Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology

Learning Communities 2019-20

Learning Communities

Learning Communities enable a diverse cohort of educators from across the university to dive deeply into an issue, challenge, or set of topics related to your professional careers. The time, space and resources encourage you to learn new ideas and strategies for application, promote your ongoing reflection, and provide you with opportunities to share insights – all within a community of dedicated colleagues. We offer a range of learning community themes that support educators striving to enhance their teaching effectiveness.


AY 2019-20 Learning Communities

Getting A Good Launch for New(er) Faculty

Facilitator: Patrick O’Sullivan (CTLT)

Launching an academic career is exciting for all but is typically quite challenging for most – especially if you try to do it alone. You can accelerate your success with the support of CTLT and your peers by participating in a learning community specifically for early-career faculty. The purpose of this learning community is to support your journey toward “scholarly teaching” by exploring and applying research-informed best teaching practices. It is designed for those relatively new to university teaching and will establish your foundation for ongoing growth and success as an educator. 

Download syllabus here

Sign up for this Learning Community

Course Redesign for Sustainability

Facilitator: Dianna Winslow (CTLT) & Rebekah Oulton (CEE)

This year-long learning community will give educators the time and space to design sustainability-focused courses (or modules within courses) with a supportive faculty cohort. We will meet 3-4 times per quarter throughout the year.

This learning community is for those who want to integrate their passion for sustainability literacy into the courses they are already teaching. $500 stipend for participation and completion of course materials.

Fall 2019 Dates, Times, & Rooms:

Friday, October 25, 9-11AM, Kennedy Library, 511
Friday, November 8, 9-11AM, Kennedy Library, 312
Friday, November 22, 9-11AM, Kennedy Library 511

(Winter & Spring dates and times will be determined by the learning community participants this Fall)

Sign up for this Learning Community


International Faculty Adapting with Today's Cal Poly Student

Facilitator: Joe Grimes (CTLT)

CTLT is offering this learning community during the 2019-2020 academic year to support international faculty at Cal Poly as they pursue excellence in teaching. The learning community will focus on achieving high success in student learning by developing activities based on community members’ needs. Numerous resources will be available including classroom video, classroom observations, midterm chats conducted with students, and individual consultations. Teaching will be central to the community’s focus, but we will also address research, service, and life on the Central Coast. A $500 stipend is available for those who complete the requirements. 

Learn more...

Download syllabus here

Sign up for this Learning Community

Learning Communities Design

While the topics vary, all CTLT Learning Communities share the same purpose: to create new understandings and abilities to improve student learning. All Learning Communities also share the following features:


  • Communities span the academic year (Fall, Winter and Spring Quarters)
  • Limited size to promote engagement (i.e., 12-15 members maximum)
  • 10-12 two-hour sessions over the year (typically on alternate Fridays or adapting to participants' schedules)


  • All Cal Poly instructors and staff (full and part-time) are eligible to apply for a LC. Because Learning Communities are sometimes offered concurrently, participation is limited to one LC at a time.


Learning Communities utilize a workshop format that places a premium on collegial inquiry, collaboration and sustained engagement. The following activities occur routinely:

  • Discussing and critiquing relevant research literature
  • Engaging in exercises and activities to unpack, analyze, critique and apply insights
  • Developing, practicing, sharing, and assessing teaching materials that apply concepts and principles
  • Reflecting to assess progress and to determine next steps
  • Documenting individual and group insights gained through the LC and sharing within the community with artifacts shared with the broader campus community


The most benefits to individuals and to the community accrue when participants attend regularly to engage in activities and collaborations with colleagues. Participants generate and share culminating artifacts that are designed to apply your new knowledge and perspectives and to document your progress and development in the Learning Community. Artifacts vary from community to community and might include a portfolio of new or redesigned teaching materials, revised professional development plans, a series of blog posts for the CTLT website, or in some cases an article or conference paper. You are also encouraged to use your artifacts for your annual reviews and other promotion/tenure packets.


Stipends ($500) are available for successful completion of the learning community expectations (regular participation, delivery of culminating artifacts) as detailed in each syllabus. Eligibility for stipends is determined by university policies. 

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