Development
Programs and Events

Faculty Learning Communities

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    In the 2014-15 academic year, the Center for Faculty Development is offering three Faculty Learning Communities, each around a book. The first two learning communities were launched in fall 2014 and continue to meet in winter 2015. The third learning community will be launched in winter 2015 and will meet throughout the winter and spring.

    What is a Faculty Learning Community?

    A faculty learning community is a group of cross-disciplinary faculty (usually 6–12 people) engaging in an active, collaborative program that meets regularly to support the enhancement of one’s teaching or scholarship (definition adapted from Miami University, OH). Participants in the learning community each pick a focus project and agree to apply the ideas, try out innovations, and report back to the group on what they have learned.

    The Center for Faculty Development provides you with a copy of the book, refreshments, and a designated “host” for your learning community. At each gathering, you’ll discuss key insights from the assigned reading, the progress you’re making on your own project, and questions that are surfacing for you.

    Who can join?

    Any Seattle University faculty member, part-time or full-time, can participate in the program.

     

    Faculty Learning Community #3: Stylish Academic Writing

    Why is it that some academic writing appears to sparkle, while other texts feel flat and dull? What stylistic strategies do the most acclaimed academics use in their writing to present elegant ideas and data in elegant language? In Stylish Academic Writing (Harvard UP, 2012), Helen Sword shares key strategies and approaches that can breathe life into our academic work, recapturing through language the excitement we felt when we first developed our ideas. Based on her study of 1,000 academic articles, she provides examples from some of the best writers in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities for us to emulate in our own writing, along with clear guidance on how to get there.

    In this four-session Faculty Learning Community over winter and spring, we will progress through the chapters and will craft and revise our own writing following Sword’s recommendations. We’ll discuss the stylistic habits – both good and bad – that we identify in our writing along the way, as well as strategies for strengthening the good and eliminating the bad.

    3a. What's in it for you?

    Over the four sessions, this book and our discussions will help you:

    • Assess the current state of your academic writing, its benefits and its deficits.
    • Revise your texts so that the language does justice to the ideas.
    • Identify and share strategies that will make stylish academic writing second nature.

    3b. Who is it suited to?

    This community is for any faculty member who is working on academic writing for publication. You may be working on a new paper from scratch, or rewriting a dissertation into something more digestible, or revising a manuscript that you know you could improve.

    3c. How to register

    Registration for this learning community is closed.

    FQ14 Faculty Learning Community #2: Idea-Based Learning

    Faculty Learning Community #2: Idea-Based Learning

    How do you systematically design a course so that it truly promotes deep learning and the kinds of critical thinking we espouse in academia? Edmund Hansen’s Idea-Based Learning provides a step-by-step process for thinking about and designing a course around our disciplines' big ideas, focusing on key elements that will help maximize our students’ potential.

    In this four-session Faculty Learning Community over fall and winter, we will progress through the chapters and develop or revise our own courses following Hansen’s recommendations, and we’ll discuss the sticking points and epiphanies we discover along the way.

    2a. What's in it for you?

    Over the four sessions, this book and our discussions will help you

    • reconceptualize your discipline based on big ideas, not just a series of topics
    • develop a strong, but flexible, course structure that will reach your higher goals
    • produce longer-lasting learning in your students
    • analyze a successful book proposal, 
    • have the support of colleagues who are facing similar issues, and
    • practice following a scholarly process that you can use for any future course design work.

    2b. Who is this suited to? 

    This community is for any faculty member who is either designing a new course or revising an existing one. 

    2c. How to register 

    Registration for this learning community is closed.

     

     FQ14 Faculty Learning Community #1: The New Academic

    Faculty Learning Community #1: The New Academic

    Are you interested in learning about the culture of academia and how to be a more effective faculty member, but are not sure where to begin? Shelda Debowski’s The New Academic: A Strategic Handbook provides a guide for those new(-ish) to academe on how to develop an engaging and productive career as a faculty member.

    In this four-session Learning Community over fall and winter, you'll work your way through the chapters in the book so that you feel better prepared to fulfill the various roles—colleague, teacher, scholar, disciplinary expert, public professional—expected of a new academic. 

    1a. What's in it for you? 

    Over the four sessions, you'll learn how to:

    • Get started - or reboot - as an academic
    • Make a difference as an effective teacher
    • Build an effective research track record
    • Learn how to engage effectively with the public
    • Advance your career in an academic setting

    1b. Who is it suited to? 

    This community is for any faculty member who is in the early stage of her/his academic career.

    1c. How to register 

    Registration for this learning community is closed.