The Center for Engaged Learning (CEL) offers a variety of individual and group services for our faculty including inclusive teaching workshops, organized conversations about current pedagogical topics, Instructional Design and technology consultation, a Peer Mentoring Program, and confidential 1:1 consultation.
Spring Semester 2024
A Learning Circle is a small group of faculty and instructional staff (ideally 6-8 tenure-track, adjunct, tutors, etc.) who meet—with the support of the CEL—throughout the semester to discuss a learning topic that they can explore as a group, collaborating to develop expertise.
The CEL is seeking KU faculty and instructional staff who are interested in participating-in, facilitating, or forming a Learning Circle. See below or fill out the registration form to find out more about the Learning Circles currently being offered, or about forming your own Learning Circle!
Learn more about Learning Circles
Join a Learning Circle!
Reflective Teaching Practices
How can we use reflection to help ourselves and our students take stock in our classes? This group will explore reflective practices as instructors and for our students. Supports KU Strategic Plan Goal 2, Objective 3; Goal 1, Objective 1.
Gradeless, de-grading, labor-based, specifications-based, and portfolio grading…and all areas in-between. This group expands on the Ungrading book group from Fall 2021. It welcomes faculty using these approaches or those who are interested in learning about these approaches. Supports KU Strategic Plan Goal 1, Objectives 2, 4.
Culturally Responsive Teaching
What is culturally responsive teaching? This group will explore the topic and how it relates to our own teaching, advising, and programs. Supports KU Strategic Plan Goal 1, Objective 1; Goal 4, Objective 2.
As we continue our return from COVID, we may find that student needs, such as mental health and academic preparation, have changed. We as instructors may be over subscribed or burned out as we worked to meet those needs. This group will discuss how we can work to build in sustainable strategies to meet all these needs in a respectful way. Supports KU Strategic Plan Goal 2, Objective 3.
Want to Offer a Learning Circle?
Topics and Activities
Learning circles can be about just about anything you wish as it is related to teaching and learning, and ideally in support of the KU Strategic Plan. Some learning circles might focus on interdisciplinary work, such as techniques to encourage interdisciplinary undergraduate research, while others may focus on a single academic discipline, such as faculty sharing materials and ideas they’ve developed for their own classes. Some groups may explore relatively narrow pedagogical topics, such as discussing contemporary books on teaching and learning, using case-study learning techniques, or sharing ideas and strategies to foster student-generated media. Other circles may select broader topics like fostering inclusive learning or the scholarship of teaching and learning.
Learning Circle meetings and other activities can take a variety of forms to stimulate conversation and help members investigate teaching and learning topics. Learning Circle facilitators and members may make use of one or more methods for sharing knowledge, including:
- Guided discussion: Members come prepared to discuss an item such as a journal article, book, or video.
- Round-robin: Members share personal experience and knowledge on a topic of interest to the group.
- Progress report: Members report on their investigations into new ways of teaching and learning. This can be especially helpful as a peer support group while trying out a new teaching methodology.
- Peer tutoring: Members of the group take responsibility for different aspects of the topic being explored by the group. At each meeting, one or two members report back on the material they have researched.
- Open discussion: Meetings can be occasions for informal conversations about the group’s general topic. Participants bring in issues, questions, and/or challenges that are of interest to them.
Each Learning Circle will be organized by one or more facilitators from the KU community, with support from the CEL. Once formed, circles should schedule meetings times and locations, discuss and establish collective goals, participant responsibilities, sharing of findings, and organizational structure. Circles are intended to be equitable, with all members playing an equal role in their success.
Support from the CEL
The CEL supports Learning Circle facilitators and participants in many ways, including:
- Assisting circle facilitators in the development of titles, descriptions, and meeting options for their circles.
- Matching facilitators and topics with prospective learning circle members.
- Advising facilitators on group communications and logistics such as scheduling, on-campus or virtual meeting spaces, and circle activities.
- The CEL will also consider facilitating the purchase of supporting materials –such as books– on a per-request basis.
For more information about forming your own learning circle, or if you’d like more information about the Learning Circles program, please contact the CEL.
Faculty Mentoring Program
The Faculty Mentoring Program is open to all faculty. Mentee-mentor pairs meet regularly throughout the academic year with support from the CEL.
If you would like to request a faculty mentor, or if you would like to become a faculty mentor, please visit or Faculty Mentoring page or fill out this handy form. You can also download the faculty mentoring handbook for more information.
NEW! Cel engaged teaching and learning sequence 2024
This professional learning opportunity provides KU faculty with the skills and knowledge that help positively impact their teaching and learning through a sequence of four facilitated online, self-paced, asynchronous courses. Together they provide a framework that empowers learners to engage in rigorous, meaningful learning experiences.
Click here to learn more!
Professional Learning Opportunity for KU Faculty
CEL Engaged Teaching and Learning Sequence 2024
An Initiative of the Center for Engaged Learning Inclusivity Institute
DEADLINE for REGISTRATION: TBA Summer, 2024.
Registration will be by completing our online form, TBA. Notifications of enrollment are automatic via email.
The purpose of the professional learning opportunity is to provide KU faculty with the skills and knowledge that help positively impact their teaching and learning through a sequence of four facilitated online, asynchronous courses. Each of these courses aims to facilitate research-supported, effective teaching and learning practices. Together the courses provide a framework to discover more about who learners are and how they learn, empowering them to engage in rigorous, meaningful learning experiences.
Faculty participants are eligible to participate in any or all of the facilitated online, asynchronous courses about four relevant teaching and learning topics: the basics of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), the principles of aligning course design with student learning outcomes, the practice of inclusive teaching, and best practices in facilitating large lecture courses. The expected outcome is to cultivate engaged students through deliberate and thoughtful design of a learning environment that supports their growth and development as purposeful, motivated learners.
The 2023 course sequence is listed below:
- Course 1: May 22 — June 2: Basics of Universal Design for Learning (UDL)*
- Course 2: June 5 — 16: Design and Align Your Learning Outcomes
- Course 3: June 19 — 30: Inclusive Teaching*
- Course 4: July 3 — 14: Large Lecture Transformation
*These courses are each eligible for $300 in professional development funding upon completion.
Participants who complete Course 1 and Course 3 of the sequence will be allotted $300 of professional development funding for each, upon completion. The Center for Engaged Learning’s leadership team will make the final determination on successful completion of all aspects of the professional learning.
The program is open to all faculty members employed by Kutztown University. Please note that only those who have not yet completed Course 1 are eligible to receive professional development funds for that course.
To receive Professional Development funds, participants will be expected to:
- Complete the eligible course and earn a digital badge.
- Contribute their meaningful insights to reflection exercises during the time the course(s) are active.
Completion of each course is necessary to fulfill the award requirements. Please notify the CEL immediately of any changes that may prevent you from completing a course.
Registration closes 11:59 pm TBA, 2024 and notifications of enrollment will be sent automatically via email. Please direct questions to the CEL at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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NEW! KUtztown exCEL: faculty journal of the CEL
Our new online journal, KUtztown exCEL, is a community, a conversation, and a journal. It is a place to discuss pedagogy by advocating for students and working together to enact an understanding of teaching and learning within a community of mutual respect.
Articles and podcasts published in this journal combine personal experience, current conversations in academia, and a theoretical foundation that presumes the value, strength, and independent thinking of all learners.
more CEL Services
FYS Peer Mentoring Program
FYS FACULTY PEER MENTORING PROGRAM
The FYS Faculty Peer Mentoring Program is open to all FYS faculty at Kutztown University. Any FYS faculty member can participate as a mentee, but only faculty members with previous FYS teaching experience may serve as a mentor. At the beginning of each academic year, a call for new mentees will be issued, when prospective mentees are invited to review the mentor profiles and request a mentor. Once mentee-mentor pairs are matched, they will meet regularly throughout the academic year, with periodic check-ins and support from the CEL faculty director.
HOW TO get involved
If you would like to get involved with the FYS Peer Mentoring Program, please email your interest to the CEL Faculty Director.
Course Design Consultation
Your partners in online course creation and iteration, the Instructional Design team applies research, theory, and best practices in online education to help our faculty create courses that are learner-driven, innovative, and academically rigorous.
We provide hands-on online course development, continuous improvement, instructional technology, and multimedia production consultation to anyone teaching courses with an asynchronous component, via any modality (online, hybrid, face-to-face).
Instructional design is the process of analyzing the learning needs of the students to create courses that are effective and engaging. Our Instructional Designers and Technologists can work with you to plan your course, develop your assessment tools, choose the appropriate technologies and media, and refine teaching methods and strategies.
Our team utilizes an assortment of tools to create learning opportunities that establish students as active agents in their own learning. Our team is well versed in many tools that can adapt and personalize learning for students and can provide you with meaningful data on their usage, success rates, and content mastery. We also can help you use this data to make more informed interaction and engagement choices.
CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT & QUALITY MATTERS
Our Continuous Improvement process is focused on the nationally recognized Quality Matters program, a set of standards that serve as a national benchmark for online course design, and the principles of universal design for learning. KU is a member of QM, and we are committed to providing excellence in online education by helping you design courses that meet and exceed the Quality Matters standards.
The CEL has developed the Online Course Quality Checklist (OCQC) to help KU faculty ensure that their online course designs are informed by QM-based best practices.
Instructors can use the OCQC to identify opportunities to improve existing online courses or to design new courses. Instructors can also request that CEL provide them with formative feedback, whether the course is online, hybrid, or in-person.
OCQC is informed by the Online SUNY COTE Quality Review (OSCQR) and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Coming in 2023!