Professional Learning Communities
Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are inquiry groups (or "communities of practice") of 5-12 faculty and professional staff members who meet bi-monthly to learn about a topic of shared interest related to teaching and learning in a collegial and supportive context. In addition to an annual cohort learning community for new faculty members, past PLC topics have included teaching writing, undergraduate research, the first-generation college student experience, issues of diversity in teaching and learning, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.
The CTL sponsors one or more book reading and discussion groups each year. The first participants to register receive a complimentary copy of the book. Group members commit to attending and actively participating in at least three of four one-hour discussion during the semester. To register a reading group or to suggest another title, contact the CTL (firstname.lastname@example.org; ext 1035).
Comprehensive orientation and long-term mentoring
The CTL has been charged by the Office of Academic Affairs to provide comprehensive orientation and long-term mentoring for new full-time faculty members.
- Group Mentoring Program
A group mentoring program provides an extended orientation and helps connect new faculty with more senior colleagues. All new full-time faculty members meet during the year with more senior colleagues to learn about expectations for teaching, scholarship, and service at Otterbein among other things. During spring quarter, individuals request (from the panelists) a mentor to work with during through interim tenure review the following year.
- Individual Consultations
The CTL director is available for individual consultations with new faculty members from the point of their hire. Consultations can involve developing course syllabi, designing classes, or soliciting anonymous midterm feedback from their students.
To schedule a consultation, contact Kathryn Plank, Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, 614-823-1034
- New Faculty Professional Learning Community
Full-time faculty members in their first three years at Otterbein are strongly encouraged to apply to participate in this special professional opportunity, designed to deepen and develop each participant as an educator. Learning community participants meet off campus for two hours once or twice a month (usually every other Friday late afternoon except for group mentoring days) throughout the academic year to discuss their teaching experiences and their observations about student learning in their courses; to learn more about the college and its culture; and to discuss books chosen by participants and provided by the CTL; as well as to develop collegial relationships and a support network in an informal context.
An annual orientation for new faculty members is held each year two weeks before the beginning of classes. Orientation provides newcomers with a basic introduction to Otterbein students, culture, and expectations as well as an opportunity to meet others in the cohort, key administrators and professional staff members, and a small panel of junior faculty members. Orientation also includes introductions and initial training in classroom technologies, Blackboard, and the library.