Building Community for Enhanced Teaching and Learning

Open Classrooms

Note: During the disruption of University operations due to COVID-19, all Open Classrooms are canceled.

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. 

  • ECN 2020: Principles of Microeconomics with Xinyan Shi (MWF 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., 130 Business Administration Bldg.): This class uses discussion, in-class problem solving, presentations, economic games, and experiments to engage the students in active learning.
  • ENG 1060: Composition II Honors (SL) with Scott Hicks (MWF 9:05 to 9:55 a.m., 201 Education Bldg.): This course couples a course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) and service-learning to develop students' skills of academic research and writing in their major, with class meetings devoted to discussion, in-class writing activities, and research presentations.
  • ENG 2100: Environmental Literature (SL) with Scott Hicks (MWF 10:10 to 11 a.m., 201 Education Bldg.): Inspired by Paul Hanstedt's Creating Wicked Students: Designing Courses for a Complex World (2018), this class foregrounds complex problems and questions and emphasizes skills of active reading, analytical writing, collaboration, and reflection to build students' confidence and competence.
  • PSY 1010: Introductory Psychology with Marianna Rader (MWF 10:10 to 11 a.m., 12:20 to 1:15 p.m., and 2:30 to 3:20 p.m., 107 Weinstein Health Sciences Bldg., and W 6 to 9 p.m., 136 Sampson Bldg.): This classroom features mini-lectures combined with 15- to 20-minute activities that keep students engaged and active.

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

Note: During the disruption of University operations due to COVID-19, Shared Interest Groups may meet online or in person, in keeping with Centers for Disease Control guidelines regarding physical distance.

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.

During AY2019-2020, SIGs will address issues of cultural competence and responsiveness in teaching and learning, food sovereignty, and working-class and 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, TLC director Scott Hicks at (910) 775-4032 or To join an existing group, please contact the conveners. To establish a new group, please contact the TLC director and complete an application.