Learning Communities

The Office of Organizational Learning and Development is pleased to offer semester-long communities as ways to collaborate with colleagues on professional development projects. 

Faculty Inquiry Project: Integrating Active Learning Practices into General Education Courses

Join a group of your faculty peers to explore ways to engage students in general education courses through active learning techniques. Participants in this faculty inquiry group will survey research findings on teaching and learning and apply those findings to their general education classes. Through discussions of methodology, course design, and learning goals, you will exchange ideas and resources with peers from across the university community. An opportunity for introducing new techniques, receiving supportive feedback, and crafting creative teaching approaches. Tobin Miller Shearer, History Professor and MUS Teaching Scholar, will facilitate the group and offer support as you build and develop your classroom instruction. This FIP will meet five times on Wednesday or Friday mornings. Applications are due on Friday, January 31, 2020 at 5 p.m.

Faculty Inquiry Project: “It seemed like a good idea at the time” – When active learning meets the reality of the classroom

Join a group of faculty peers who are already implementing student-centered active learning techniques as they work through the missteps, unexpected student responses, and other less-than-perfect classroom outcomes from research-based classroom practice. Learn from others what has worked well and how they have adjusted to unexpected outcomes. Rick Darnell, Instructor, Mathematical Sciences, and Mentor from the Mobile Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching (MoSI), will facilitate this group focused on trying research-based teaching and transforming past stumbles into future successes. This FIP will be meeting 6 times on Tuesdays from 3:30-5. Apply by January 31, at 5 p.m.

Global Learning Community

Connect with globally-minded faculty and staff from all across campus as part of a small learning community this spring. MUS Teaching Scholar Sara Schroeder, an instructor at the English Language Institute, will facilitate meetings in which staff and faculty share ideas on creating more intercultural exchange at University of Montana. Meetings will likely be on Wednesday afternoons. Apply by Monday, February 3 at 5 p.m.

Faculty Inquiry Project: Further developing UM's math co-requisite courses and curriculum

This inquiry project invites faculty from UM's Mathematical Sciences Department and Missoula College to come together to further develop our math co-requisite courses and curriculum as we scale them in accordance with current UM priorities. We will discuss continuing to develop the course curriculum using high impact practices based on three underlying themes: sstudent capability, purpose of materials, and student belonging. This inquiry project will be facilitated by Lauren Fern, Lecturer, Mathematical Sciences, and Student Success Coordinator. Lauren is also a MUS Teaching Scholar and Mentor for the Mobile Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching (MoSI). Apply by Friday, January 31 at 5 p.m.

Inquiry Project on Adaptive Leadership

Apply to join a group of current and emerging campus leaders to explore approaches to leadership through readings and discussions. This inquiry project will focus on leading from the middle of an organization and ways to find partners and build coalitions to move efforts forward. Topics will include adaptive leadership, emotional intelligence, leading through change, and strategies for addressing group challenges. Discussions will be based on common readings; 1-2 hours of preparatory work is expected for each session. Applications are due Wednesday, January 22 at 5 p.m.

Spring 2020 Faculty Writing Group

Research has shown that writing groups increase scholarly productivity. Our experience at UM has demonstrated that they also build collegiality among motivated faculty members from across campus. Join our writing group to create protected time to complete your writing projects. We will be meeting at the following times:

Thursdays 9:30-11:30 a.m. (January 23, February 6, February 20, March 5, March 26, April 9, April 23) 

Space is limited. Please contact Amy Kinch to join. 


Past Faculty Inquiry Projects and Series

Inquiry projects are designed for faculty members who want to take a collective and scholarly approach to addressing a professional topic. The format creates a collegial setting in which faculty members from across campus learn from one another.

FIP on Online Teaching & Learning (Fall 2019)

FIP: Improving Students' Understanding and Skills via Active Learning Opportunities (Spring 2019)

Senior Faculty Inquiry Project on Teaching and Learning (Spring 2018)

Faculty Leadership (Spring 2018)

Creating Engaging Learning Experiences (Fall 2017)

Learning LaTeX (Fall 2017)

Engaging Students in the Digital Age (Spring 2017)

Examining Course Curriculum for Diverse Perspectives (Fall 2016)

Technology in the Classroom (Fall 2016, Missoula College)

Large Courses in the Sciences (Spring 2016)

Faculty Writing Groups (Spring 2019,Fall 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2017, Spring 2016, Fall 2016)

Social Science Applications of the R Statistical Package (Spring 2016)

Opportunities for Mid-Career Development (Fall 2015)

Selling Your Story: Presentation Skill Building Series (Fall 2015)

Leadership (Spring 2015)

Improve and Augment your Digital Course Materials (Fall 2014)

Reaching your Goals for Productivity and Personal Well Being (Spring 2014)

Faculty Feedback

"This experience helped me reflect on the purpose of the materials in my class and what is really important -- also it provided strategies for encourage metacognition with students." Spring 2019 FIP on Active Learning participant

"I believe I made 'just in time' changes to my class. My students’ grades also improved as a result of changes I made, and I could quantitatively document successes." Spring 2019 FIP on Active Learning participant

"I really love the writing group. The accountability, dedicated writing time, and positive support are very valuable." Writing Group participant