Workshop: Turning A Class Into A Community

On Tuesday January 13th, from 11:00-12:00 p.m. in SS 1339, the Faculty of Arts Teaching + Learning Committee will host a workshop on Turning a Class into a Community: how to create an ethos of collaborative inquiry and common purpose with your students, presented by Karen Bourrier (Department of English) and Michael Ullyot (Associate Dean, Teaching + Learning).

What is a class? What is its common cause?

Your answer to those questions reveals a lot about your teaching philosophy. In this workshop, Karen Bourrier and Michael Ullyot define a class as a community, led by an expert moderator, learning to inquire expertly into common material. Both of us have used social media to capture our students’ ideas, but like good critical thinkers, we distrust the digital ‘solutionism’ that defines all innovations as technological.

In this workshop we’ll describe our principles and our practices, and we’ll hear directly from the students who were in our two classes.

Please refer to this link for an advanced reading by Josh Eyler, Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Rice University.

And to this, “How a Class Becomes a Community: Theory, Method, Examples,” by Cathy Davidson, Director of the Futures Initiative at CUNY.

  • These are cross-disciplinary workshops that will directly affect your course designs and delivery. Each one have an immediate and concrete impact on your teaching in every department and discipline in the Faculty of Arts.
  • Registration is required. Most will have pre-workshop questions or even exercises for registrants to complete or consider before attending.
  • Materials and resources will be available — normally here on this website — for those who want to follow up with them, and for those unable to attend.
  • A new feature for 2014-15 is formal recognition of those who attend three or more workshops in an academic year, or who present in any workshop. A letter from the Faculty of Arts will testify to your professional development in merit, promotion and tenure applications.
  • For more information, leave a comment below or e-mail Michael Ullyot, Associate Dean (Teaching + Learning).


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