Faculty Learning Communities

Faculty Learning Communities

Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) provide a deep dive into a single subject over a year. FLCs are faculty-led communities of six to 12 members that are designed to foster communication across disciplines and drive innovation in teaching and learning. Members spend the year reading, researching, discussing and exploring solutions to an issue or question at the heart of their community’s inquiry. At the end of their projects, FLCS will share their work and products with the university community through various outreach events. Communities are formed and begin working at the start of the academic year (fall semester).

2024-25 CITL Faculty Learning Communities - Community info coming soon

The Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL) invites all full-time instructional faculty to facilitate or co-facilitate a Faculty Learning Community during the upcoming 2024-2025 academic year. 


2023-2024 CITL Faculty learning Communities

Click below for descriptions of our current group of FLCs.


Writing Pedagogy in Praxis

Facilitator: Heather O’Leary, Anthropology (oleary@usf.edu)
This FLC gives faculty the opportunity to breathe new life into their assessment prompts while pushing forward on their own writing goals.  Participants will propose, test, and provide feedback for group-generated writing prompts ultimately learning how the ways we design our questions can lead to richer outcomes in our students' and our own writing.  USF joins two other universities around the country meeting virtually with the option of a few in-person meetings rotating among OneUSF campuses.


Diagnosis Assessments for Improving Learning and Teaching

Facilitator: Yi-Hsin Chen, Educational and Psychological Studies (ychen5@usf.edu)
This faculty learning community is devoted to development and analyses of diagnosis assessments for improving instructors’ teaching and students’ learning, simultaneously. Item analysis data from quizzes on Canvas will be used to evaluate students’ learning outcomes.


Meaning, Purpose, and Spirituality in Higher Ed 

Facilitator: Lillian Abadal, Philosophy (lmking2@usf.edu)    
The main objective of this group is to encourage discussion about life’s big questions in the classroom, particularly among pre-professional programs at USF. To this end, this group supports one another in further developing pedagogical approaches to facilitate conversation about meaning, purpose, and spirituality in a pluralistic setting. Together we develop shared resources, collaborate on research projects, and spearhead new curricular initiatives. 


Innovative Teaching and Learning with AI 

Facilitator: Elizabeth Cass, Criminology (ecass@usf.edu)  
ChaptGPT burst on to the scene for most people sometime around December 2022. Within this community, we aim to delve into the realm of AI and its potential to enhance teaching efficacy, along with its possible role in nurturing students' critical thinking abilities. We will explore ways in which AI can contribute to the improvement of teaching methods and strategies. 


Teaching General Education Courses: A Collaborative Exploration

Facilitator: Prashanth Ramesh Rao, Molecular Biosciences (prao@usf.edu)  
Faculty teaching enhanced general education courses (e.g. ERCE or HIP courses) with a strong interest in improving them further, will meet once a month to share and evaluate syllabi, share their current challenges, review each other’s assignments and develop new ideas for assignments to be implemented in their own courses. The community will also review literature for best practices relevant to general education courses. The FLC will collectively summarize and share what they learned at the end of the academic year at a CITL poster event and/or to their respective departmental colleagues. 


RheLiC: Cross-Track Collaboration in English

Facilitators: Kristin Allukian (kallukian@usf.edu), Nathan Johnson (nathanjohnson@usf.edu), and Jarod Roselló (jrosello@usf.edu), English  
Our Faculty Learning Community will work to develop an integrated multidisciplinary curriculum model that draws from each English department specialization—rhetoric and composition, literary studies, and creative writing (RheLiC). This model will leverage both the specialization and cross-disciplinary benefits of the English department in order to enhance student development by emphasizing breadth as well as depth. During the year, RheLiC will assess evidenced-based approaches for integrated course curriculum development to produce a mentoring document that can assist others in developing a multidisciplinary plan that serves USF's core strategic goals.


Integrating USF Sustainability Initiatives into Openly Accessible Data and Curricula 

Facilitators: Christopher Sturgeon (csturgeo@usf.edu) and Theresa Burress (tburress@usf.edu), USF Libraries 
Join our community, where USF faculty across disciplines and campuses unite to explore innovative ways of integrating UN Sustainability Development Goals into instruction and research. Dive into rich discussions, exchange ideas and perspectives, and collaborate to build a sustainability-focused data infrastructure to benefit local initiatives toward interdisciplinary teaching, learning, and research. 


Virtual Global Exchange

Facilitators: Nazek Jawad, High Impact Practices and Undergraduate Research (nazek@usf.edu) and Russell Clayton, Business (rwclayton@usf.edu)  
USF World is collaborating with CITL to deliver a Virtual Global Exchange (VGE) program to the USF community. This program is offered virtually and takes the form of a workshop series, Canvas course and learning community. Each participant will receive a digital badge by actively participating in and completing the year-long program [workshops, partnering events, and course design). 


Previous FLC Cohorts

Below are the specific communities, faculty facilitator(s) and a description of the work they engaged in throughout the academic year. Please contact individual facilitators with questions about that group. For general questions about the FLC program, please contact CITL at citl@usf.edu  



Professionalization for the English Major

Facilitator: Cynthia Patterson, English (cpatterson@usf.edu)
"What can I do with a degree in English?" Participants in this FLC will provide answers to this question by modifying a course syllabus and developing a lesson plan to embed a professionalization assignment into their courses. In this way, students pursuing Literary Studies (LTS), Creative Writing (CRW), or Professional/Technical Communication (PTC) concentrations in English begin to practice skills connecting their classroom learning to the world of work.


Cheating, Plagiarism, and Forgery, OH MY!

Facilitator: Alison Oberne, Public Health (aoberne@usf.edu)
Violations of academic integrity continue to rise and evolve as we see new uses for technology and shifts in teaching and learning practices. The purpose of this FLC is to discuss academic integrity concerns that faculty face. Then, as a group, we will develop tools to be used broadly at USF for faculty guidance and/or student engagement. Examples may include worksheets for faculty in navigating academic integrity violations or Canvas modules for students. 


Decolonizing Social Science and Humanities Courses FLC: A Pedagogical Shukūk

Facilitators: Kiran Jayaram, Anthropology (kjayaram@usf.edu) and Tangela Serls, Women's and Gender Studies (serlst@usf.edu)
This FLC is an interdisciplinary project designed to a) foster learning about various ways "decolonization" has been applied to intellectual work, b) support participants' critical examination of their existing teaching (i.e., shukūk, Arabic meaning "doubt"), and c) to create new pedagogical materials that reflect their learning and pedagogical reflection. The FLC brings together instructors of various levels as a peer-based support network for collaboration on re-imagining and decolonizing syllabi, assignments, activities, classroom environments, student-teacher interactions, or other pedagogical domains. This process will allow participants to implement decolonial practices to create a more inclusive classroom, thus facilitating success for all students, especially those from historically marginalized groups.


Accommodations, Accessibility and Ableism in Academia

Facilitators: Jamie Sommer, Sociology (jamiesommer@usf.edu), Adam Davidson, Judy Genshaft Honors College (adamdavidson@usf.edu), and Deborah McCarthy, Student Accessibility Services Director (dmccarthy@usf.edu)
Using Jay Timothy Dolmage’s 2017 text, Academic Ableism: Disability and Higher Education as the starting point for discussion, this FLC strives to create a community of faculty interested in exploring disability and accessibility as diversity.


Teamwork Resources for STEM Students

Facilitators: Sheila Gobes-Ryan, Engineering (gobes@usf.edu) and Nancy Barr, English 
This faculty learning community will research and develop resources to assist faculty and students in building skills such as creating team charters, managing conflict, and planning workflow within existing coursework and other student activities.


Public Scholars

Facilitator: Heather O'Leary, Anthropology (oleary@usf.edu)
This FLC will teach faculty at varying levels of public scholarship to increase the reach of their research dissemination to the public, stakeholders, and interdisciplinary colleagues. Podcasting and other new educational technologies will be used to demonstrate the broader impact of our research to everyday issues faced by regular people. This will ultimately empower us and our students to be both better listeners and teachers to our wider communities.




Learning Analytics to Address Inequities in STEM

Facilitator: Sarah Lee, Integrative Biology (lee7@usf.edu)
Before disparities like achievement gaps in STEM can be addressed, they must be documented and understood. The long-term goals of this learning community are to:

  • Identify questions about students and courses,
  • Access, analyze and visualize de-identified data specific to each question,
  • Reflect on data,
  • Communicate results to home departments, and
  • Develop strategies to address findings.


Language Teachers for Technology Literacy and Innovation

Facilitator: Matt Kessler, World Languages (kesslerm@usf.edu)
This faculty learning community is devoted to developing language teachers' literacy when it comes to engaging with and/or adopting different technologies in the classroom. Group sessions will focus on expanding teachers' knowledgebases of digital games and tools through a combination of peer-to-peer sharing activities, invited guest presentations discussing tips and best practices, and more.


Working the Process

Facilitator: Brianne Stanback, Health Sciences (bstanback@usf.edu)
The purpose of Working the Process is to bring together a faculty community interested in learning more about different process writing assignments and activities, drafting or updating process writing assignments, developing strengths-based review strategies, and creating resources for future use.  This FLC might make students, and maybe ourselves, better authors


Developing Tomorrow's Researcher

Facilitator: Heather O’Leary, Anthropology (oleary@usf.edu)
Adjusting from mentoring in a classroom to actively structuring and managing a research lab is an abrupt transition that faculty receive surprisingly limited training to overcome.  This FLC is designed to focus on innovative student research management techniques to streamline key dimensions like record-keeping, personnel development, and maintaining the heart of research.


Taking the Stress Out of Teaching Classes with International Students

Facilitators: Meghan Bratkovich, Foreign Language and ESOL Education (bratkovich@usf.edu) and Jane Harvey, INTO USF (jkharvey@usf.edu)
Since 2010, the number of international students at USF has risen from 1300 to around 4500, with the onus of adapting to teaching increasingly multilingual/multicultural classes left on faculty of all disciplines. This FLC is intended to explore teaching approaches and classroom strategies that reduce faculty stress and support the learning of all students, both domestic and international.


Developing Open-Access Media to Support Florida Interdisciplinary Climate Justice Education

Facilitator: Alexandra Panos, Literacy Studies (ampanos@usf.edu)
Climate change, or the climate crisis, is widely understood to be a mega-challenge that exacerbates existing inequities and injustices. Teaching about the climate crisis, and how to act towards ecological justice, locally drives this Faculty Learning Community. As a group of cross-disciplinary and cross-campus faculty, we seek to develop, implement, and research interdisciplinary curricular materials that span the educational lifespan of Florida students in engaging with the unique needs of our precious and precarious environment.


Facilitating Critical Thinking through Student Writing

Facilitators: Morgan Gresham, English (gresham@usf.edu) and Alaina Tackitt, English (atackitt@usf.edu)
Our Faculty Learning Community focuses on facilitating critical thinking by creating and cultivating resources for faculty and administrators related to the development, evaluation, and assessment of writing tasks that allow students to demonstrate critical thinking skills. Our broad goal is to expand conversations around critical thinking across the university and to contribute to a robust, interdisciplinary understanding of the concept. By co-constructing disciplinary definitions of critical thinking, synthesizing elements that are essential to our institutional goals and curriculum, and connecting them to broad contexts, such as the AAC&U Value Rubric, our FLC will design resources on teaching critical thinking skills, developing critical response tasks, evaluating student writing for critical thinking, and assessing the samples as connected to student learning outcomes. Members will be encouraged to construct writing tasks for their courses, which will allow us to include students and their feedback in our conversations and to operationalize evaluation and assessment approaches.