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Annual Call for Participants

You are invited to become part of a Appalachian Learning Community for the academic year 20042005. Members of this learning community will be investigating teaching and learning in and about Appalachia.

OVERVIEW: What is a Appalachian Learning Community?
Learning Communities are cross-disciplinary groups of 8 to 12 members who share ideas, engage in a curriculum of discovery and inquiry focused on teaching and learning, and who participate in activities designed to foster social, intellectual, and reflective discussion. Learning Communities have been used successfully in post-secondary institutions to catalyze deep and sustaining institutional and cultural change. When used, Faculty Learning Communities have resulted in the development of corps of actively engaged scholars and leaders devoted to educational quality improvement, as well as collaborative democratic processes and practices. Learning Communities may be cohort-based or issues-based. Cohort-based communities typically address teaching and learning needs of a cohort of faculty that share a common interest. For example, faculty who teach large-lecture introductory courses may work together to explore the challenge of teaching to novice learners. Issues-based communities address the needs of groups working to examine key campus priorities, for example, critical thinking or student engagement. Funding from the Ohio Learning Network and Ohio University’s Office of the Provost and collaboration among faculty and administrators has initiated SCOPE OHIO to build the capacity for creating and sustaining learning communities on Ohio’s six campuses.

GOALS of the Appalachian Learning Community

  1. Create a learning community immersed in the shared interests of the group members to explore the teaching and learning needs in and about Appalachian at Ohio University.
  2. Identify specific teaching and learning needs pertinent to Appalachians.
  3. Compare and contrast teaching and learning activities occurring at Ohio University with other universities located in Appalachian regions of the nation.
  4. Develop a central repository about teaching and learning pertaining to Appalachia that can be accessed and used by faculty, administrators, students, professionals, and other community persons.

ACTIVITIES of the Appalachian Learning Community (ALC)
The learning community will collaborate during the 2004-2005 academic to better understand teaching and learning in and about Appalachia as it relates to student, faculty, staff, community, and administrative needs. The following activities are planned for the ALC group:

  1. Read and discuss various books and readings pertaining to teaching and learning needs and participate in local activities pertinent to Appalachia.
  2. Summarize the findings from the Appalachian survey conducted spring 2004 and make recommendations.
  3. Participate in the Appalachian Studies Association March 2005 meeting.
  4. Participate in the 2005 Spotlight on Learning.
  5. Identify what other universities are currently doing related to Appalachian Studies.
  6. Create a plan for ways Ohio University could best address student and faculty teaching and learning needs associated with Appalachia.
  7. Showcase group members research and scholarly interests related to Appalachia.

Persons interested in Appalachia and who would like to investigate topics associated with teaching and learning in and about Appalachia are invited to consider joining this learning community. Participants must also be interested in exploring ways to implement what is learned and assist the broader university community to appreciate the needs and resources distinct to the Appalachian region. Although it is desirable to have experience and knowledge about the region, the group welcomes those interested in learning about the region. While the group is mainly for faculty, other participants will be considered for membership.

If you want to speak with someone who participated in this group last year, feel free to contact one of the members:
David Bower bowerd@ohio.edu
Geoff Buckley buckleyg@ohio.edu
Lacey Curtis curtisl@ohio.edu
Sharon Denham denham@ohio.edu
Merle Graybill graybill@ohio.edu
Keith Harris harrisk1@ohio.edu
Mike Hess hessm@ohio.edu
Betty Pytlik pytlik@ohio.edu
Jack Wright wrighte@ohio.edu

Participants in the ALC must be willing to commit 3 hours per month to attend a monthly group meeting. These meetings will occur as evening sessions from 5 to 8 p.m. and include a shared potluck dinner. Meetings will occur in Grover Center in Athens, you will be notified of the meeting rooms. The meeting dates for these sessions are:
Wednesday, November 3, 2004 from 5-8 pm
Tuesday, January 11, 2005 from 5-8 pm
Tuesday, February 8, 2005 from 5-8 pm
Tuesday, March 8, 2005 from 5-8 pm
Tuesday, April 12, 2005 from 5-8 pm
Tuesday, May 10, 2005 from 5-8 pm
Tuesday, June 7, 2005 from 5-8 pm
The first meeting will be Wednesday, November 3, 2004. Many Appalachians enjoy potluck suppers. The group meeting last year found this to be an enjoyable way to share together in physical and intellectual nourishment. Participants will each be asked to bring a covered dish to share with others at the monthly pot luck dinners for the monthly meetings.

Additional time commitments of about 4-8 hours per month may also be required to do the work of the group. For example, you will need time prior to the group meetings to complete readings that will be discussed at the ALC meeting. You will be asked to serve on a task force dedicated to gathering and organizing materials for further development of the webpage about teaching and learning in and about Appalachia. The web page can be viewed at http://scope.citl.ohiou.edu/ALC/AppalachianALC/index.html Task force groups may also need to form during the academic year to work on specific activities.

Members who participate will have the opportunity to become acquainted with and form a network with others who share interests about Appalachia, its cultural and regional aspects, and pedagogy related to its people, places, and history. Some financial support will be available to help defray some costs for those participating in the Appalachian Studies Association presentation, visiting universities with Appalachian Studies programs, and other activities that further the goals of the ALC.


Proposals DUE: Friday, October 22, 2004.
Notification of Selection: Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Time Commitment for ALC: November 2004 - June 2005

Proposals should be submitted as a word document to Sharon Denham, the ALC leader, by noon on October 22, 2004. For additional information or to discuss your individual questions call 593-4494 or e-mail at denham@ohio.edu

Proposal Application Word Document