Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology

Learning Communities

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.


Learning Communities

(NOTE: Program is on hiatus at present)

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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