Learning Communities are cross-disciplinary groups 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. 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 initiated SCOPE OHIO to build the capacity for creating and sustaining learning communities on Ohio’s six campuses.
Mission of the Appalachian Appalachian Learning Community
The Appalachian Appalachian Learning Community is a group of Ohio University faculty members who meet regularly to identify topics and resources related to teaching and learning in and about Appalachia; to develop personal knowledge about these topics; and to share information through web-based and personal networks. The goal is to build capacity to improve the quality of teaching and education as it relates to Appalachia at Ohio University.
Initial 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.
2. Identify the teaching and learning goals specific
related to Appalachia pertinent to Ohio University's faculty, students,
staff, and surrounding community.
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 website about teaching and learning in and about Appalachia that can be accessed and used by faculty, administrators, students, professionals, and other community persons.