The Interface Faculty Seminar was designed to engage UF instructors in demonstrations, discussion, and peer networking focused on improving teaching and learning by deploying innovative pedagogy using new and emerging technologies.
Theme: Enhancing Creativity and Engagement through Academic Communities
The power and benefit of academic communities of practice is well established in research literature. Academic Communities can exist for a wide variety of purposes: communities of practice (e.g. teaching, research), communities reflecting scholarly disciplines (e.g. Asian History, Organic Chemistry, Particle Physics, Cosmology, etc.), communities for support (e.g. health and wellness, work-life balance, etc.), communities of interest (institutional policy, creativity, arts in the sciences, etc.), collaboration communities, and many others. The key to any academic community is the coming together of like-minded people sharing a common goal (e.g. improving teaching), interest (e.g. scholarly discipline groups), or passion (e.g. reading groups).
The challenge is how to create, leverage, and sustain these kinds of academic communities at the University of Florida not just for academics, but also for students in our academic environment. Creating various types of academic communities can be an effective way to build engagement both inside and outside of the classroom.
Creativity in education is also needed to engage students in the learning process. Many instructors are finding ways to enhance their face-to-face, blended, and online courses in creative ways to help students connect and come together.