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2024-2025 Faculty Learning Communities

The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, in collaboration with CETL, will support two Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) for the 2024-2025 academic year. The FLCs will focus on “Alternative Assessments” or “Digital Literacy/Digital Humanities” – each option is described in more detail below. FLC members meet twice monthly during the academic year; an option to meet July through December is also available. Each community member will create a pedagogical project that aligns with their group's thematic focus. FLC participation is open to all full-time faculty and is compensated. Please contact CETL’s office if you have questions.  Apply by April 15th, 4:30 p.m. via InfoReady:  

FLC Topic 1: Digital Literacy/Digital Humanities  

This FLC will concentrate on enhancing "Digital Literacy/Digital Humanities" within our academic offerings. Digital Literacy involves teaching students in any discipline not only how to use technology (including Artificial Intelligence tools) effectively, but also how to critically understand, analyze, and create digital content. A central aim is to equip students with the competencies essential for thriving in environments characterized by pervasive digital communication, information exchange, and digital-centric work processes. Digital Humanities is the application of technological tools and computational methods to the study of culture, history, and/or literature. The goal is for students to use technology to explore interesting and complex humanistic problems and, at the same time, assess our technological society using humanistic methods of reading and analysis. Faculty members who opt for this FLC will investigate strategies to integrate the use and/or study of digital technologies into their course design, potentially fostering interdisciplinary collaborations that could lead to innovative teaching methodologies and research insights.  

FLC Topic 2: Alternative Grading Methodologies 

The second FLC will explore the development and implementation of alternative grading models. Participants will engage in a comprehensive review of non-traditional grading approaches, including but not limited to Mastery Grading, Specifications Grading, Standards-Based Grading, and Ungrading. This exploration is intended to challenge conventional assessment paradigms and encourage the adoption of grading strategies that promote a deeper level of student engagement and learning. FLC members will design and apply an alternative grading scheme tailored to their specific course objectives, thereby contributing to a more diverse and inclusive evaluative framework within the university's educational landscape. 

2023-2024 Faculty Learning Communities

The focus of this year’s FLCs is to examine the impact of emerging technologies on higher education and develop creative and effective pedagogical approaches that support students’ learning needs.

ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence (AI) applications are already being used by students to complete traditional college assignments, and observers expect that these technologies will quickly become more common and more powerful. The implications for higher education are significant, and many universities are moving quickly to adapt teaching methods and curricula to this new reality. Moreover, these technologies will likely have dramatic impacts in the workplace, with implications on how universities prepare students for their careers. 

The learning communities will examine and discuss strategies for how individual faculty or departments can revise teaching methods, course design, or curriculum in response to these emerging AI technologies. Each member will develop their own implementable project, such as a course redesign, new assignment(s), a curricular proposal, or a resource for other faculty.

Members and Topics/Interests

July-December 2023

  • George Corser, ChatGPT in Pedagogy and Studying
  • Kevin Meyer, Adapting and incorporating to AI in the classroom
  • Emily Larocque, Incorporating Virtual Reality (VR) to Improve Student Competency in Patient Assessment 
  • Sherry Kaufman, Use of virtual reality to increase classroom participation and enjoyment 
  • Phillip Hanson [facilitator], Ethics/Responsible use in teaching with AI integration 
  • Blake Johnson, Embracing AI in Education: Opportunities, Risks, and Responsible Information
  • Kimberly Lacey, Emerging Technologies and ethical concerns as they become more advanced. What should human-computer collaboration look like?
  • Teri Hill, How might AI relieve the load of faculty feedback and provide more consistency? At the same time, how will the students’ use of AI affect assignment design and assessment?

Fall/Winter 2023-2024

  • Anne Tapp [facilitator], Developing effective pedagogical approaches that are supportive of students’ learning needs within a collaborative team. 
  • James Hitt, Ethics and Policy on Transformative AI Technology- ethical dimensions and discipline-specific concerns to outline reasonable implementations of these present technologies 
  • Christopher Giroux, AI and the Composing Process- using this technology for brainstorming, final editing, and peer review to facilitate learning 
  • Veronika Drake, AI in Linguistics Classes- revising assignment, especially those that are writing-heavy, so that they cannot be completed exclusively with AI
  • Gary Lange, How to adopt AI to facilitate deeper learning of key biological concepts
  • Bonnie Harmer, Using AI to Enhance Nursing Education and Practice
  • Kenneth Luzynski, Robo-Teachers and Cyborg Students: Navigating the Implications of AI in Education and Science Writing
  • Daniel Gates, Specifically Human Intelligences in Humanities Classes, Ethics and Responsible Use
  • Warren Fincher, AIs as Enabling New Horizons in Teaching and Reframing Writing Exercises in the Classroom 
  • Brittany Collins, Learning and Implementing AI In a Communication Course 

Past Faculty Learning Communities

2022 FLC Participants (96KB)

The Mid-Career/Senior Faculty Learning Community (FLC)

focused on examining the impact of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on teaching. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are topics that have received considerable attention in our current social environment. Many of our national associations have highlighted the importance of including DEI in the curriculum of higher education courses. In addition, faculty members are being asked to assist students in becoming culturally competent. As a result of this and the diversification of our student body, faculty members are considering how to ensure that they meet the needs of their students. This Faculty Learning Community (FLC) encouraged faculty members to engage with the content of their curriculum in ways that ensure that all students feel welcomed and valued in their academic spaces.


  • Brittany Collins, Communication
  • Melissa Garmo, Criminal Justic
  • Emily Beard-Bohn, English
  • Veronika Drake, English
  • Kimberly Lacey, English
  • Annamalai Pandian, Mechanical Engineering
  • Aricka Schweitzer, Occupational Therapy
  • James Hitt, Philosophy
  • Mark Giesler, Social Work
  • Anne Tapp, Teacher Education
  • Margaret Mead-Finizio, Theatre

The Study Abroad FLC

focused on the connections between Study Abroad and Experiential Learning. Study abroad experiences can be deeply educational, well beyond what a standard on-campus course can offer — students find themselves in an unfamiliar cultural and physical landscape that asks them to consider the taken-for-granted ways of life within which they were raised. And instructors are there to guide their students through this experience. The FLC members tackled question such as

  • Are we equipped to help our students make the most of their study abroad educations?
  • How can we best structure a study abroad experience so that students can gain the most from their trip?
  • What pedagogical techniques and evaluation methods are the most effective in eliciting reflective growth from a study abroad experience?

Approaching study abroad trips as a unique form of experiential learning, this faculty learning community (FLC) focused on improving how we organize and deliver an educational experience through our faculty-led study abroad trips. Member Warren Fincher organized the resources they collected into a Canvas page that is available in the CETL Canvas Teaching Resources.


  • Shaun Bangert, Art
  • Gary Lange, Biology
  • Arthur Martin, Biology
  • Sylvia Fromherz, Biology
  • Marilyn Skrocki, Health Sciences
  • Danilo Sirias, Management and Marketing
  • Robert Kelch, Nursing
  • Warren Fincher, Sociology
  • Debbie Lively, Teacher Education

The Career Preparation FLC

was the result of a new partnership between CETL and Career Services. SVSU has worked consistently to ensure success among its student body. We have engaged with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) to develop a student success plan. This plan identifies several factors that impact student success, among them are Employability. We know that SVSU’s faculty are experts in their field and students come away from these classes with a depth of subject matter knowledge. Because we cannot predict what careers will be in demand in the future, as a university we are actively engaging in educational experiences that prepare our students for future success in our rapidly changing society.

This Faculty Learning Community partnered with Career Services to identify methods that will engage our students in curricular or co-curricular activities to promote Career Success.


  • Jadallah Jadallah, Accounting
  • Cal Borden, Biology
  • Jill Waliczek, Educational Leadership
  • Babak Lotfaliei, Finance
  • Margot Alvey, Health Sciences
  • David Berry, Kinesiology
  • Peggy Jones, Mechanical Engineering
  • Christopher Nakamura, Physics
  • Joe Weaver, Psychology
  • Ashley Sanders, Social Work
  • Thomas Wedge, Theatre