The Learning Communities below offer EMU faculty a place to grow as an educator and to get to know their colleagues. We encourage faculty of all disciplines to apply for any of our Learning Communities that sparks their interest.
During the 2022-23 academic year, the FDC hosted a learning community called Teaching and Learning Together that aimed to develop and nurture partnerships between students and faculty on EMU’s campus. For the 2023-24 academic year, the FDC returns with a second learning community, this one focused solely on clinical education and student-clinical educator partnerships.
Inclusive STEM Teaching at EMU
This learning community was based on an NSF-funded free 6-week asynchronous online class for college instructors, the Inclusive STEM Teaching Project (ISTP) (here is its syllabus). Faculty, full-time lecturers, and part-time lecturers who were teaching or on leave during Winter 2023 were invited to participate. EMU instructors who successfully completed the work of this learning community received an honorarium of $200.
Teaching Using Oral History
Alexis Braun Marks and Matt Jones hosted a learning community during the Winter 2023 semester called Teaching Using Oral History that has evolved into an ongoing community of practice for those faculty on campus who are engaging with oral history methodology for their own personal research and want to improve or expand their practice; faculty who would like to learn more about the practice for potential inclusion in their classes; or faculty who are interested in this documentation practice that is growing in popularity both within academic and popular culture.
College in Prison
During the winter 2023 semester, we hosted a seminar to create the curriculum for a BA program at Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility (WHV). Due to restrictions on federal aid, we had been unable to offer credit for courses and have been relying on faculty volunteers to teach at WHV since 2008. However, this is changing thanks to newly available Pell Grants. This seminar brought together representatives from departments interested in being part of a liberal arts degree program. Participants served as liaisons to their departments to identify courses for this curriculum.
Navigating Sexual Violence
The purpose of the learning community was to support faculty who want to meaningfully challenge the culture of sexual violence. We offered hands-on, scenario-based, and evidence-driven best practices for addressing sexual violence in the classroom, including creating a trauma-informed syllabus, using (or not) trigger warnings, handling offensive comments and common myths, facilitating difficult discussions, responding to disclosures, and offering students a hopeful way forward.
Research Writers' Collaborative
The Research Writers' Collaborative group offered an opportunity for EMU faculty to support each other while achieving realistic writing goals (i.e. developing a conference paper, draft an article, revising a book chapter, etc.). This community also provided an opportunity for participants to give and receive helpful feedback on their writing as well.
Secondary Teaching Preparation Program
In 2018, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) announced their updated “students-first” teacher certification system. Since then, faculty across EMU’s colleges and departments have taken this opportunity to collaborate and revitalize our teacher preparation program to incorporate the new professional standards and state requirements, and we were able to launch our work and vision through a series of workshops hosted by COE and CAS faculty. These workshops described the draft blueprint of the program, introduced their guiding anchor principles, and reviewed high-leverage core teaching practices. This series of workshops informed as well as engaged participants in the work of integrating the anchor principles and core teaching practices in their activities and lessons. This initiative impacts faculty across EMU as many of us teach aspiring teachers in our content areas and general education courses, so all faculty, lecturers, and administration were invited to come to one or join all the planned sessions. Faculty and lecturers received an honorarium for participation in each session.
Equitable Educators Learning Community
Faculty, full-time lecturers, and part-time lecturers were invited to join this community of educators that is committed to developing cultural humility and committed to creating inclusive spaces and equitable outcomes for students. Members of the Equitable Educators Learning Community left this community with a plan for implementing the lessons learned into their classes.
Faculty Support Group
The Faculty Development Center invited faculty to join us for a chance to sit and talk to others about any concerns that they might have regarding job stresses and challenges. We envisioned honest and open discussion of the challenges we face, and also an opportunity to support each other, and rely on that support, as we deal with stress in our jobs and lives.
General Education Professional Learning Communities
The General Education (GE) program at EMU formed professional learning communities for three GE categories: Global Awareness (GEGA), US Diversity (GEUS), and Arts (GEKA). These learning communities are persistent and serve as opportunities to share learning activities and enrich our GE teaching and learning practices at EMU.
This seminar focused on critical pedagogy on sexual violence and provided a platform for faculty who wish to introduce a sexual violence component in their classes, and/or want to engage in critical discussions for institutional action or research on sexual violence.
Wellness and well-being have become, of late, very buzzy concepts in the world of higher education, but many of us wonder what do they really mean and how are we as educators meant to apply these concepts in our practice? In these seminars, we explore the ways in which we can enhance wellbeing in our educational environments and the ways in which wellness is deeply rooted in the reciprocity of our relationships.
Has the transition to online teaching inspired you to try innovative teaching strategies? Are you using an innovative online tool that has improved the impact of your teaching? Do you have an online teaching success strategy to share with others? Please check out our Improving Online Teaching learning community!