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An educator learning community, or ELC, is a group of educators that meets regularly to learn together around a shared topic or purpose. Regardless of the topic, there are generally two overarching goals in an ELC: 1) to increase the skills and knowledge of participants through collaborative study and professional dialogue, and 2) to support the educational aspirations, achievement, and success of students through stronger mentoring, leadership and teaching.

Once an ELC group is formed, it is a “closed” group, thus allowing participants to form a safe community in which they can learn with and from one another. Space is limited; apply early (deadline August 27, 2021).

NKU’s Center for Teaching and Learning will facilitate the following ELCs in Fall 2021

Transparent Assignment Design Learning Community

This learning community is for instructors who want to apply the principles of transparent assignment design into their courses to support student learning. Research has shown that transparent assignment design is associated with durable and equitable student learning. Members of this learning community will support each other by sharing assignment design practices and providing feedback on colleagues’ assignments and questions. Participants will explore different methods and approaches to applying principles of transparent assignment design and developing ways to evaluate how transparent design is impacting student learning in their classrooms.

Time: Thurs. 2pm

Click Here to Register for the Transparent Assignment Design ELC

Breaking the LMS

This learning community will explore methods and tools that center the students’ needs and experiences within the online course environment, acknowledging the student as a full person. Specifically, we’ll interrogate the technology that we use, including Canvas, to determine how it limits our students’ sense of belonging to the community, and how we can break down the barrier that the technology creates in order to reach our students in a meaningful way. We will explore online resources and tools that will help us break down the barriers to learning and interacting with students in an online environment. We will explore creative ways to engage the student as a whole person, rather than relying on a one-dimensional, digital facsimile. This will be for faculty and staff who are developing and delivering courses either partially or fully online. We will spend the first couple of sessions with introductions and an exploration of the theme; create a list of limitations and problems we run into with technology and teaching online, interacting with our students, and so forth. Then, in the remaining weeks, we will take each session to brainstorm solutions to the most prevalent problems and limitations of our current learning technologies and work through methods for implementation.

Time: Wednesday Noon-1:30

Click Here to Register for Breaking the LMS

Bringing Open Pedagogy to the Classroom

In this learning community, we will explore open pedagogy in the classroom and how together we can identify, apply, and create open educational resources for your course and beyond. Facilitated by Crissy Ross (Scholarly Communications Librarian) and Stephanie Korslund (Instructional Designer), each week we will explore a different area of open pedagogy. Studies show students who cannot afford textbooks drop classes because of financial burden, avoid registering for specific courses, and even take fewer classes overall. The use of open educational resources has been connected to increased student learning while reducing barriers of cost and access. Participants in this ELC will learn more about the open movement and how they can integrate open pedagogy into their own teaching practices.

Time: Wednesday 10-11:15.

Click Here to Register for Bringing Open Pedagogy to the Classroom

First Year Experience: Common Read

The First Year Experience provides a wide array of opportunities to engage with students in the classroom and across campus. This ELC will provide participants with an opportunity to discuss the readings assigned for the FYE (a.k.a. the common experience) and other events and programs on campus associated with the theme Democracy & Education. Participants will gain a strong knowledge base and comfort level as it pertains to "talking politics" in the context of the FYE. This ELC will be a support group for instructors teaching FYE materials.

Time: Tuesday 10:50-12:05

Click Here to Register for First Year Experience ELC

Teaching (and Reaching!) First-Year Students

Do you teach courses primarily aimed at students in their first year at NKU? Have you encountered challenges with this student population, or are you interested in finding ways to reach first-year students more effectively? Do you enjoy teaching first-year students and want to invest more time in creative pedagogy that targets them? If so, then this ELC is for you! This hands-on ELC will focus on pedagogical problem-solving and innovation, covering topics such as rethinking assignments for greater student engagement and improved student success, cultivating a culture of belonging, creating course policies that work, and more. We will also talk about how High Impact Practices (HIPs) can transform courses in which you teach first-year students. While we may read short pieces to inform our conversations some weeks, this is not a reading group! The primary preparation for our meetings will involve reflecting on your teaching, talking to your students, and, once we get comfortable enough to share, looking at real teaching materials from others in the ELC.

Time: Monday: 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM

Click Here to Register for Teaching (an Reaching!) First-Year Students

Classroom Level High Impact Practices ELC

We often hear about High Impact Practices (HIPs) and how to implement them in the classroom. HIPs teaching and learning practices have been widely used at the classroom and program level and research shows they work. Not only do they engage students in substantial learning experiences, but they also inspire educators to think outside traditional parameters of learning. This ELC is for educators who want to explore a variety of HIPs, share ideas and experiences, develop strategies for the classroom, and learn from others. High Impact ELCs are designed to accommodate faculty at all levels of implementation (from information-gathering to expert practitioner). Consider joining this ELC to learn more about classroom HIPs such as the ePortfolio, capstone experiences, service learning, undergraduate research, collaborative learning, and more. See for a list of HIPs.

Time: Monday 10-11:30

Click Here to Register for Classroom Level HIPs ELC

Program Level High Impact Practices ELC

High Impact Practices (HIP) are teaching and learning practices have been widely tested and have been shown to be beneficial for college students from many backgrounds. Many HIPs can be implemented by faculty in the classroom, but others are developed and run at the program level or even University level. This ELC is meant for faculty, staff and administrators interested in learning more about these program level HIPs and how to begin their implementation in your program.

Time: Tuesday 9:25-10:40

Click Here to Register for Program Level High Impact Practices ELC

High Impact Practices (HIPs)-Working Group

Have you participated in the HIPs ELC previously? Or have you worked independently to add HIPs to your classes? If so and you would like to join a group of educators to share documents and get feedback, this is the perfect ELC. We will spend some time early in the semester introducing and discussing the new rubrics for HIPs. The rest of the semester we will spend sharing assignments, ideas for classes and providing feedback on these items. We will create a positive and supportive environment for sharing and discussing our work so please join us!

Time: Wednesday 10-11:30

Click Here to Register for HIPs Working Group

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning ELC

This ELC is designed for faculty who want to learn more about SoTL research opportunities and methodologies, ideally with the goal of initiating a SoTL project this year. Participants will receive the text Engaging in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (Bishop-Clark & Dietz-Uhler, 2012) and will be invited to share project ideas and IRB proposals, and manuscripts with the group.

Time: Wednesday 2-3:30

Click Here to Register for SoTL ELC

Early Career Faculty ELC

This ELC is designed for faculty and teaching staff who are in the early stages of their careers. Due to our new mentoring circles for tenure track faculty, the group this Fall will primarily focus on issues relevant to NTTT, NTTR, and Adjunct Faculty. Topics may include: student success, annual performance review, teaching and work-life balance. Participants will drive the topics so come with your questions about how to navigate all aspects of teaching at NKU.

Time: Tuesday 2-3:30

Click Here to Register for Early Career ELC

Book Study: An Urgency of Teachers

In this learning community, we will read and discuss Sean Michael Morris and Jesse Stommel’s An Urgency of Teachers: The Work of Critical Digital Pedagogy. Stommel served as the final keynote speaker at this year’s Summer Online Faculty Institute. Through a series of essays, the authors explore pedagogy, how to use the full range of resources on the internet to teach, and advocate for the importance of humans at the center of our teaching practices.

Time: Tuesday 1-2:15 PM

Click Here to Register for An Urgency of Teachers Book Study

Book Study: Black, Brown, Bruised

This ELC, co-facilitated by the Center for Integrative Natural Science & Mathematics and the Black Faculty and Staff Association, will read and discuss Ebony Omotola McGee’s book Black, Brown, Bruised: How Racialized STEM Education Stifles Innovation. Drawing on narratives from hundreds of Black, Latinx, and Indigenous people, McGee examines the experiences of underrepresented racially minoritized students and faculty members who have succeeded in STEM and the toll that such success has exacted. McGee advocates for structural and institutional changes to address racial discrimination, stereotyping, and hostile environments in an effort to make the STEM field more inclusive. This ELC will be offered in a hybrid format alternating book discussions and guest panels.

Time: Thursday 10:50-12:05

Click Here to Register for Black, Brown and Bruised Book Study