Cluster Pedagogy Learning Community: Season 1

Thanks to generous support from Plymouth State University, the USNH Board of Trustees, the USNH Chancellor’s Office, and the Davis Foundation, we are pleased to announce a grassroots faculty and staff effort to develop coherence and community around “cluster pedagogy.” This is a year-long professional development series that will run from May 2019 to May 2020. At its heart is the Cluster Pedagogy Learning Community, which will be a dynamic and emergent initiative designed to support current pedagogy-related university projects, align campus efforts to innovate around curriculum and instruction, and refocus institutional efforts on teaching and learning.

The curriculum and practices of the CPLC will focus on three currently-identified aspects of cluster pedagogy: interdisciplinary learning, open learning, and project-based learning. All funding will go towards compensating faculty and staff for their time as we engage in this work together. We plan to offer funding to approximately sixty PSU employees in this first year of the CPLC. We hope that many PSU faculty and staff will be involved in the design and facilitation of the curriculum. The deadline to apply for this funding is 9pm on March 8th.

Applicants will choose between three tracks:

Main CPLC Track

This is the main track in which everyone funded will participate. It includes one meeting each during S19 Final Exams and F19 University Days, as well as two half-day programs over the summer (June 4 & July 30). Collaborations and projects will be ongoing throughout the academic year in 2019-20.

The CPLC will explore three aspects of cluster pedagogy: interdisciplinarity, open education, and project-based learning. We will consider possibilities for our courses and programs, and work to find ways to incorporate cohesive pedagogical approaches into our broader cluster initiative. Most centrally, we will consider how cluster pedagogy can improve access to education, enhance student success and engagement, and help PSU serve our students more effectively and creatively. 

Participants in this track will receive a $1,000 stipend for participating. The application will ask you what you hope to gain by participating in the CPLC, and how you think your participation could benefit our university.

Tackling a Wicked Problem Track

For faculty teaching “Tackling a Wicked Problem,” this track includes the main CPLC series, but also includes longer days on June 4 & July 30. The TWP track will focus on improving the curriculum and delivery of PSU’s emerging revision of the First-Year Seminar course, and will work to link the course to broader institutional goals and practices related to cluster pedagogy.

Participants in this track will receive the $1,000 CPLC stipend; five TWP track participants will receive an additional $1,000 for serving on the TWP Steering Committee. The application will ask you talk about your interest in and experience with TWP/First-Year Seminar.

Open Education Ambassador Track

For those who submit an Open Education Instructional Challenge, this track includes the main CPLC series, but also requires attendance at the USNH Academic Technology Institute, May 28-30, 2019. Participants in the Open Ed Ambassador track will design a project focused on an instructional challenge related to Open Educational Resources, open pedagogy, or open access to research. Projects may be individual or team-based.

Participants in this track will receive a $1,000 stipend for designing and completing their Open Education project. The application will ask you to outline an open project (an “instructional challenge”) that you plan to work on, and describe the deliverable that you will produce.

If you would like to teach a section of TWP this Fall, please contact Gen Ed Coordinator Cathie LeBlanc. If you need help mapping out an Open Education project to propose, please contact CoLab Director Robin DeRosa. As always, contact the CoLab or stop into our space in Lamson Library for clarification on any of this or help in filling out your application.