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Fall 2022 Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)

What is a PLC?

A Professional Learning Community (PLC) is a cross-disciplinary group of 8-12 faculty and academic staff who engage in a collaborative semester-long program to ask questions about innovations in teaching and learning, explore teaching innovations, and generate products of value to the campus community (e.g., surveys, policy papers, teaching tools, presentations, and manuscripts).

A PLC usually consists of several basic traits:

  • Cross-disciplinary (often combining faculty and professional staff)

  • 8-12 members (plus 1-2 facilitators)

  • Active, collaborative learning experience

  • Regular structured scholarly activities and discussions

  • Semester-length (though some run one year)

  • Often creates an end product (e.g., scholarship, conference, presentation, syllabus revision).


Fall 2022 PLCs

Mentoring Students

Facilitator: Dr. Sara Incera
Format: This PLC will meet bi-weekly in the fall. Exact dates/times are TBD, depending on participants' schedules.

The purpose of this PLC is to explore ways in which EKU faculty can mentor students beyond the classroom. The group will meet biweekly throughout the semester, and will cover the following topics: (1) recruiting students, (2) mentoring teaching assistants, (3) mentoring research assistants, (4) mentoring practicum experiences, (5) mentoring student leaders, (6) mentoring theses, (7) mentoring across disciplines, (8) university structures that support mentoring.

Register Here
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Open Educational Resources

Facilitators: Kelly Smith & Dr. Erin Stevenson
Format: This PLC will meet bi-weekly in the fall. Exact dates/times are TBD, depending on participants' schedules.

Recipients of Alternative Textbook Challenge Grants are required to attend this PLC, and any faculty interested in exploring Open Educational Resources (OERs) and open pedagogy are welcome to register as well.

Participants will:
1. Identify Open Educational Resources (OERs) and discuss their use in open pedagogy.
2. Examine the ways OERs can enhance teaching and learning and contribute to equity in the classroom.
3. Develop a zero textbook cost course using OERs, public domain, and library resources.

Register Here
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Relationship-Rich Education in Teaching & Learning

Facilitators:  Dr. Jose Juan Gomez-Becerra, Dr. Casey Humphrey, & Dr. Russell Carpenter
Format:  See schedule below

Relationship rich strategies have been found to increase student engagement, motivation, and inspiration to learn. In turn, these relationships create a more comfortable, accepting, and student-centered environment which promotes a more impactful learning environment. In this Professional Learning Community (PLC), participants will explore the principles of Peter Felten and Leo Lambert’s (2020) relationship-rich education (Relationship-Rich Education, 2020). In addition, participants will design and implement strategies into their course(s). Participants will have the opportunity to also engage in research and assessment regarding the use of these techniques for a forthcoming publication. Participants will receive a copy of Felten and Lambert’s Relationship-Rich Education, along with a packet of resources including videos, shorter articles, and resources.

August 22 - Introduction (Read Chapters: Introduction & Visions of the Possible)
August 29 - Understanding and Situating RRE (Read Chapters 2-4; with a focus on Chapter 4)
September 5 - Action Planning for Small Teaching Change (Read 5-6; with a focus on Chapter 5)
September 12 - October 16 Implementation
October 17 - Mid-Term Meeting
October 18 - November 6 Implementation
November 7 - Concluding Meeting I
November 14 - Concluding Meeting II

Register Here
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Ungrading: Using Personal Accountability to Inspire Intellectual Growth

Facilitators:  Dr. Travis Martin & Dr. Matthew Winslow
Format:  Bi-weekly meetings; Meets every other Monday at 2:00pm, starting on August 29

Research shows that grades limit creativity, discourage marginalized students, and undermine evaluative feedback. Students internalize grades, comparing themselves to others, putting extrinsic rewards above their interests and needs. But what is ungrading, and how can it be used in practical ways? Do you have to give up standards? Does it differ from mastery / skills-based approaches? Over the past three years, we have found that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Ungrading is not a noun. It is not prescriptive pedagogy. Instead, think of it as a verb - the same way you might think of courses as in a constant state of revision. Ungrading is continuously making small changes to move student emphasis away from grades and onto learning. As such, this PLC thrives on the inventive approaches developed by its participants, and we work collectively to ensure each other’s success.

To enhance our learning, we will discuss short articles, examples of ungrading, and read selections from Guskey and Brookhart’s “What We Know About Grading: What Works, What Doesn't, and What's Next” (2019). We will also hear from EKU faculty who are putting these theories into practice and discuss the results of the fall 2021 pilot that tested ungraded approaches in EKU’s General Education program. New and experienced “ungraders” are invited to join us in this popular Professional Learning Community’s third iteration.

Register Here

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