What are Virtual Faculty Learning Communities (VFLC)?
Posted on January 30th, 2020
Virtual, collaborative opportunities are becoming a trend in faculty development. These opportunities exist because geographic location no longer limits the institution’s faculty can work for. Although online learning and teaching have opened doors for many instructors, distance from a campus location can lead to feeling isolated (Dolan, 2011). FLCs promote faculty engagement and a sense of belonging (McKenna, Johnson, Yoder, Guerra, & Pimmel, 2016). Furthermore, FLCs encourage instructors to utilize institutional, instructional support (Nordin & Anthony, 2014).
However, virtual faculty learning communities have been underexplored. According to Cox and McDonald (2017), FLCs can be initiated by a center for teaching and learning. With this knowledge of traditional FLCs as well as the understanding that virtual collaborations can lead to knowledge sharing and innovation (Sarma & Matheus, 2015), the Rothwell Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (RCTLE) created Virtual Communities of Practice based on the principles of faculty learning communities. These are part of our Virtual Faculty Learning Community Implementation Framework. This framework consists of twelve questions to ask as you begin developing a V-FLC, answers to these questions based on our experience, as well as a visual representation of the framework.
Read more about the Virtual Faculty Learning Community Implementation Framework (PDF) in the Scholarly Commons.
The mission of the Rothwell Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence is to empower faculty members in their pursuit of professional growth through diverse offerings for the universal goal of student success.