Professional Learning Community

Professional Learning Community (PLC) 2023/24

For the last six years faculty and staff from every college and school across campus have joined together in groups within a Professional Learning Community (PLC) to learn from each other, research together, and develop new and creative ways to enhance and assess teaching and learning in their classrooms.

The 2023/24 PLC program begins September 29. This year we are offering six groups:

All things OPEN – This PLC focuses on OER and open pedagogy to improve teaching and learning. We will investigate the benefits of freely available learning resources (OER), creation of OER, and use of open pedagogy (a form of experiential learning in which students demonstrate understanding by becoming creators of information – rather than simply consuming). As a group, we will explore best practices for finding, curating, and adapting OER materials along with methods to create new OER content. Led by Kim Breuer (Dept. of History) and Jessica McClean (OER Director, UTA Libraries). This group will meet Friday afternoons.

Sustainability – PLC for Sustainability – a group of faculty who have an interest through research, teaching, and/or service in at least one of the three pillars of sustainability – social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainable systems. This PLC will replace the Faculty Advisory Network on Sustainability, previously a program in the Office of Sustainability at UTA. Led by Kendra Wallis (College of Engineering). This group will meet Friday afternoons.

Developing Multimedia Content – We will focus on creating multimedia resources, especially audio, video, and interactive media, that can be utilized repeatedly in flipped, online, or face-to-face classes. During our sessions, we'll discuss best practices, brainstorm ideas, develop concepts, plan field trips to on-campus media rooms and facilities, and execute multimedia projects to create high-quality resources. Led by Nila Veerabathina (Dept. of Physics) and Cynthia Kilpatrick (Department of Linguistics and TESOL). This group will meet on Thursday afternoons from 1-3.

Storytelling(this group is full).  "Learning has a lot to do with storytelling: instructors tell students stories to pique their interest, to ground theory in specifics, and to create a reference point for new ideas; students tell stories to integrate new ideas and to make sense of their experiences.”, this PLC group's focus will be exploring effective practices for implementing storytelling techniques in your classroom, your research, and in coaching interactions with your students. We will work collectively to facilitate crafting stories that spark interest and inspiration, learn how to effectively analyze your audience, style, and tone, and concentrate on communicating for impact. Led by Melanie Mason (Dept. of Communication) and Molly Wiant Cummins (Dept. of Communication). This group will meet on Friday afternoon via Teams.

Digital Tools for Teaching – We will explore digital tools available to us through CDE, including H5P and DesignPLUS for Canvas. H5P allows instructors to create interactive questions and activities that can be embedded directly onto Canvas pages. DesignPLUS makes creating and styling course content easier. In addition, PLC participants will briefly share how to use a digital tool that they like. In the Spring, participants will choose one tool to use in a course. Many of the tools are useful in both online and in-person classes, so instructors of all modalities are welcome.
Led by Christy Spivey (Dept. of Economics). This group will meet Friday afternoons.

Book Club – This group will discuss "Think Again" by Adam Grant. In today's fast-paced world, the ability to adapt and reconsider our beliefs isn't just a cognitive asset—it's vital for survival. "Think Again" offers a persuasive argument for regularly questioning our convictions and staying receptive to fresh perspectives. Adam Grant, is a professor of Management at the University of Pennsylvania with an additional role in Psychology. "Think Again" comprises ten chapters, segmented into three sections: Individual Rethinking, Interpersonal Rethinking, and Collective Rethinking. Its wide-ranging themes resonate with both academic and professional contexts, allowing us to relate with our personal experiences, academic traditions, and theoretical backgrounds. Throughout the Fall semester, our focus will be on understanding and deliberating the book's content. Post-reading, we aim to collaboratively pinpoint areas we wish to reassess, with an emphasis on aspects influencing teaching and learning. Led by Brian Horton (Dept. of Communication). This group will meet Friday afternoons.

All faculty enrolled in the PLC program are eligible for a $500 stipend and enrollment in an OLC workshop of their choice. Click this link to view the OLC Workshop schedule.

To view some of the results of past PLC cohorts visit the events page. The video below provides an overview of the PLC program.


To apply for the 2023/24 PLC program, or for more information about the program, please fill out this form.

PLC Meeting Dates for 2023/24

Each group will meet from 1-3 pm on the following Friday dates, except for the

Multimedia group which will meet on Thursday (or the day before the dates listed)

from 1-3 pm:

September 29 

October 6

October 20

November 3

November 17

December 1

January 19

February 9

February 23

March 8

March 22

April 5

April 18 at 4-6 pm

Locations of meetings to be determined