Teaching Commons > Programs > Faculty Learning Communities
FLCs consist of small groups of instructors (10 max) who meet regularly throughout the academic year to learn together about a specific topic related to teaching and learning. FLCs are designed to be supportive environments where members can engage in a variety of activities and experiment with new approaches to teaching; share successes and challenges; reflect on teaching practices and learn about instructional strategies and tools. FLC members will share their knowledge with the DePaul community.
Bradley Hoot | College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences | Modern Languages
Grading presents many challenges. We want our students to focus on learning, and ideally grading provides useful feedback that will help them understand what they’ve learned and where they still need to improve, yet all too often our grading systems don’t match our intentions. At their worst, some traditional grading practices elevate points over learning, incentivize academic dishonesty, and sap students’ motivation. Alternative grading systems, such as ‘ungrading’ or ‘specifications grading,’ promise better student outcomes and superior focus on learning assessment, yet they may come with their own pitfalls. This learning community will explore theories of grading and examples of popular alternative grading systems. Our goal for the year will be to develop a clear understanding of what traditional and alternative grading systems entail, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each system, so that we can choose the most effective grading systems for our courses in the future. The learning community will function largely as a discussion-based reading group, meeting for 90 minutes once a month to discuss a single book at each meeting. At the end of the year, each participant will design one possible grading system implementation for one of their courses, and we will collaboratively generate a list of pros and cons of each of the grade systems we review.
Mary Bridget Kutusch | College of Science and Health | Physics and Astrophysics
Tim French | College of Science and Health | Chemistry and Biochemistry
With our focus on teaching, many DePaul faculty in a variety of disciplines are interested in doing education research or increasing their scholarship of teaching and learning. Our goal is to create a supportive community for faculty who want to get started in education research and/or expand their theoretical or methodological expertise for doing education research. We will meet virtually 2-3 times per quarter and maintain asynchronous communication via Slack. We will also join the intensive in-person Professional development for Emerging Education Researchers (PEER) field school hosted here at DePaul Dec. 15-18 (https://peerinstitute.org/peer-chicago-2022/). The field school will target specific topics in education research and connect us to the broader community doing education research, particularly in the Chicagoland area. The meetings will be responsive to participant’s goals, focusing on discussions of topics related to education research and on giving and receiving feedback on individual projects. Work outside of the meetings will be on participants’ individual education research projects and/or on readings decided on by the group.
Paige Treebridge | Jarvis College of Computing and Digital Media
“Many designers and educators want to create games that appear real, but they are unsure of how to accomplish this.” 
The DePaul Parallel Universe Practicum (DPUP) invites professionally-isolated faculty, those suffering from extreme online exposure, and despondent educators to retreat into make-believe and play (funding purposes: research and build prototype learning universes.)
From 2018 to 2021, faculty and students at the University of Chicago’s Fourcast Lab built immersive learning games that took place as part of freshman orientation [2-4]. Students were drawn into the games via rabbit holes, “camouflaged anomalies within the real world (i.e., Rabbit Hole) that peaks people’s interest and includes a call to action to engage with the experience.”  Students who chose to investigate further were rewarded with new clues, or breadcrumbs. The 2018 game cultivated research skills and sense of interdisciplinary.
The DePaul Parallel Universe Practicum will study learning games and alternate reality games. We will learn to design and modify small, immersive learning games as part of our classes, labs, or even as social events for new students, at DePaul.
We will co-learn to build learning games using online and offline sign, interactions, and events. We will study models that can be used by one or two instructors.
DPUP will deliver a guide (tentatively titled “How to Build a Learning Universe that Doesn’t Get Abandoned One Quarter Later” .) The guide will document the organized results of the Practicum, focusing on concise, 1-2 instructor implementation examples.
No experience with games or gaming necessary.
FLCs consist of small groups of instructors (10 max) who meet regularly throughout the academic year to learn together about a specific topic related to teaching and learning. FLCs are designed to be supportive environments where members can engage in a variety of activities and experiment with new approaches to teaching; share successes and challenges; reflect on teaching practices; and learn about instructional strategies and tools. By the end of the academic year, the FLC members will share their knowledge with the DePaul community. The exact format of this knowledge sharing is somewhat flexible and might include one or more of the following:
FLC participants will receive $300 each.
Please note that participant’s stipends are issued after the learning community has shared their knowledge with the DePaul community. Participants must attend meetings regularly and actively contribute to the learning community in order to remain eligible for the stipend. FLC participants will receive $300 each.
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