Teaching & Learning Community of Practice (TLCoP)

Instructor and students in PWL classroom.

Introduction to TLCoP

Purdue West Lafayette instructors and others interested in teaching and learning can join the Teaching and Learning Community of Practice (TLCoP) — pronounced “teel-cop”— a community dedicated to exploration, discussion, and creation that improves teaching and learning at Purdue.

While resources exist across campus for instructors to learn more about teaching or to refine their pedagogical practice, TLCoP serves an important peer learning opportunity for Purdue instructors who are passionate about teaching. TLCoP meetings offer instructors the unique opportunity to come together in an ongoing, flexible, and supportive environment to engage in conversation about a range of teaching and learning issues. In conversation with other instructors from across a range of disciplines, at various stages in their academic careers, and with different kinds of experiences in the classroom, instructors collectively explore pedagogical ideas and strategies that they can incorporate into their courses.

Lindsay Hamm, lecturer, Department of Sociology
Lindsay Hamm, clinical assistant professor, Sociology

TLCoP’s 2022-2023 faculty facilitator is Dr. Lindsay Hamm, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and 2021 Excellence in Instruction Award for Lecturers winner. Hamm typically teaches large-enrollment sociology courses for early-year undergraduate students, and has found numerous ways to create student-centered classes. As TLCoP’s faculty facilitator, Hamm hopes to share the innovative tools Purdue community members are currently developing and to advance conversations about how we can grow as educators from our teaching experiences.

TLCoP is organized by Purdue’s Innovative Learning Team, including Purdue Online, the Center for Instructional Excellence, the Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies, and the Envision Center. Staff members from each of these teams make up the planning committee and lend expertise in pedagogy, educational technologies, information and research support, as well as augmented and virtual reality in the classroom. These committee members are available to advise instructors on additional resources and relevant services related to TLCoP meetings.

Fall 2022 programming

TLCoP hosts three to four 60-minute meetings each semester during the academic year. During Fall 2022, we featured topics that explored the unique affordances of teaching writing across a wide range of disciplines at Purdue. All sessions were held on Zoom and recorded:

Session 1: Writing for student engagement, Monday, Sept. 12, 3-4 p.m.
Recording of Sept. 12 session
Our first session focused on how writing can be a catalyst for engaging our learners and promoting critical thinking. Featuring several instructors who purposefully integrate writing to deepen learning—rather than only as a tool for assessment—this session provided a space for participants to engage in open discussion about practices with other instructors across a range of disciplines on campus. Participants shared their intentions for teaching writing in their contexts, how our students experience writing in their courses and future professional endeavors, and practical assessment and activity ideas to help our students achieve course learning goals. The session highlighted Professors David Atkinson, Jennifer Foray, and Charlie Catalano, who shared their perspectives, insights, and practical examples about why and how they strategically use writing to support student engagement and learning in their courses.

Session 2: Writing feedback & assessment, Monday, Oct. 24, 3-4 p.m.
Recording of Oct. 24 session
TLCoP Resources and Services to Help with Assessing Writing [Google doc]
TLCoP’s second event of the semester dug into the practical ways that we can assess writing assignments and activities. While writing assignments are often categorized as being too time-intensive to assess well and not scalable for large enrollment courses, there are strategies and approaches for integrating writing into courses, even in classes with a high enrollment. In this session, we heard from Professors Lindsay Hamm (Sociology) and Amy Sheehan (Pharmacy) about their practices and the technologies they leverage for assessing writing assignments. Participants examined some of the challenges associated with assessing writing, explore new approaches based on the insights and practices of other participants, and brainstormed efficient and effective strategies for assessing writing for their contexts.

Session 3: Documenting and Describing Our Teaching Efforts Around Writing, Monday, Nov. 21, 3-4 p.m.
Recording of Nov. 21 session

TLCoP’s third event of the semester explored how we can document and communicate the ways we support students’ writing skills through our teaching. Professor and Teaching Academy member, Lindsey Payne, introduced Purdue’s newly adopted Framework for Teaching Excellence. Together, we brainstormed strategies, such as teaching portfolios, for articulating the benefits of our writing instruction on student learning. In this session, participants had opportunities to consider their current practices around documenting and shared out about their teaching efforts, envision where they would like to be in the Teaching Excellence framework, and brainstormed strategies for reaching their goals with other Purdue instructors who are passionate about helping students advance their writing abilities.

Thank you to those who joined TLCoP this fall! Watch for announcements of our spring 2023 programming. As a community of practice, TLCoP is open to any instructors who wish to learn more about teaching and learning and to those who wish to share their experiences with others. Graduate students, faculty, instructional support staff, or anyone who is passionate about teaching is welcome to attend any and all meetings. We’re thrilled to have you and to learn from one another!

For any questions, please reach out to TLCoP’s staff facilitator, Rachel Fundator.

Meet the TLCoP Team
Lindsay Hamm, Faculty Facilitator and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology
Rachel Fundator, Staff Facilitator and Information Literacy Instructional Designer, Libraries
Amy Haston, Educational Technology Consultant, Purdue Online
Kate Kozikowski, Educational Technology Advisor, Purdue Online
Lakshmy Mohandas, Associate Instructional Developer Researcher, CIE
Karen Neubauer, Assistant Director for Special Projects, CIE