SBCTC’s Assessment, Teaching, and Learning (ATL) and eLearning departments are pleased to announce the recipients of the 15-16 Faculty Learning Community (FLC) grants.
A faculty learning community (FLC) is a group of educators (faculty, administrators, professional staff) who collaboratively design and then implement a structured, intensive, year-long professional learning experience. Together, this special kind of community of practice builds a curriculum of study that engages complex problems and focuses around the members’ individual and collective teaching and learning.
To support system-wide professional learning related to instruction and innovation, the Assessment, Teaching, and Learning (ATL) and eLearning and Open Education departments of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) annually award grants of up to $5,000 to fund Faculty Learning Communities.
Cultivating Growth Mindsets: Fortifying the Foundation of Teaching and Learning
Growth mindset is a term developed by Stanford professor Carol Dweck, and is defined by its divergence from fixed mindsets. Dweck explains that “in a fixed mindset students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that. In a growth mindset students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.” Without a growth mindset innovation cannot occur. Revision cannot occur. True teaching and learning cannot occur. While there is general agreement on the value of growth mindsets, there is little available as far as practical and researched means of instilling, cultivating, and measuring them. Our FLC will seek to quantify and develop specific strategies and assessments in pursuit of this overarching goal.
Contact: Justin Eriksen & Kaatje Kraft
Becoming Culturally Responsive Educators; From the Parking Lot/Bus Stop to the
Classroom, Part II
This is year two, as we complete and deploy the Culturally Responsive Educators (CRE) modules across our campus. Last year, we created modules around cultural responsiveness and we discovered areas we wanted to include and go into more depth than we had anticipated. We connected with more departments and divisions and our group and work has grown. We now have a solid framework for an online course of study about being a culturally responsive educator, including staff and faculty.
Contact: Allison Lau
This FLC will take a deeper look at integrative learning practices such as learning communities, common read programming, transfer theory, and civic engagement. Stakeholders include faculty, staff (Student Affairs & Instruction) that are either new to integrative learning or new to the practice. Members will discover how these practices and initiatives can be infused between disciplines and also in curricular and co-curricular activities.
Contact: Janette Clay
Developing Sustainability Content
The primary goal of the FLC is to increase the likelihood that WCC faculty members will infuse sustainability concepts and content into at least one of the courses they teach, and to share their work-in-progress both internally among WCC colleagues as well as externally in the online Curriculum for the Bioregion Curriculum Collection.
Contact: Barry Maxwell
Purpose and Vocation Groups: Exploring Spirituality
A number of key issues converge around students’ development of a sense of personal
mission/purpose: The continuously expanding understanding that teaching and learning happen best when the whole person is involved (i.e., students are not just brains that walk into a room to download information); Retention and completion data consistently points to “student engagement” – the desire to show up each day because one feels valued and understands the value of what is occurring through teaching and learning – as a key element of student success (i.e., are we satisfying the need to know and be known?); 3) Wrestling with the tensions surrounding the role of spirituality in the classroom and on campus, in the lives of students and instructors, and how best to facilitate conversations about the meaning of our work and our lives.
Contact: Sally Heilstedt
Service learning offers applied learning opportunities and unique, meaningful experiences for both students and faculty. According to LEAP (Liberal Education and America’s Promise), service learning is field-based “experiential learning” that collaboratively includes community partners as part of course curriculum. The two important components of service learning that distinguish it from other instructional strategies are students are given the opportunity to 1) apply what they are learning in a “real-world setting” and 2) reflect on their service in a classroom setting. Essentially, service learning allows students to gain experience in their field of study by working in the community. Often, it is more meaningful than an internship opportunity because students connect with mentors within organizations who help the students to continuously reflect on their career choices, life challenges, and professional growth.
Contact: Jennifer Santry
Universal Design for Learning
At Pierce College (PC), over the years, faculty have been exposed to an array of standards, technologies, theories of practice and interventions designed to address one or more specific areas in course design, assessment, and teaching. Universal Design for Learning (UDL) promises to provide a wider framework for considering how we approach content/course creation, how we assess learning and how we organize and deliver our courses. We have a group of interested faculty from across the district who are eager to participate in a deeper learning experience about UDL, experiment with implementation of UDL strategies within their personal teaching practices and share their successes and challenges with the college as a whole. The work of this FLC will benefit not only the students in the participants’ classes, but
provide concrete examples of UDL implementations for other faculty to view and consider in their own practices.
Contact: Renee Phoenix
We want to reduce barriers to student success by getting Open Educational Resources (OER) institutionalized and implemented in every academic division. The college serves a large number of low-income students, many of whom are immigrants and refugees, and the high cost of textbooks is a barrier to their success. In addition, Highline has a very diverse student population, and many are not well served by commercially available materials. The members of this FLC will identify, evaluate, and incorporate OER in their classes as an example to their peers. In the course of this work, we will identify institutional processes that support or hinder OER adoption, and begin the work of changing them.
Contact: Deborah Moore
Exploring Hybrid Instruction
Creating an FLC where faculty can work together to test online instructional ideas, get
feedback from peers and share best practices will help RTC improve the hybrid courses now available as well as expand into additional hybrid courses to meet the needs of students.
Renton Technical College
Join this FLC!
Contact: Liz Falconer
An average of 12% of community college students have a disability. Instructors are required to make online course content accessible to students. Accessibility needs vary. There will not be one checklist that fits all purposes. We need a diverse group of thinkers creating a variety of solutions to meet students’ needs. This group wants to deepen our understanding of the need, the variety of solutions, and create a sustainable and scalable system that can be adopted and adapted in other schools in Washington.
Contact: Deb Padden