Building Community for Enhanced Teaching and Learning

Open Classrooms

Note: Because the terms of compensation for the TLC director have been changed (from a stipend and course release to a stipend only, without course release) and the TLC no longer employs student assistants, the TLC is no longer able to offer this resource.

The TLC invites faculty to welcome other faculty into their classrooms for informal inspiration, idea-swapping, and mutual mentoring. Opening our classrooms provides a way for us to share teaching methods and techniques with each other, initiate new collaborations, discuss challenges and solutions, and learn about innovative pedagogies, inside and outside our home departments and disciplines. 

If you are willing to open your classroom to your faculty colleagues, please complete this application. Upon receipt of your application, classes open for visitors will be posted to the TLC website. Would-be visitors to face to face classrooms will be expected to confirm their visit to your class at least two days in advance; visitors to online classrooms will be granted observer privileges.

Shared Interest Groups

A Shared Interest Group is a learning-and-doing community of faculty, staff, and students focused on a question, theme, or approach in teaching and learning that matters to its members. SIGs are established on the basis of demonstrated interest, in consultation with the TLC, to (1) identity the issue, problem, or approach on which it wishes to focus and (2) determine group expectations and outcomes. Upon establishment of the group, members of the SIG commit themselves to the success of the group until the completion of the expectations and outcomes determined at its charter. As funding allows, the TLC will support SIGs with refreshments, resources, stipends, and/or travel funds. Once the group has achieved its expectations and outcomes, it will share its accomplishments with the University community.

SIGs may undertake the following activities:

  • Reviewing and discussing current scholarship relevant to the SIG’s focus,
  • Sharing and reflecting on classroom experiences and successes,
  • Team-teaching or visiting SIG members’ classrooms,
  • Creating or redesigning classes or curricula by incorporating high-impact teaching practices,
  • Establishing and sharing best practices,
  • Exploring policies or programs to improve teaching and learning,
  • Traveling to conferences or professional development institutes,
  • Conducting and publishing research,
  • Leading workshops or webinars that promote professional and/or scholarly development, and/or
  • Undertaking other activities as desired.

Since the inception in 2017 of SIGs, UNCP faculty, staff, and students have collaborated in these areas:

  • Faculty who taught BIO 1000: Principles of Biology remapped course syllabi, adopted new learning goals and objectives, and shared teaching activities; TLC HAWK Assistant Wanya Ward, a Biology major and member of the SIG, presented related research, "Co-Teaching in Higher Education: A Student's Perspective," at the 2019 international conference of POD Network.
  • Faculty in American Indian Studies, Biology, and Nursing collaborated to engage students in multidisciplinary explorations of food sovereignty, featuring classroom lectures and guest speakers and engaging participating faculty in conference presentations and co-written scholarship for publication.
  • Faculty in English, Theatre & World Languages and Mass Communications collaborated with the Office of Global Engagement to share best practices, explore policies or programs to improve teaching and learning, and host a presentation and workshop by Association of American Colleges & Universities vice president Dawn Michelle Whitehead in February 2020.

During AY2020-2021, SIGs will address issues of culturally responsive teaching and learning, globalizing the curriculum, teaching and learning in Honors, and working-class and first-generation students. 

This table lists the names of Shared Interest Groups, their conveners, what they have done, and what they plan to do.
SIG Focus and Convener(s) What the SIG Has Accomplished What the SIG Plans to Accomplish
Culturally Competent & Responsive Teaching and Learning, convened by Camille Goins ( and Leslie Locklear ( The group has met on a regular basis to discuss strategies for improving teaching and learning, planned and organized professional development sessions for both campus and off-campus audiences, conducted and published research, attended and presented at conferences, discussed classroom teaching practices and curricula, and collaborated on scholarship.  The SIG will develop an online course, “Culturally Responsive Teaching in Higher Education,” for new faculty and staff as part of onboarding and training; conduct research examining the UNCP students' experiences of culturally responsive teaching and learning (IRB #50-20); and attend conferences to present findings. 
Honors Teaching & Learning, convened by Joshua Busman ( Together, SIG members met once a semester, discussed Honors pedagogy, and shared teaching experiences and ideas. The SIG will continue to review and discuss current scholarship, share and reflect on classroom experiences and successes, establish and share best practices, and explore policies or programs to improve teaching and learning in the Esther G. Maynor Honors College.
Indigenous Cultures & Communities, convened by Scott Hicks ( Together, SIG members met monthly, read and discussed scholarly literature related to Indigenizing higher education, shared teaching experiences, and peer reviewed course syllabi and class activities. The SIG will continue to meet monthly, read and discuss scholarly literature related to Indigenizing higher education, share teaching experiences, and peer review course syllabi and class activities. Our goal is to help faculty propose and execute engaging ICC-designated courses through ongoing support and collaboration.
Working-class Identity in the Academy, convened by Michele Fazio ( Together, SIG members met once a semester, promoted and developed programming for National First Gen Week, discussed supporting first-generation students, and shared teaching experiences and ideas. The SIG will continue to read and discuss scholarly literature related to supporting first-generation students and increasing awareness of working-class identity in the academy, share teaching experiences and peer review course syllabi and class activities, and develop future programming to support first-generation students.

All interested faculty, staff, and students are invited to join; to do so, contact the convener(s) of the group(s) in which you are interested. To learn more about SIGs, please contact TLC director Scott Hicks at (910) 775-4032 or; to establish a new SIG, please complete an application.