Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Kresge Library, Room 430
100 Library Drive
Rochester, Michigan 48309-4479
(location map)
(248) 370-2751
[email protected]

Two women sitting in a library talking

Learning Communities

Learning Communities are faculty-driven small groups that spend an academic year exploring a topic related to teaching and student success in higher education. Every winter faculty have an opportunity to submit an application to start an LC, and awarded LCs have $300 available for resources. Learn more about and participate in Learning Communities.

 More about Learning Communities and proposals.

Connect through Common Interests in Learning Communities

Are you looking to

  • Engage with other faculty, students or staff?
  • Build friendships and mentorships across campus?
  • Share a passion and knowledge for topics in teaching and learning?
  • Explore a deeper understanding of a topic through an interdisciplinary lens?
  • Expand your leadership skills in a smaller, relaxed setting?
  • Collaborate to tackle a problem in teaching and learning?

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning invites faculty to propose a 2024-2025 Learning Community focusing on teaching and learning topics of interest. See the full call for more on how the learning communities work, topic ideas, and funding support.

Call for Learning Communities: submit by April 15, 2024

Current LCs
Unlearning Grading: Alternative Assessment Strategies

Facilitators: Patrick Hillberg, Annie Sullivan, and Dawn Woods

  • Critically evaluate the use of traditional grades and grading approaches.
  • Explore alternative grading approaches that support students to have agency to learn.
  • Support instructors to empower students to take ownership of their learning.

Join Unlearning Grading LC

PASS! 2.0: Building Classroom Community

Facilitators: Charlene Hayden and Kathryn Schaefer

Join PASS! 2.0: Building Classroom Community

Adventure, Adapt and Achieve - The Triple A’s of Teaching

Facilitator: Subha Bhaskaran

  • Start a book club with books geared towards best teaching practices and tools.
  • Discuss ideas/strategies from the book club readings to improve effectiveness in teaching methods by adventuring new technologies and also to improve the quality of student learning by adapting those ideas.
  • Implement/demonstrate ideas in teaching classes and reflect on the outcomes.

Join The Triple A's of Teaching

What Are LCs?
What Is an OU Learning Community?

An OU Learning Community is an active, collaborative year-long program, meeting biweekly. Participants typically include 6-12 faculty, graduate students and professional staff from a variety of disciplines.

How do you lead a LC?

Those interested in facilitating an LC will:.

  • Submit a proposal to CETL
  • If accepted, seek membership and participation with assistance from CETL
  • Organize and facilitate regular sessions (approximately 2 times per month)
  • Submit final report
  • Share results of LC with others on campus
What are some examples of topics for a LC?
  • Alternative grading approaches
  • Antiracist teaching
  • Facilitating conversation on crucial topics (e.g., through books like Intellectual Empathy: Critical Thinking for Social Justice by Linker, 2015; Stop Talking: Indigenous Ways of Teaching and Learning and Difficult Dialogues in Higher Education, by Merculieff & Roderick, 2013; and Crucial Conversations)
  • Partnering with students on how to best create learning environments (e.g., students could participate as well through books like The Courage to Learn)
  • Trauma-aware pedagogy
  • Centering holistic wellness in teaching and learning
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), or first steps in studying and disseminating teaching practice
  • Teaching with technology (e.g. HyFlex, instructional videos, interactive content via H5P, social reading through annotation tools)
  • Mentoring undergraduate research
  • Active learning
  • Engaging students in large classes
  • Service learning and community engagement
  • Student learning through writing
  • Disseminating teaching practices via publications and other methods

Up to $300 is available for the following:

  • Books and materials related to the topic
  • Registration for events on learning community topic
  • Travel for regional or virtual expert on the selected topic to come to OU

Learning Community Facilitators will have to request funds for these or other purposes. CETL curates a list of teaching and learning conferences, prioritizing those that require less travel and cost.