Learning Communities

Learning Communities are informal discussion groups that meet periodically to discuss a topic of common interest. Group members set meeting times and topics. Groups can be formed or disbanded at any time, following the interests of group members. UCET serves as the contact point and provides support for the groups.

Interested in being part of a learning community? Have a topic of interest and would like to find a group to discuss new ideas? Contact UCET.

Writers group (Lisa Zwicker & Matt Shockey) works through Slivia’s “How to Write a Lot."

Leadership group for chairs and directors (Dave Vollrath, Linda Chen, and Doug McMillan)

UCET Book Groups for Fall 2015

Joining a book group is a great way to get new ideas and connect with colleagues from across campus. Groups are facilitated by faculty and staff and meet several times on a schedule determined by the group. We have several groups planned for fall. The first five people to sign up will receive a free copy of the book. Please email to sign up for a group.

Associate (part-time) faculty will earn 5 Faculty Development Units ($50) if they complete a group.

This fall, our focus is on career and life issues.

Teaching at Its Best (This group is open to all faculty) – Begins September 15th!

Firm Faith Watson (Instructional Designer, UCET) will facilitate this group that will be reviewing certain chapters from the book Teaching at Its Best: A Research Based Resource for College Instructors. The group will review selected chapters from the book based on participants’ interest.  A group of faculty reviewed several chapters of the book in Summer 2015 and they are interested in reviewing additional chapters because the book is full of practical teaching tips and resources that faculty may use right away.

The first 5 individuals to register will receive a copy of the book! 

Click on this link to view more details on the flier and to register.

Lavoy’s Callings (This group is open to all faculty)

Terri Hebert (Assistant Professor, Elementary Science Education) will facilitate a group reading of one of her favorite books, Lavoy’s Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Lifestyle

According to Amazon (at

Drawing on the hard-won wisdom and powerful stories of people who have followed their own calls, Gregg Levoy shows us the many ways to translate a calling into action. In a style that is poetic, exuberant, and keenly insightful, he presents an illuminating and ultimately practical inquiry into how we listen and respond to our calls, whether at work or at home, in our relationships or in service. Callings is a compassionate guide to discovering your own callings and negotiating the tight passages to personal power and authenticity.

Robison’s Peak Performing Professor (This group is for tenured faculty)

Carolyn Schult (Associate Professor, Psychology) will facilitate a group reading The Peak Performing Professor: A Practical Guide to Productivity and Happiness.  A group of six faculty worked their way through this workbook and tips last year and found it to be extremely useful.

According to Amazon (at

Drawing on research from the fields of neuroscience, faculty development, work productivity, positive psychology, and resilience, The Peak Performing Professor is filled with techniques, strategies, and practical tools for managing the complexities of academic life while maximizing professional potential. 

Nelson & Bolles’ What Color is your Parachute? For Retirement (This group is for faculty within 5 or so years of retirement.)

Gwynn Mettetal (Professor, Psychology & Education) will facilitate this group, which will work through exercises on the financial geographical, medical, and psychological aspects of planning a fulfilling retirement.

According to Amazon (at

This second edition contains updates throughout, including a section on Social Security, an in-depth exercise on values and how they inform your retirement map, and the one-of-a-kind resource for organizing the sea of information on finances and mental and physical health: the Retirement Well-Being Profile. More than a guide on where to live, how to stay active, or which investments to choose, What Color Is Your Parachute? for Retirement helps you develop a detailed picture of your ideal retirement, so that—whether you’re planning retirement or are there already—you can take a comprehensive approach to make the most of these vital years.

Bending Games to Your Educational Goals

Joel Langston of Instructional Media Services and Daniel Janicki in UCET host a learning commnuity to discuss gaming and technology in the classroom. Topics will range from creating games, gaming the classroom environment, and using games to demonstrate course material. Other possible topics will include:

  • Smartphone and tablet use in teaching
  • "Show and tell" of technology currently being used by you or a fellow faculty member
  • Helping participants of the Learning Circle find ways in which to creatively use games for their class
  • Envisioning the future of games and the role in education

Currently, we are gathering interest in the group! If interested, contact Daniel ( and/or Joel ( and let us know of any topics of particular interest.