Effective teaching and learning methods are at the heart of what makes Penn State a leader in higher education. Those methods constantly evolve in an effort to match the rapid emergence of new technology that has the potential to transform education. Ideally, those evolutions will increasingly make a Penn State education more accessible and beneficial.

Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT) annually provides a resource that allows University faculty to be at the forefront of investigating how new technologies can support innovative pedagogy. Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) are open to tenure-track and teaching faculty at any Penn State campus, and each small cohort works together for a year toward a shared goal. Also, these groups can be formed cross-college, cross-campus, and/or cross-discipline.

Each FLC is created and led by a full-time Penn State faculty member with support coming from TLT. Leaders of these communities receive a $500 stipend and up to an additional $500 in funding to conduct lunches, tech tools sessions, guest speaker appearances, and other meetings with their FLC.

The group of FLC leaders for the 2018-19 academic year met a number of criteria in order to secure their roles. Along with enthusiasm for their topics, they were able to bring along at least three peers to participate in their FLC, collaborate with a TLT staff member on a kickoff meeting, schedule and facilitate regular meetings, and share their FLC’s outcomes at the TLT Symposium.

This year’s FLCs reach across Pennsylvania from Erie to Berks County and cover a broad range of topics from teaching data visualization to global learning in agriculture.

Here is the full list of 2018-19 Faculty Learning Communities at Penn State and their respective leaders:

FLC Leader                          Campus               Topic

Benjamin Lear                    University Park    Teaching of Data Visualizations

Dawn Pfeifer Reitz             Berks                   Innovative Instructional Technologies in the Classroom

Heather Cole                      Erie                       Digital Fluency and Content Development

Lara LaDage                       Altoona               Mentoring Undergraduate Student Researchers

Melanie Miller Foster &

Noel Habashy                     University Park    Global Learning in Agriculture

Neyda Abreu                      DuBois                 Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Chemistry

Beth Egan                           University Park    Open Education Resources: Local & Global Appeal