Learning Communities

**Update: You’ll find a list of the funded proposals for learning communities here.

The Teaching and Learning Committee (TLC) calls for applications for learning communities starting in Spring 2015.

A learning community brings together a group of faculty, staff, and students to explore a specific theme related to teaching and learning. The goal of the group is to create a supportive space where members can dedicate sustained attention to a pedagogical issue, experiment with new approaches to teaching and learning, and engage in research on the topic or question.

The initiative for learning communities emerged out of TLC’s desire to support programming that has the potential to be sustainable. Research suggests sponsoring a single event on an issue is rarely enough to result in lasting change. Learning communities give groups of faculty, staff, and students the opportunity to focus on an issue and generate an action-oriented plan in response.

TLC recognizes that research on teaching and learning may take different forms depending on the issue under investigation and the disciplinary composition of the learning community. Examples of scholarship may include research on the scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL), program-building, institutional research (e.g., focus groups, surveys), and/or research in the disciplines that helps illuminate the phenomenon of interest.

TLC anticipates funding 2 or 3 awards to be used spring semester to pilot this new initiative. Each award will range from $500 to $1000. All topics related to pedagogy are encouraged. The committee is particularly interested in proposals with the potential to enhance curricular and co-curricular teaching and learning  on campus in significant ways.

The person who submits the proposal will serve as the Learning Community Coordinator (LCC) and will be responsible for recruiting participants, scheduling meetings, keeping records of attendance, managing the budget, and submitting/presenting the deliverable.

The LCC must submit the following in their proposal:

  • A title and ca. 250-word description of the learning community. The description should include a justification for the learning community and how it will advance teaching and learning. (Descriptions of successful proposals are posted to the TLC’s website.)
  • A list of participants. Priority will be given to learning communities with a strong faculty, staff, and student composition.
  • A budget indicating how the funds will be spent and/or distributed.
  • A timeline of when and how often members will meet.
  • A description of the action-oriented deliverable that will be produced. This will also be presented at a TLC luncheon. (Examples of deliverables may include, but are now limited to, grant applications, presentations or articles, curricular infusion, teaching or advising tools, or a program series. Pedagogical experimentation is encouraged.)

Proposals are due to tlc@pitzer.edu