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Faculty Learning Communities

The Committee for Educational Technologies (CET) and Educational Technology Services invite faculty to join one of the faculty learning communities concerned with the integration of technology in teaching and learning.

A faculty learning community (FLC) is composed of faculty who meet regularly to discuss and explore a common area of interest related to the integration of technology in teaching and learning. The group defines its scope, schedule, and agenda. ETS will serve as a resource for the learning community and provide support as needed.

FLCs might address questions such as:

Tom Laughner, Director of Educational Technology Services, is available to answer any questions about the FLCs. Email Also, consult our Faculty Learning Communities FAQs.

2014-2015 Faculty Learning Communities

Media Creation to Enhance Student Learning
This FLC will explore how media technologies used either by the instructor or for student projects can enhance the student's learning experience. We will share project ideas, successes and challenges; work on skills needed to work effectively with media and to create video and audio; look at work flows and support structures for student media projects and cover other topics as they arise. Contact Jo Cannon (, x3472) to participate in this FLC.

Online Collaborative Student Writing
Facilitating student collaborative writing and work in online spaces is becoming more ubiquitous as the tools that enhance these processes become easier to use and learning objectives can more easily be supported.

At Smith, faculty have used WordPress for collaborative projects - ranging from media-enhanced final papers to generating ongoing peer-to-peer communication. Google Docs is another tool that provides an easy-to-use space for online collaboration.

In this FLC, faculty will spend the fall semester exploring WordPress, Google Docs (and possibly other tools) that can facilitate and enhance collaborative writing. We will spend the spring semester implementing the tools in a a course, reflecting on that implementation, and sharing the resulting best practices with one another. Contact Deborah Keisch (, x3020) to participate in this FLC.

Cultivating Virtual Community: An exploration of e-communication tools and tactics
In his book Teaching Naked, Dr. Jose Antonio Bowen argues that, "the ability to reach our students wherever they are means that we can extend the classroom and hence the conversation." With constant connectivity being the norm for most students, he encourages faculty to embrace e-communications as a means to increasing engagement and decreasing barriers to learning.

Participants in this faculty learning community will discuss Bowen's work and share their ideas and interests in social media and cultivating virtual community. Participants particularly interested in the use of web conferencing for eLearning and virtual office hours may also choose to participate in a 1-year Adobe Connect pilot. Contact Yasmin Eisenhauer (, x2636) to participate in this FLC.

Beyond Multiple Choice
Interest has recently grown in using technology to create interactive out-of-class quizzes. For some disciplines, it can be challenging to design meaningful online quizzes, especially where the questions and answers require special formatting or processing: Mathematics, Computer Science, Economics, Chemistry and Music, among others. Participants in this Faculty Learning Community will share their successes and frustrations with various kinds of advanced question types for online quizzes.