Spring 2014 Faculty Learning Community Invitation

CETL invites full-time faculty members to participate in a faculty learning community (FLC) which will meet 6-7 times during the spring 2014 semester to discuss learning-centered teaching.
TO: All Full-time Faculty

Debra Swoboda, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

DATE: Dec. 12, 2013

The FLC is a program designed for faculty who are practicing learner-centered teaching or who want to transition to a learner-centered approach − rather than solely using lecture and teacher-led discussion (teaching as telling) or experiential learning. Learner-centered teaching focuses attention on what students are learning, how students are learning, and whether students are retaining and applying the learning. While learner-centered teaching does not involve any particular strategy or approach, it does involve continued refinement of learner-centered techniques and seeing students as learning partners, utilizing both reflection and knowledge of research on learning in the process.


The Learner-Centered Teaching FLC will meet for 6 (six) 2-hour sessions during the spring 2014 semester. A common meeting time will be selected once interested faculty have indicated their desire to participate.

Participants will explore aspects of teacher-centered learning including:

  1. the steps to take to put into place learner-centered practices;
  2. the ramifications of a learner-centered approach; and
  3. the challenges associated with the practice of learner-centered teaching. Common readings will be taken from Learner-Centered Teaching: Five Key Changes to Practice (2nd Edition) (Weimer, 2013). FLC participants will have an opportunity to examine their own teaching practices, those of their colleagues, and research-based exemplars. The FLC will be facilitated by Debra Swoboda, CETL Director.

Participants will receive no remuneration for their participation in the FLC. Instead, the FLC is intended to be a voluntary, collegial environment for professional development of teaching.


The Learner-Centered Teaching FLC will support faculty in moving forward in the practice of learner-centered teaching. using strategies which will help students be transformed from novice to expert learners across the academic disciplines.  This initiative is in keeping with a movement in Centers for Teaching and Learning across CUNY and at the most prestigious universities around the world to support innovative pedagogy.

Faculty participants in the Learner-Centered Teaching FLC will:

  • Build deeper understanding of what learner-centered teaching is and is not;
  • Identify the transformations in teaching practice necessary for development of learner-centered teaching; and
  • Consider the challenges that make learner-centered teaching difficult to practice (e.g., student resistance, objections from colleagues, preference for conventional teaching methods, working with non-traditional students)


In order to evaluate the value of the FLC for professional development and plan any future iterations of the FLC, the faculty learning gained from FLC participation will be assessed on multiple levels:

  • Participation (characteristics of attendees)
  • Reaction to the FLC (interest and satisfaction)
  • Understanding of key concepts discussed in the seminar and changes in knowledge, attitudes, and skills; and
  • Intended application of strategies and instructional practices reflective of learner-centered teaching

Full-time faculty members interested in participating in the Learner-Centered Teaching FLC during the spring 2014 semester should email Debra Swoboda, CETL Director or call 718-262-2686

Please indicate any schedule limitations regarding possible session meeting times.