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 two 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 2019 Professional Learning Communities

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Dr. Jill Parrott & Dr. Eileen Shanahan
Meeting Time: Wednesdays at 11:15 am
Meeting Location: Faculty Center for Teaching & Learning (FCT&L)

Have you ever thought to yourself “My students are writing this research paper, but are they really getting it?,” or “I assign this great reading, but when I ask them to write about how they’d apply the ideas, they seem confused”? This Quality Enhancement Plan-sponsored professional learning community will provide tools to discuss academic purposes for including assignments that bring together reading and writing and will stress practical approaches for teaching students to “read like writers.” The Read/Write Connection PLC will ask whether our traditional writing assignments lead to a shallow understanding of disciplinary reading and whether “emphasizing the intellectual processes of reading, including the role genre plays in understanding” can better meet the learning goals we have for our students and their needs for success in their academic programs and careers (Manarin, Carey, Rathburn, and Ryland 64).

Learning Outcomes

Participants will
  1. better understand research behind the cognitive connections between reading and writing for college-level curriculum,
  2. examine ways to improve student reading as a means to improve research-based or application-based writing, and
  3. create assignments and assessments for courses and/or research that makes explicit the connection between college-level reading and writing and reflects disciplinary best practices.

DEEP Course Connections: Critical Reading

Learning Threads: Pedagogy

Texts and Resources: Critical Reading in Higher Education by Manarin, Carey, Rathburn, and Ryland 

Register for the Read/Write Connection PLC


Integrating Transparency in Learning & Teaching (TILT) to Promote Student Engagement in the Classroom

October 2019

Facilitators: Dr. Shirley O’Brien, Dr. Russell Carpenter, & Dr. Timothy Forde
Meeting information: Wednesdays, 1:00-2:00pm (Meetings: October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30)
Meeting Location: Faculty Center for Teaching & Learning (FCT&L)

Are you interested in improving student learning in the classroom? Have you considered small changes in your teaching that can enhance how and why students learn across all learners? In this Professional Learning Community (PLC), facilitators introduce transparency in learning and teaching (TILT), discuss strategies for integrating these concepts into the classroom, and facilitate discussion focused on the value of TILT for EKU student learners. Participants will receive a packet of information focused on TILT and resources to use in their classrooms. Through this PLC, participants will apply TILT strategies to specific course materials--syllabi, assignments, rubrics, or other resources--and have the opportunity to draft or revise course documents with support from facilitators.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this PLC, participants will:

  • Evaluate TILT approaches that best reach student learners;
  • Explore TILT strategies to engage diverse learners;
  • Use TILT approaches that enhance teaching and learning for specific student populations; and
  • Integrate TILT approaches into syllabi, assignments, rubrics, and other teaching and learning resources.

Reading: Select readings from Winkelmes et al. provided by facilitators

Register for the TILT PLC

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