In our work across numerous institutions of higher education, we have seen faculty development programs increasingly use Communities of Practice (CoP) or Faculty Learning Communities (FLC) as a tool to promote active/results-oriented faculty participation on topics related to effective pedagogical practices including UDL. From our conversations with faculty and faculty development experts, several important questions have surfaced regarding the use of CoP/FLC including:
1. Given that “talking about your teaching” can be perceived as risky for some faculty, how do you ensure trust in the formation of a FLC?
2. What is more productive – a cross disciplinary or discipline specific FLC?
3. How can we reach part-time faculty with our FLC initiatives?
4. Should we pay faculty to participate? If so are we not promoting a culture of expectation for something that should be a part of their professional role?
What have been your experiences or possible strategies to address some of these key implementation questions?
Emiliano Ayala & Brett Christie
California State University system