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Promoting Excellence in Teaching at Missouri State

Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs)

What are FLCs?

A Faculty Learning Community (FLC) is a faculty-led community of practice with five or more members (eight to twelve is the reccomended size).  Key goals for FLCs include:  (a) building community, (b) engaging in scholarly (evidence-based) teaching, and (c) advancing the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (Cox & Richlin, 2004).  FLCs enable faculty to focus on specific issues or interests and provide a safe and supportive environment to investigage, challenge, assess, and adopt or change practices (Cox, 2001).

FLCs are Communities of Practice

Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly - Wegner-Traynor & Wegner-Trayner, 2015

As communities of practice, FLCs are groups with: 

  • Shared purpose/interest
  • High level member interaction
  • Members who are practitioners

Membership involves the sharing of "resources:  experiences, stories, tools...",  however, communities of practice also: 

  • Innovate & solve problems
  • Invent new practices
  • Create new knowledge
  • Define new territory
  • Develop a collective & strategic voice

(Wegner-Traynor & Wegner-Traynor, 2015)

Benefits of Participation   
  • Transdisciplinary networking
  • Opportunities to talk and reflect on teaching and learning
  • Learning with others in a small group of 8-12 faculty members
  • Groups facilitated by faculty skilled in leading communities of practice and passionate about teaching and learning
  • Regular face-to-face interactions (minimum of 4 to 5 times over the semester for a total of 10 contact hours)
  • Goal-focused activities with impactful outcomes (i.e. course improvements, teaching resource creation, research contributing to the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning, conference presentations, publications, case studies, policy recommendations)
  • Evidence of commitment to teaching excellence, which can be documented in your annual reviews or P&T materials
100% of FLC participants surveyed (2022) reported: 
  • Increased self-confidence 
  • Increased sense of accomplishment
  • Increased enthusiasm

The cross-departmental, cross-college, cross-disciplinary community that was created through this FLC was incredible.  - Fall 2022 FLC Participant

Ready to Join an FLC?

Find an FLC

Do you have an idea for an FLC?

Form an FLC


Cox, M. (2001). Faculty learning communities:  Change agents for transforming institutions into learning organizations. To Improve the Academy, 19(1), 69-93.

Cox, M. (2004).  Introduction to faculty learning communities.  New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 97, 5-23.  

Cox, M. & Richlin, L. (2004).  Developing scholarly teaching and the scholarship of teaching and learning through faculty learning communities.  New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 97, 127-135.

Image Credit:  Pixabay

Wenger-Trayner, E. and Wenger-Trayner, B. (2015) An introduction to communities of practice: a brief overview of the concept and its uses. Available from authors at