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2020 Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs)

As part of our faculty-development initiatives, the IDEA Shop sponsors a number of Faculty Learning Communities, some of which run for a semester while others run for an academic year. An IDEA Shop Faculty Learning Community consists of a cohort of 8 to 10 faculty members drawn from different disciplines or fields of study who collectively explore some aspect of teaching with technology, by asking questions, experimenting with technology, trying out new teaching practices, and sharing their experiences with one another and, in some instances, with the larger campus community.

The Faculty Learning Communities currently scheduled for 2020 are described below. More information is available in the Call for Applications for each Faculty Learning Community.

Mobile Learning Scholars

The Mobile Learning Scholars Faculty Community facilitates the exploration of questions about teaching, learning, and collaboration in an information-rich, “connect anywhere and anytime” environment made possible by mobile technologies such as tablet devices and smartphones. The program is cohort-based to provide faculty with a supportive and shared experience as they explore how mobile devices affect such instructional variables as student learning, interaction, communication, collaboration, and fieldwork.

View Call for Applications (Mobile) to learn more about the Mobile Learning Scholars Cohort.

Designing for Student Success

Faculty are invited to apply to participate during spring semester and fall semester 2020 in the Designing for Student Success Faculty Learning Community (FLC). Participants will explore how intentional course design focused on student success can be used to support students who may otherwise drop a course or leave the university without achieving their educational objectives. An additional goal is to develop processes and workflows to create a full system of support for struggling students (for example, handoffs from faculty to the Advising and Academic Support Center or other relevant campus unit).

Faculty in the FLC will explore how course design, timely communication, and early intervention can help students to develop a sense of belonging and can contribute to both student success and student retention. In particular, the project will focus on students with the following characteristics:

  • first in their family to attend college (first-generation students)
  • eligible for Pell grants
  • living off campus

Design choices that research suggests will best support these students are also likely to benefit other students.

View the Call for Applications for “Design for Student Success.”

Universal Design for Learning Syllabus Rubric

This Faculty Learning Community (FLC) invites participating faculty to incorporate principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) into a syllabus–a bedrock document of any course, one reflecting both the content and activities of the course but also its underlying design.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework based on developing tools, teaching materials, and teaching strategies that are responsive to the learning differences and challenges that a diverse student population presents. Typically, after principles of UDL are incorporated into a course, the changes benefit all students, not just students with specific needs and challenges.

A syllabus is a great starting point for incorporating principles of UDL into course design, teaching materials, and teaching methods. By taking a few simple steps you can create a syllabus that will serve as a tool that helps prepare all students for success. During spring semester 2020, faculty in the UDL Syllabus Rubric Faculty Learning Community will begin creating such a tool, working in a cohort of faculty to revise syllabi to reflect the principles of UDL.

View the Call for Applications for “Universal Design for Learning Syllabus Rubric.”


Open Educational Resources (OER)

Through the Open Educational Resources (OER) Faculty Learning Community (FLC), faculty participants will work as a cohort to explore the use of OER as a pedagogic tool. Faculty will learn how to find and use Creative Commons-licensed materials, public domain resources, and other established free or extremely low-cost options that research has shown to improve student retention, as well as, improve connections to course learning outcomes. Other existing and emerging platforms will also be explored, form texts to multimedia, primary to ancillary resources, and assignments to assessment materials. The IDEA Shop is now calling for applications from Boise State faculty of all ranks that are interested in exploring and implementing OER to participating in the OER FLC. The FLC will look at ways for faculty to begin to curate (create and/or compile) their own OER.

View the Call for Applications for the “OER Faculty Learning Community.”