Learning Communities

Recent literature suggests the potential of faculty learning communities to significantly impact teaching and learning (Polich 2008). As opposed to workshops or presentations, learning communities allow teachers time to systematically investigate a pedagogical question, reflect on the impact of curricular changes on student learning, receive feedback from peers, and build connections within the university community. While the learning community model generally focuses on full-time faculty (for example, Cox and Richlin, 2004), staff educators also play an important role in student learning, whether in the traditional classroom or through other modalities. "Faculty, administrators, and others must challenge students and each other to view learning as continuous and contagious in the biology lab, library, academic advisors' office, residence hall lounge, place of employment, student union, community service, and playing fields" (Kuh, Branch Douglas, Lund, Ramin-Gyurnek 1995). Scholarship on student affairs also emphasizes the potential of faculty and staff partnerships to deepen student learning (Astin 1993, Kuh, Schuh, Whitt and Associates, 1991).

In 2011-12, the Office of Faculty Development launched a faculty and staff learning community program.  The focus of the first year was fostering student success through evidence-based classroom inquiry. The learning community program continued in 2012-13 with  "Best Practices in Teaching Statistics and Research Methods" and in 2013-14, with "Flipped Classrooms." In 2014-15, the theme will be "Teaching with Technology."

FLC 2015-2016

This year's Faculty Learning Community is led by Dr. Miako Rankin.  This Faculty Learning Community will consider the principles in the book How Learning Works: 7 Research-based Principles for Smart Teaching by Susan A. Ambrose et al. and apply these principles to their classrooms. Participants will spend the fall semester exploring the principles themselves through group discussion of the book and their first-hand experiences in the classroom. During the spring semester, they will implement strategies for fostering classroom environments more conducive to real learning in their classes. Participants will then assess the results of these efforts and present to the campus community about their effectiveness.


Astin, A. W. (1993). What Matters in College: Four Critical Years Revisited. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Blaich, C. and K. Wise (2011). "From Gathering to Using Assessment Results: Lessons from the Wabash Study." NILOA Occasional Paper No. 8. Indiana: NILOA.

Cox, M. D. & L. Richlin (2004). Building faculty learning communities. New Directions for Teaching and Learning: No. 97. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Hutchings, P. (2010). Opening Doors to Faculty Involvement in Assessment. NILOA Occasional Paper No. 4. Indiana: NILOA.

Kuh, G., J. Schuh, E. Whitt & Associates. (1991). Involving Colleges: Successful Approaches to Fostering Student Learning and Development Outside the Classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Kuh, G., K. Branch Douglas, J. Lund, & J. Ramin-Gyurnek (1995). Student Learning Outside the Classroom: Transcending Artificial Boundaries. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Polich, S. Assessment of a faculty learning community program: Do faculty members really change? In L. B. Nilson &J. E. Millers (Eds.), To Improve the Academy: Vol. 26. Resources for faculty, instructional, and organizational development (pp. 3-17). Bolton, MA: Anker.

About Gallaudet
Campus Photos
Clerc Center
Contact Us
Employment Opportunities
Fast Facts
Make an Online Gift
Maps & Directions
Media Inquiries
University Communications
Visitors Center
English Language Institute
Financial Aid
Graduate Admissions
Graduate Orientation
International Admissions
Professional Studies
Test Center
Undergraduate Admissions
Academics & Research
Archives/Deaf Collections
Career Center
Catalog & Course Info
General Studies
Graduate Programs
Honors Program
Office of Academic Quality
Professional Studies
Registrar's Office
Research Support and International Affairs
Undergraduate Majors
Campus Life
Bison Shop (bookstore)
Campus Activities
Food Services
Public Safety
Residence Life and Housing
Washington, D.C.
Tools & Resources
Campus Directory
Daily Digest
Help Desk
Gallaudet Alert-subscribe
GU Press
Kellogg Conference Hotel
Maps & Directions
People @ Gallaudet
Shuttle Bus
Gallaudet University | 800 Florida Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20002
Copyright © 2014 Gallaudet University