Center of Excellence for Teaching & Learning

CETL Learning Communities & Reading Circles

Spring 2020 Learning Communities

The Center of Excellence for Teaching and Learning (CETL) is excited to continue our Learning Communities initiative! Learning Communities bring like-minded educators together for a series of discussions focused on a central topic. They incorporate the social aspect of learning, while providing structure and intentionality to professional development. Participants who attend each session of a Learning Community will receive a letter of recognition that may be used as evidence of engagement in their FEC Report. The Learning Communities planned for this semester are shown below.

Learning Community #1: New Faculty of SUU

  • Facilitators: Matt Weeg, Caitlin Gerrity, and Lisa Arter (
  • Dates: (see below)
  • Times: (see below)
  • Location: (see below)


Welcome to T-bird Nation! Building collegial relationships is vital to a healthy and happy career. We are delighted to have you join our SUU family and wish to support you as best we can. Whether you are new to the profession or merely to your SUU position, we have bi-weekly discussions that focus specifically on the concerns of new SUU faculty.


Each section will cover the same material. Please select the section that best fits with your schedule.

  • Section A, 10-11am (with Matt Weeg)
    • 1/24, 1/31, 2/14, 2/28, 3/13, 3/27, 4/10 in BB 304H
  • Section B, 10:30-11:30am (with Caitlin Gerrity)
    • 1/22, 1/29, 2/12, 2/26, 3/11, 3/25, 4/8 in CC Yankee Meadows
  • Section C, 3-4pm (with Lisa Arter)
    • 1/21, 1/28, 2/11, 2/25, 3/30, 3/24, 4/7 in CC Yankee Meadows

RSVP to Learning Community #1: New Faculty of SUU

Learning Community #2: Designing and Improving Your Online Course

  • Facilitators: Online Teaching & Learning Staff
  • Dates: Wednesdays 2/5, 2/12, 2/19, 2/26, 3/4
  • Times: 1-2pm
  • Location: CC Yankee Meadows


Do you want to build a new online course or refresh your current course? Have you seen other courses with a consistent template or engaging feature? The Office of Online Teaching and Learning is here to help. Bring your course(s) to this session and we will assist you with designing and improving your online course. Each session will include a brief introduction to an online course design concept, then time to apply that concept to your current Canvas course.

RSVP to Learning Community #2: Designing and Improving Your Online Course

Learning Community #3: GE for Student Success!

  • Facilitators: Krystal McCoy and John Belk
  • Dates: 1/27, 2/3, 2/10, 2/24
  • Times: 10-11am
  • Location: CC Yankee Meadows


Participants in this learning community will consider the successes and challenges of the GE program from the student perspective. Each session will feature the individual student voice in addition to data representing the overall SUU population. Teaching strategies reinforcing transparency and relevance in classroom curriculum will be discussed, implemented, and reflected upon.

RSVP to Learning Community #3: GE for Student Success!

Learning Community #4: Let’s Talk About Text, Maybe

  • Facilitators: Christopher Clark and Anne Diekema
  • Dates: 2/13, 2/27, 3/12, 3/25
  • Times: 3-4pm
  • Location: Library Conference Room (inside office suite LIB 303)


  • 2/13: Start or join a writing group to increase your writing output:
    • Participants will learn about various writing group models, hear from faculty colleagues who are part of active writing groups on campus, and learn how to start or join a group.
  • 2/27: Keep up with your reading on top of all your other academic responsibilities:
    • Participants will learn how to use the library databases and Google Scholar to create alerts, how to start a reading circle within your department or among colleagues, and how to protect your reading time as a necessary pedagogical tool for self-improvement.
  • 3/12: Make the best use of library sources for reading, writing, and scholarship:
    • Although many instructors use the library in different ways, our librarians can show you insider tips and tricks of the trade to make best use of our resources--from ebooks to interlibrary loans to discipline-specific databases to research guides and reserves. Learn how to use library tools and high-impact research strategies to take our reading and writing to the next level.
  • 3/25: Incorporate reading and writing in your classroom:
    • Learn about ways your faculty colleagues have incorporated fiction and non-fiction books as part of their courses. Also, learn about copyright, fair use, Open Educational Resources (OER), and creating OER as part of your course assignments.

RSVP to Learning Community #4: Let’s Talk About Text, Maybe

Spring 2020 Reading Circles

The Center of Excellence for Teaching and Learning is pleased to offer three reading circles during the Spring 2020 semester. Below is a short summary for each reading circle. If you are interested in participating, please RSVP by January 22 to receive your copy of the text in time for our first discussion. Each reading circle will begin the first week in February and meet weekly for 5 weeks. Note: you do not need to attend every session. Participation, as your schedule allows, is highly encouraged.

Reading Circle #1: The ABCs of How We Learn

Based on a popular Stanford University course, "The ABCs of How We Learn" uses everyday language, engaging examples, humor, and solid evidence, to describe 26 unique ways that students learn. Each chapter offers a concise and approachable breakdown of one way people learn, how it works, how we know it works, how and when to use it, and what mistakes to avoid. The book presents learning research in a way that educators can creatively translate into exceptional lessons and classroom practice.

  • Dates: Mondays: 2/3, 2/10, 2/24, 3/2, 3/9
  • Time: 1-2pm
  • Location: BB 304H
  • Facilitator: Lisa Arter

RSVP for Reading Circle #1: The ABCs of How We Learn

Reading Circle #2: Inclusive Teaching

A college classroom contains a diverse group of students with different backgrounds, experiences, and needs. Inclusive Teaching is a philosophy that recognizes this diversity and encourages teaching strategies that are effective for all students. Please join us to discuss a selection of readings that focus on Creating a Positive Course Climate, Embracing Diversity and Reducing Barriers to Inclusion, Ensuring the Accessibility of Course Materials, Adding Transparency to Course Design, and Reflecting on Teaching Practices.

  • Dates: Wednesdays: 2/5, 2/12, 2/19, 3/4, 3/11
  • Time: 3-4pm
  • Location: BB 304H
  • Facilitators: Schvalla Rivera & Matt Weeg

RSVP for Reading Circle #2: Inclusive Teaching

Reading Circle #3: Small Teaching

We'd all like to improve our teaching with research-based, cognitive theory on how students learn, but as busy professionals, we need practical, accessible tips rather than long-winded theories to make those desired changes a reality. James Lang's "Small Teaching" provides just that – accessible but powerful changes that can be implemented one class period at a time. Join us for a reading circle that bridges cognitive theory with the real-world classroom environment.

  • Dates: Fridays: 2/7, 2/14, 2/21, 2/28, 3/13
  • Time: 4-5pm
  • Location: BB 304H
  • Facilitator: Caitlin Gerrity

RSVP for Reading Circle #3: Small Teaching