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Thursday, June 19 • 3:00pm - 3:50pm
CON7.12 – Overcoming Pedagogical Solitude: The Transformative Power of Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) (Room A240)

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The teaching and learning centre and the Faculty of Law at our large, research-intensive university have developed a series of Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) as a response to the Faculty’s desire to “open their classroom doors” and offer a safe environment (framework, space and time) in which dialogue about specific teaching and learning themes of mutual interest can occur amongst colleagues at all career stages, and where innovative educational practices can be developed. These FLCs have provided an opportunity for participants both to foster and develop excellence in teaching and learning, as they have shared and documented existing teaching practices, designed new learning activities and forms of evaluation, exchanged feedback with peers, and considered next steps for tangible pedagogical change. By grouping diverse instructors together in a true learning community, these FLCs have helped transform the teaching and learning experiences in the Faculty of Law.

During the conference workshop, we will use two examples of FLCs that we have facilitated and in which we have participated to illustrate to session participants the process in which we engaged. The first FLC, “Rethinking your course”, focused on course re-design and has become a regular offering in the Faculty of Law. The second FLC, which was proposed by the instructors themselves, addressed the broader academic issue of how best to integrate and advance teaching and research.

Following an overview of the literature on FLCs and a short explanation of how this influenced our approach, we will explain the ways in which our FLCs were both similar to, and different from, the “traditional” approach. In each case, we will explain why we chose to emulate or differentiate our approach in terms of group composition [interdisciplinary versus faculty-specific], organization, and outcome.

During this session, our team (composed of FLC facilitators as well as a participant from the Faculty itself) will share critical reflections and lessons learned, illustrate the positive effects resulting from the rich conversations that occurred, and emphasize the potential transferability of these FLC experiences to other disciplines and institutions.

Thursday June 19, 2014 3:00pm - 3:50pm EDT
A240 McArthur Hall

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