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Learning Communities launched for faculty and staff
Monday, December 03, 2007

During the Spring 2008 semester, the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs will be sponsoring learning communities (LCs) for faculty and staff on four topics: service learning, diversity in the classroom, learning portfolios, and learning for the future. Each LC will have five to 12 participants and a budget of up to $800 for books, materials, and refreshments.

The purpose is to provide opportunities for faculty and staff to get together on a regular basis and explore a question of mutual interest. Each LC will decide how it will define and explore its topic. Listed below is further information about the meeting time and possible questions that might be addressed by each of the LCs. Instead of first gathering a group and then discovering that there is no time that the entire group is available, times and days have been identified for each group in advance; the group may decide to change its time/day after the initial meeting, but those who are interested should be sure that they are available at the posted time.

Persons interested participating should contact to Pam Fabritius in Academic Affairs at extension 3335 or through e-mail by Fri., Dec. 14.

Proposed communities include:

  • Service Learning (Mondays, 3 p.m.): What is service learning? How is it different from volunteer work in the community? How is service learning defined and used on other campuses? How do some courses and programs at SUNY Fredonia use service learning? What might we do here to make service learning a component of other courses and programs? 
  • Diversity in the Classroom (Tuesdays, 8 a.m.): What do we mean by “diversity” in the classroom? What are the challenges of recognizing and responding to the diversity of students within a class? How can faculty ensure that multiple perspectives are brought into classroom discussions? How have courses here and elsewhere effectively addressed diversity issues?
  • Learning Portfolio (Wednesdays, 3 p.m.): What are learning portfolios? How are these being used here and elsewhere to enhance student learning? How do learning portfolios differ across disciplines? How might learning portfolios be used in assessment? 
  • Learning for the Future (Thursdays, 8 a.m.): What are some of the short- and long-term expectations for the “future”? What sort of preparation do students need to live and work in the world of the future? 


Each learning community will be asked to provide an update about their inquiry toward the end of February and then a final report in late April or early May.

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