Learning Communities

Philosophies, strategies, and technologies involved in teaching & learning can all evolve over time. We love to share well-established findings through workshops, but sometimes a space to discuss and interrogate ideas without the pressure of needing to already have the answers can provide a fresh perspective on the challenges of teaching. Instructor learning communities provide an avenue to explore and discuss these timely topics.

Structure: Learning Communities will meet at least four times a year to discuss books, articles, lectures, or some other artifact surrounding a particular topic of interest.
Dates & Times: Some learning communities will have dates & times scheduled in advance, but if you are interested in participating please register even if these times don't work for your schedule. We may offer alternate schedules to meet demand.
Incentives: The CTT will provide books for those interested in participating in a learning community.
Topics: This year the CTT will facilitate learning communities on the topics below:

Fall 2023 Learning Communities

Considering Mental Health: Teaching with Compassionate Challenge

book coverFacilitated by Steven Cain and Amy Ort

Postpandemic, many instructors and educational professionals grapple with a false dichotomy between flexibility and rigor. In this #NCLUDE group we'll be discussing, Mind Over Monsters: Supporting Youth Mental Health with Compassionate Challenge. It provides an alternative mindset focused on holding students accountable for rising to authentic challenges during their educational process and doing so compassionately with their development in mind.

This learning community is being offered in collaboration with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI). For a description, schedule, and to register, go to #NCLUDE Learning Groups and select Group #8. Register soon! This group's first meeting is September 5th at 10 AM.

Register for Group #8 in the #NCLUDE Learning Groups

Atomic Habits

book coverFacilitated by Danae Peterson and Julia Remsik Larsen

Looking to build strong habits for teaching and learning that improve efficiency, effectiveness, and student engagement? Together we will read Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear and explore collaboratively, the application of this texts' content to our own teaching practices and habits. We will identify habits for focus to strengthen or change and design/build systems for support using Microsoft 365 and Canvas to get "1% better every day" as we meet to discuss readings.

This group will meet once monthly, beginning on Friday, September 1st at noon and ending as the semester wraps up in December, with optional opportunities for individualized collaboration throughout the semester to support accountability, motivation, and design thinking. If you have any questions prior to registration, please don't hesitate to email danae.peterson@unl.edu.

Register for the Atomic Habits Learning Community

Artificial Intelligence

Facilitated by Nate Pindell and Sydney Brown

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already impacting higher education and faculty are employing a variety of strategies in their classes, but the long-term impact of A.I. is unclear. However, for the last several months, the Center for Transformative Teaching (CTT) and others on campus have been working to explore AI, how it is developing and diversifying, and how this will impact teaching and learning. To broaden understanding of this technology and develop strategies for UNL instructors, the Center for Transformative Teaching invites you to join the Fall 2023 Artificial Intelligence Learning Community (AILC).

The AILC will meet every other week beginning Wednesday, September 6 from 12:00-1:00 pm via Zoom. The first session will focus on what A.I. is, its strengths and weaknesses, and existing resources available to faculty. The second session centers on A.I. and assessment. The impact of A.I. in diversity, equity, and inclusion will anchor the third session. Subsequent meetings will be driven by participant needs, developments in A.I., and challenges unique to specific disciplines.

Wednesday, October 4

Amy Ort will faciltiate this session on Ethical Use of AI in the Classroom

Register for the AI Learning Community

Teaching Gloria E. Anzaldua

Facilitated by Danae Peterson and Steven Cain

Interested in developing (or further developing) your teaching style through a human centered lens? Looking to consider and pull from a diverse range of perspectives and experiences as you do so? Teaching Gloria E. Anzaldua: Pedagogy of Practice for Our Classrooms and Communities is offered this term to explore the journeys of practicing instructors applying the transformative theories of Gloria Anzaldua, first introduced in Borderlands/La frontera (and other texts), in their own practice. Comprised of 19 essays spanning categories of Curriculum Design, Pedagogy and Practice, and Decolonizing Pedagogies, pragmatic and inspired advice regarding lesson plans, activities, and other classroom resources are offered and discussed as we navigate this text and its ideas together.

This learning community will meet initially, Thursday September 7th at 10:30am. During this gathering, remaining dates will be scheduled around participants availability on a bi-weekly basis. If you have any questions prior to registration, please do not hesitate to email danae.peterson@unl.edu.

Register for the Teaching Gloria E. Anzaldua Learning Community

Propose a Learning Community

If you’re interested in proposing a topic for a future learning community, contact Steven Cain.