Episode PA022: Creating Successful Online Faculty Learning Communities

by Jim and Beth Harger | The Professional Adjunct Podcast

In this episode, we sit down with Dr. Goode to discuss the opportunities provided by Faculty Learning Communities (FLC’s), an established method of small-group faculty development. She addresses the challenges in managing them, including participation, commitment, follow-through, and focus on goals—all of which are magnified if the faculty members are geographically separated. She also shares with us many of the positive outcomes and benefits from FLC’s and how they can be implemented at any institution. One of the interesting things about this is the competitive application process to take part in the FLC’s.

A Faculty Learning Community (FLC) is a cross-disciplinary faculty group of 5 or more members (8 to 12 is the recommended size) engaging in an active, collaborative, yearlong program with a curriculum about enhancing teaching and learning and with frequent seminars and activities that provide learning, development, interdisciplinarity, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and community.

Dr. Jennifer E. Goode is an instructor in the Department of Technical Communication at Mercer University in Macon, GA. She is the founder and director of Mercer’s Distance and Online Teaching (DOT) Lab, a collaborative initiative to support faculty development needs in the area of online teaching and instructional design. Prior to joining the faculty in the Technical Communication Department, she served as an online learning consultant for Mercer’s College of Nursing and College of Health Professions. Dr. Goode has served in both government and higher education organizations in the areas of computer-based training, document production and management, and online course management. Dr. Goode’s teaching and research interests include instructional design, online learning design and delivery, evaluation in organizations, and STEM/STEAM initiatives in public schools. She has previously taught at the University of Louisville and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Goode earned her Ph.D. and M.Ed. in Human Resource Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She earned her B.S. in Technical Communication from Mercer University.

One of the resources Dr. Goode refers to in our conversation is Achieving Teaching and Learning Excellence through Faculty Learning Communities by Milton D. Cox. You can find more information about FLC’s at http://www.units.miamioh.edu/flc/index.php.

Base Camp is a free project management application for educators. For more information, please visit their website at https://basecamp.com.