Faculty Learning Communities

We specialize in helping health professions programs launch (and operate) Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs)—an effective faculty development venue that involves focused consultation, facilitator training, and coordination in a yearlong initiative.

FLC membership can include faculty, preceptors, professional staff, and graduate students from one or more disciplines. Members meet regularly (usually monthly) to explore a topic together— issues that enhance teaching and learning and promote scholarship. Common program elements include facilitator training, community building, retreats and conferences, resources (literature, books, consultants), and recognition. Dr. Carr oversees all aspects of the FLC program, including:

  • Needs Assessment
  • Institutional Readiness
  • Curricular Material
  • Facilitator Training
  • Planning and Debriefing for all FLC sessions
  • Program Assessment

We work closely with co-facilitators and the institutional liaison throughout the year to align the curriculum with the theme selected. We maintain connectedness with members through weekly emails and “Connectivity Tips” and provide access to scholarly resources (articles, PowerPoint presentations, instructional guides). The program culminates in a public teaching effectiveness symposium, where guests and new members are invited to learn more about individual achievements and program outcomes. Our experience with FLCs includes face-to-face, online synchronous (with asynchronous modalities), and a blended format. Our FLCs have explored the following themes:

  • Effective Teaching
  • Collaborative Teaching: Bridging Basic & Clinical Sciences
  • Integrated Case Development & Collaborative Teaching
  • Preceptor Education: Teaching in Your Practice
  • Professionalism

Publications related to our work

(1) Middleton, T.O., Finch, C., Carr, L. L., & Speicher, M. (2015). Online synchronous faculty learning communities in medical education: It can be done successfully. Learning Communities Journal, 7, 55-88. (View abstract only) (2) Rothman Schonfeld, A. (2007). With Similar Goals, Medical Centers offer Different Pathways for Faculty Development. Academic Physician and Scientist, New York: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 1-3. (View full article)

Dr. Carr and I have worked together in a learning environment and as project managers and my experiences have been both delightful and productive.  Dr. Carr’s depth of knowledge and her insights about adult learning and on-line teaching strategies have significantly contributed to the success of our collaborative efforts.  As a learning facilitator, she is creative, supportive and persistent, and she’s never satisfied until the learner identifies appropriate resources to achieve his/her learning goals.  Her enthusiasm for meaningful, significant learning serves to encourage those around her toward excellence in teaching.

Carol Hatler, Ph.D., R.N.
Director Nursing Research
St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center Phoenix, Arizona