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New and Continuing Learning Communities at the CFT

Posted by on Tuesday, August 16, 2016 in News.

by Derek Bruff, CFT Director

The CFT hosts a number of learning communities, intended for members of Vanderbilt’s teaching community interested in meeting over time to develop deeper understandings and richer practices around particular teaching and learning topics.  This year’s learning communities are:

  • Teaching and Social Class – The CFT continues its attention to issues of teaching, difference, and power by organizing a learning community on the many dimensions of social class.  The hope for the group is to have a dynamic discussion of, both the many issues that arise when teaching a student body of varied class identities, and how the many dimensions of class may be taught effectively. This learning community will involve informal discussions of pedagogical readings, teaching challenges, and practical strategies for improving our teaching and learning. (New for Fall 2016)
  • Podcasting – Although technology use should always be driven by pedagogical priorities, sometimes instructors learn about particular technologies and want to explore ways those technologies might fit their teaching needs. This year the CFT is hosting a learning community for faculty and graduate students interested in teaching with podcasts, particularly those who see potential in student-produced podcasts. The learning community will meet several times during the year to explore examples, tools, and teaching practices. (New for Fall 2016)
  • Lab Pedagogies – Lab courses provide a rich opportunity for experiential learning, giving students time, space, and support to develop into practicing scientists and engineers. Lab courses also, however, carry their own challenges.  The CFT facilitates a learning community for faculty members interested in grappling with such issues as TA development, electronic record-keeping, assessments and assignments, and approaches to enhance inquiry in labs. (Continuing)
  • Language Coordinators – Lower level language courses juggle multiple objectives related to language proficiency, intercultural competence, and broader academic skills. Additionally, most language courses are coordinated by a faculty member while the individual sections are taught by TAs and other instructors. Because of this unique situation, the CFT facilitates a learning community for faculty members who coordinate lower-level language courses to discuss common challenges and to share successful approaches. (Continuing)

Registration is now open for all four learning communities.  For more information, please visit


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