Teaching Communities

The Teaching Commons facilitates collaboration and cooperation among groups of instructors who want to pursue a particular topic in greater depth by hosting and supporting Teaching Communities.

Teaching Commons staff routinely facilitate a community that is open to all faculty and staff as well as specific communities that extend the learning from workshops we offer. Yet we are also available to support any other Teaching Community that faculty and staff want to create around an topic of special interest to them.

We can support your work by promoting teaching communities to departments across the university; creating physical and virtual meeting spaces; processing registrations; providing expertise in instructional design, instructional technology, library resources, and other areas as appropriate; and sharing updates and outcomes with the broader CU community.

If you'd like to start or promote a Teaching Community, please submit an Instructional Design Request or email us at instructionaldesign@carrollu.edu.

Commons Conversations

Commons Conversations is the name of a recurring Teaching Community for all faculty and staff that explores various topics in teaching and learning over the course of the academic year. Part book club, part brown-bag workshop, and part community of practice, these Conversations are meant to provide participants with the opportunity to:

You can join our Conversations anytime during the year and there is no obligation to attend every month. Participants are only asked to read, listen to, or watch the material we'll be discussing in advance of each meeting to ensure that these Conversations are purposeful, worthwhile opportunities that will support our work as educators.

Two meeting times will be offered each month covering the same material, so you can choose the meeting day/time that works best for your schedule. We're sorry we cannot accommodate everyone's schedule, but when possible, we will post links to the material from this page so you can work through it on your own as well. We also plan to meet in person on the main campus. Please reach out to Kristen Trader (ktrader@carrollu.edu) if you need to attend remotely for a particular meeting.


Teaching in Higher Ed

For the 2022-2023 academic year, Commons Conversation will be focused on insights offered by colleagues from across the country on the podcast, Teaching in Higher Ed. The podcast - hosted by Bonni Stachowiak, Dean of Teaching and Learning at Vanguard University - has over 400 episodes on teaching, learning, and productivity in academia. You can find it on Spotify, Stitcher, and Apple Podcasts or listen directly from the website.

In preparation for our Conversations, participants are asked to listen to a few episodes selected for each month, grouped around a particular theme, following the schedule listed below. This schedule is a preliminary list. As we progress through the year, we might switch out some of the topics or episodes as participants identify other areas of interest they want to explore.

Sept. 28 @ 12:00 & 29 @ 1:00 - What Does It Mean to Learn Anyway?
MacAllister 113, Bryce Styza Conference Room

By now the semester is humming along and students are learning all the things. Right? Learning is both fundamental to what we do and a bit of a mystery. But research is uncovering more and more about what it means to learn. Join this Conversation as we discuss the following episodes from Teaching in Higher Ed about understanding how people learn and thus how we can facilitating that learning in our courses.

Oct. 26 @ 12:00 & 27 @ 1:00  - (Re)Engaging Students in the Learning Process
MacAllister 113, Bryce Styza Conference Room

Turning the corner on the semester, are you (and your students) running out of steam? Let's talk about ways that we can infuse our teaching with new strategies that not only re-engage students but deepen their learning. Join this Conversation as we discuss the following Teaching in Higher Ed episodes addressing active learning and engagement strategies.

Nov. 30 @ 12:00 & Dec. 1 @ 1:00 - The Problems & Potentials of Grading
MacAllister 113, Bryce Styza Conference Room

Since we're heading into the end of the term, let's talk grading! We're all doing it, but what are the different options we have? And how can we make our grading practices align with our values? Join this Conversation as we discuss the following Teaching in Higher Ed episodes focused on exploring the promises (and perils) of grading.

Plus more meetings coming in Spring 2023! Check back in late Fall for those dates and topics.

Student-Ready Teaching Community

This Teaching Community is an extension of the Student-Ready Instructor workshop series, which explores strategies in assessment, instruction, and engagement that address concerns about helping students achieve outcomes while meeting students where there are as learners. Those who have participated in the workshop series are invited to meet regularly for personalized advice, collaborative problem solving, and community support as they implement student-ready strategies in their courses.

To join this community, you must have participated in at least one of the Student-Ready Instructor workshops:

Once you have participated, you will be emailed an invitation to join the community. Participation in the community is not required of those who attended the workshops. This is merely meant to be a way to support one another in this important work.

Haven't attended a Student-Ready Instructor workshop yet? No problem. The whole workshop series will be offered again in January 2023, so you can join our community for Spring term. Or you can participate in the series in May 2023 and join our community next year.

Panoramic View of campus