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Learning Communities
      Faculty Resources

Top Ten Reasons to Teach a Learning Community:

  1. Renew Your Energy for Teaching - Not only do you reinvigorate your course by adding a central theme or lens to explore your discipline, but you also get to learn from other faculty. The students, the material and your teaching team all combine to invigorate your teaching.
  1. Learn Something New - As part of the learning community, you get to attend all the class lectures and discussions with your students and fellow faculty members. You get to become a student again, without having to do all the research yourself.
  1. Free Up Your Teaching - When you combine academic disciplines, you let your teaching partner take over a significant part of the class content, freeing you to focus on the most important aspects of your own discipline.
  1. Focus on the Texts - Because choosing a course theme often means that standard textbooks don't fit, most instructors choose their own primary texts. The additional readings become an important part of your class, and this focus helps students become more critical readers of primary sources.
  1. Make Connections - While most of the connections between disciplines come out in the course planning, inevitably new connections come from during class discussions. These moments make you look like a genius.
  1. Enjoy Creative Subject Matter - When you theme-atize your course, you have to reexamine the material and find the most important concepts in your discipline. Once you find those core ideas, you present them in new and innovative ways - a great way to tap into your creative energy.
  1. Present a United Front - As a team of teachers, you always have great backup. From keeping academic standards high to dealing with problem students, your teaching partner "has your back."
  1. Get More Time - Teaching in a two- or three-hour block gives you time that you do not ordinarily have in a daily class. This time makes watching films and completing in-depth discussion much easier.
  1. Attract Interested Students - Students in learning communities register for the class because there is something that interests them about the course theme and/or the learning environment.
  1. Gain Professional Development - Teaching with other faculty is the best form of professional development available. You have the chance to learn effective teaching methods you can incorporate into your stand-alone classes.

Some Useful Resources:

  • Compatibility Survey - This document has some important questions to consider before you sign up to teach with a colleague.
  • The Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education - Part of Evergreen College, the Washington Center offers training and curriculum planning retreats for LC faculty as well as a national conference and summer institute.
  • Deanza College's "Faculty Strategies for a Successful Learning Community" - This great list of strategies emphasizes key concepts for ensuring the success of your class.
  • LaGuardia Community College's "Pedagogy, Assessment and Links" - Near the bottom of the page is a list of faculty resources, including a great bibliography on LC research.
  • SCC LC Application Form - Joann Storment sends out an LC application a few months before the deadlines are due (early January for fall classes and mid-April for winter and spring classes). This file is an example of the application form.

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