Learning Communities

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What is a learning community?

A Learning Community (LC) is a small cohort of 5-10 faculty and staff from across the university who come together to co-learn. LCs meet regularly over the academic year to discuss a teaching and learning topic of interest and to contribute to a select outcome. Learning Communities are generally cross-disciplinary and are a great way to connect and collaborate.

 

Light bulk with idea spelled out with the cord, text says Proposals are open nowGet Involved with a Learning Community

If you have a teaching and learning topic that is of interest to you, chances are there are other people interested as well!  To propose a topic and/or serve as a lead facilitator, please complete the online proposal form. Proposals due date has been extended to Monday, October 18th.

Participant Sign-ups will open: Tuesday, October 19th – October 31st. Late admission will be allowed or decided by the group leader.

Final Showcase: Wednesday, May 18th, afternoon at the Truly House

 

 

Engaging in Learning Communities at UW Bothell

In the video, UW Bothell faculty and staff find community with colleagues across campus in the Learning Communities program. Participants share stories of their impactful experiences co-learning towards a shared interest.
 

 

Learning Communities 2021-2022 and FAQs

Participant Funds
Beyond the benefits of social support and discovery, all Learning Communities are eligible for some financial support.

Funds will be distributed to the learning group as a whole, based on the group ask/need, rather than at the individual level. Group funds can go toward purchasing tools, books, or training materials to be used during the year or to host events or workshops which many groups like to do at the end of the school year. Based on budget, the Office of Connected Learning hopes to be able to fund all proposed learning communities.  In the event that the total ask exceeds the available funds, we may need to embark on a review process. 

  • $25,000 available to share between all Learning Communities for 2021-2022.
  • Facilitators are required to attend a one-hour training
  • No individual participant funding (this is a change from former years)
  • All funds must be claimed and approvals obtained by April 30, 2022.
  • Funds cannot be used to hire students or be received as stipends.

LC funds can be used for supplies, events, honorariums, training, and more. Please reach out to the Office of Connected Learning with specific questions, Pam Ehrbar (pehrbar@uw.edu).

How can we learn what other LCs are doing? How do we share our group learning with others?
All LC participants will be invited to contribute to the LC blog throughout the year and/or to deliver a 5 minute "flash" talk at the Spring Showcase in May.

Steps to creating a Learning Community

Proposing a Learning Community
Learning community (LC) topics can be broad or narrow depending on the group and goal. Proposals for repeat LC’s will be considered. To propose a topic and/or serve as a lead facilitator, please complete the online proposal form. The Office of Connected Learning will help with signing-up participants, with a two-week period to register in October. An LC must have at least 5 participants (including facilitator/s) to run.

When selecting a topic, consider the following:            

  • How does this topic support the UW Bothell Strategic Plan?
  • How does this topic relate to the scholarship of teaching and learning?
  • Does the LC topic engage both staff and faculty?
  • Does the LC promote cross-unit and interdisciplinary collaboration?
  • How does this topic support UW Bothell’s diversity statement?
  • What is the potential impact/long term outcome of the LC?
  • Is this a repeat LC? If so, how will it build on previous efforts and engage new participants?

Establishing personal and group learning goals and objectives

Learning can take many forms. Decide with your team what it is that you hope to learn and/or to achieve before the end of the Spring quarter. Think about what you would like to share with the broader campus community about your learning experience.

Examples of previous LC outcomes

A lot can be done between five or more people over 8 months! Examples of former Learning Community Outcome/Products have included:

  • a campus workshop or presentation;
  • a resource kit;
  • a blog;
  • a white paper or publication;
  • a conference presentation;
  • a website or wiki;
  • a course design or re-design;
  • policy or process recommendations;
  • a multi-media resource;
  • or a book review

 

Responsibilities of Learning Community Facilitators & Participants

Primary responsibilities of Facilitators or Co-Facilitators include:

  • Helping to recruit members of the group [minimum of 5 per group, including facilitator].
  • Curating resources and/or readings for the group.
  • Helping group members delineate the LC objective/s and outcome/s.
  • Coordinating meeting times and locations.
  • Serving as a facilitator at meetings throughout the academic year (F/W/Sp--minimum of 6 group meetings). 
  • Contributing or assigning someone from your group to contribute a quarterly (blog) update on the LC blog.
  • Organizing the group flash talk, media, or other contribution for the Spring Showcase activity in May. 
  • Facilitators are required to attend a one-hour training

Responsibilities of LC Participants include:

  • Helping to recruit members of the group.
  • Reviewing group readings, resources, and/or materials in preparation of meetings.
  • Participating in the majority of you LC group meetings through the academic year.
  • Contributing to at least one of your group’s quarterly blog posts during the year at LC blog.
  • Contributing to your LC group’s (What did you learn?) presentation at the Spring Showcase in May.

 

Learning Communities Blog

Visit the Learning Communities Blog to learn about group updates! Sign up there to receive notifications of new posts!

Faculty and staff group members from the Behavioral Health of College Students Learning Community. Photo was taken while the group was on a planning retreat at Whiteley Center, Friday Harbor in January of 2020 (before COVID-19 restrictions). Read about this group's continued work in 2021 on the LC Blog! From left, Bryan White, Rosemary Simmons, Mo West, Hoa Appel, and Ko Niitsu / courtesy of Hoa Appel.