These are self-directed interdisciplinary groups of up to 12 faculty who meet over the course of a year (with a schedule they determine). They learn together from the literature, other universities, experts on these topics, and connect to their personal experience.
Drawing upon the appropriate resources for each community, we hope for the groups to be self-directed and reflective, to consider how to make changes in their own teaching, and through that process capture useful principles and best practices to share with other faculty. Each group will have a small budget to buy books, invite local experts, and share meals. This will be a great opportunity to get to know some of your colleagues well and to share in meaningful conversation.
We invite faculty interested in joining or initiating a learning community focused on teaching to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Registration for the antiracist teaching, assessment, and mentoring learning communities closed after August 15, 2021, but please return for new communities that are forming. The large lecture consortium is open to any faculty at any time.
Current Learning Communities
Antiracist Teaching Faculty Learning Community
In this learning community, faculty members come together to share innovative practices related to antiracist teaching. The group meets once per month for 90 minutes. Participants represent a variety of schools including, the SMFA, Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and the Friedman School of Nutrition. Each meeting, participants explore new concepts related to antiracist teaching, discuss ways to integrate these practices into their courses, and receive feedback on current challenges. The community will meet through the fall semester, and may continue beyond depending on the needs of the group.
Assessment Learning Community
Over the past year and a half, many faculty have experimented with and adapted the ways they think about and use assessment, grading, and evaluation of learning. This learning community will share our experiences and explore innovative assessment practices that support learning, equity, and the development of metacognition. These topics lie at the rich intersection of critical conversations going on at Tufts around anti-racism, rigor, learning, and evaluation of teaching.
Mentoring Learning Community
This learning community supports faculty in mentoring graduate students across the university. We will address a variety of topics of interest to the group, such as the role of a mentor vs. an advisor and how we can be culturally responsive to our mentees' needs. Participants engage in some individual preparatory work and meet synchronously 4-5 times over the course of the semester for 90 minutes each. During these peer-led synchronous meetings, we explore readings, case studies, participants' experiences, and more. Participation is comprised of both internal reflections and peer dialogue as we consider how to make changes in our own practice. We hope to collaboratively identify useful principles and best practices to share with other faculty on campus. This is a great opportunity to get to know some of your colleagues better, to share in meaningful conversation, and to improve your mentoring experience.
Transformational Teaching and Learning Learning Community
In this faculty learning community, through discussion of text and experiential activities, we will engage with the theory of transformational learning and how we can catalyze changes in students' world views and their sense of self as agents of change within the world while working within one's academic discipline. We will explore ways in which reflective practice for the instructor and student can help to create a community of practice where each may challenge their own worldviews while critically interrogating the theoretical paradigm and practices in which this is occurring. We will consider a variety of ways to conceptualize adult learners and the role of the instructor in that relationship, and in doing so, reflect on our practices to be more thoughtful, intentional, innovative, inclusive, and creative teachers. This learning community will be held monthly for 90-minute sessions during the Spring semester, beginning in February and concluding in May.
The Large Lecture consortium is an interdisciplinary faculty community composed of faculty who teach classes of over 70 students. Members of the consortium share experiences and strategies for enhancing learning for students in their large classes. Some sessions feature host speakers who facilitate discussions on topics of interest to the group.