Faculty Learning Communities

What are Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs)?

FLCs are small groups of teachers that come together periodically to discuss a particular topic, issue, or practice. The goal is to advance teaching and learning through reflection, dialog, and peer support while building networks among faculty with common interests and a diversity of experience.  In some cases an FLC may set out to create some document or resources, while in others the goal may simply be to share with and learn from colleagues.

How do I join an FLC?

There are a number of different opportunities to join an FLC on campus, including the TLTC's Elevate Fellows Program, the Office of Undergraduate Studies' Faculty Fellows Program, and various groups organized within college and departments.  Starting in the fall of 2017, the TLTC's FLC Fellows Program creates opportunities for faculty to propose, host, and participate in a semester-long FLC.  We will update this page when the fall 2017 FLCs are selected and scheduled.

What do our FLC Fellows do?

FLC Fellows are trained on facilitating effective community meetings and then take the lead in organizing the group’s activities and discussions throughout a semester.  Afterwards, they share their experience though some scholarly outlet (e.g., Innovations in Teaching & Learning Conference, Lilly Conference) or the creation of a resource reviewed and distributed by the TLTC.  This is a great professional development opportunity for the facilitator and participants, and an excellent addition for the instructors’ teaching portfolios.

How are FLC’s Fellows Funded?

Faculty selected as FLC Fellows will receive a total of $500 from the TLTC, to be transferred to their department or office, which can be used to support the FLC (e.g., additional resources, food, travel) and their own professional development (e.g., teaching or research resources, conference travel, organizational memberships). Funding may not be taken as salary or to buy out of teaching responsibilities.  The first $250 is transferred when the FLC is approved and at least six faculty members commit to attending the meetings. The remaining $250 is transferred after the TLTC receives confirmation of meeting participation and the Fellow’s final deliverable (e.g., conference presentation, resource submission and approval).  More details on funding requirements will be provided to Fellows in a service agreement.

As an incentive and thank you to faculty who join and participate in all scheduled meetings of a TLTC FLC, each will receive their choice of gifts from the TLTC's premium swag catalog.

How many people meet in an FLC?  How often do they meet?

FLCs can vary in size, but our goal is to have groups of 6-12 faculty members who all agree to meet at least five times within a specific semester or summer.  FLC’s are intended to be interdisciplinary, and although they may focus on a discipline-specific topic, the invitation to join the group must be open to all campus faculty.

Where do the FLCs meet?

The FLC Fellow will chose a meeting time and location.  We encourage you to meet in one of the Edward St. John spaces and we’ll help you schedule that if one is available for your meetings.  If you meet in ESJ we can provide water, coffee, tea and snacks for the meetings.

How do I become an FLC Fellow?

Any member of the faculty (tenure- or professional-track), staff, or administration at the University of Maryland is eligible to apply to be an FLC Fellow.  The TLTC will review proposals and (subject to funding availability) select those that address significant topics related to teaching and learning.  Preference will be given to proposals that explicitly link the FLC's goals to one or more aspect of the TLTC’s Fearless Teaching Framework

For the fall semester, please email a PDF attachment to tltc@umd.edu that addresses the following:

  • Your name, affiliation, and contact information.
  • What is the proposed topic of your FLC?  Why do you feel faculty would benefit from participating in it?
  • What do you anticipate asking faculty to do before and during the meetings?
  • What do you anticipate being the deliverable (e.g., scholarly presentation, paper, or the creation of a TLTC resource) at the conclusion of the FLC?
  • What experience, if any, do you have in facilitating small-group discussions, committees, or communities?
  • How will you use the funding?
  • List the specific dates and times of the meetings you plan to lead, and whether you have a location or will be requesting on in ESJ.  If approved, we will advertise the FLC with these dates and times so that participants can confirm their availability.

The deadline for proposing a fall FLC is August 25, 2017.

We will announce the schedule and sign-up process for the FLCs in our newsletter as they are confirmed.