"The growth of any craft depends on shared practice and honest dialogue among the people who do it. We grow by trial and error, to be sure--but our willingness to try, and fail, as individuals is severely limited when we are not supported by a community that encourages such risks" (Palmer, 1998).

What is Faculty Learning Community?
Faculty Learning Community is defined as "a cross-disciplinary faculty and staff group of six to fifteen members who engage in an active, collaborative, yearlong program with a curriculum about enhancing teaching and learning and with frequent seminars and activities that provide learning, development, the scholarship of teaching, and community building" (Cox, 2004)

"Faculty Learning Community (FLC) is focused on colleagues sharing expertise with each other to enhance knowledge and improve learning for students. Ideally, an FLC should be a cross-disciplinary faculty group of 6-15 members working together, beginning in January, to enhance teaching and learning." http://www.oakland.edu/flc

Why is the Faculty Learning Community on education research established?
This Faculty Learning Community (FLC) focuses on education research (scholarly teaching and scholarship of teaching and learning).
It is established to serve the purpose of
  • Developing a sense of community for faculty with teaching, learning, education research, and developmental needs;
  • Heightening awareness of ways/methods to conduct education research;
  • Developing increased individual understanding and interest in the scholarship of teaching;
  • Offering a venue for faculty across disciplines to explore opportunities to work together and collaborate in evidence-based education research for improving student learning; and
  • Providing a forum for faculty to share their research interests, expertise and knowledge, and discuss concerns or issues related to the scholarship of teaching and learning across disciplines.

A yearlong program of the FLC has been designed to build community, support team learning, and provide an atmosphere which allows faculty to explore and investigate education research questions, and foster collaboration and cooperation among members of the FLC. The program is composed of five components including seminars, workshops, group discussion, research forums, and an opening and end-of-the-year retreats. A collection of resources on various topics related to teaching, learning, and educational research is provided to supplement the team learning process and support members' learning and teaching pursuits.

What are the goals of the FLC?
The FLC is set up to:
  • Create community space that will develop individual teaching and scholarship in a manner consistent with the institutional culture, mission, and values;
  • Foster collaborative understanding, collective sharing and inquiry about issues on scholarly teaching and the scholarship of teaching and learning;
  • Provide a venue for reflections on experiences and for meaningful conversations as a community of scholars of teaching and educational research;
  • Enhance student learning, build community, and foster relationships across disciplines; and
  • Provide faculty with an opportunity to learn from the diversity and creativity of individual members who come together as learners, teaching practitioners, and scholars of research.

Who facilitates the FLC?
Misa Mi, PhD, MLIS, from the OUWB School of Medicine, has won an award ($1,500) from Oakland University to form the Faculty Learning Community. Serving as facilitator of the FLC, she has developed a yearlong program for the FLC in consideration of different learning, teaching, and developmental needs of faculty members. She plans and coordinates activities for the FLC and communicates with the FLC members regarding the FLC educational events and activities via e-mail and this Wiki website.

To promote team learning and collective knowledge building and sharing, individual members of the FLC are encouraged to serve as facilitator for group discussion or present on a topic or issue of interest to FLC members over the course of the yearlong program. Resources for facilitating a discussion session or presentation will be provided for the members as needed.

If you have any question or suggestion for the FLC or would like to present or facilitate a group discussion session at one of the FLC events, please submit an online form or contact Misa Mi directly at mi@oakland.edu or 313-248-3774.

What is involved in the FLC?
Biweekly events for the FLC have been organized for members throughout the academic year of 2012, starting in February. The educational program include several components: seminars, workshops, group discussion, research forum, opening and closing retreats. FLC members are encouraged to participate in the FLC events and activities as much as their schedule allows.

How to become a FLC member?
Any OUWBSOM or OU faculty is welcome to join the FLC and to participate in the FLC learning activities and events.

How to use this Wiki website?
This Wiki website is created as a tool for FLC members to communicate with one another and contribute content for the site. Please click on "Join" on the top right side of the page to join the Wiki to become an author for the site.

References:
Cox MD, Richlin L. Building faculty learning communities. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass; 2004.