Learning Communities

About Learning Communities

The growth of any craft depends on shared practice and honest dialogue among the people who do it. We grow by trial and error, to be sure—but our willingness to try, and fail, as individuals is severely limited when we are not supported by a community that encourages such risks.
                                                                                                                                 —Parker Palmer, The Courage to Teach, 1998

A learning community is a cross-disciplinary group that engages in an active, collaborative program structured to provide learning opportunities, community building, and reflection.

The broad goals of the learning community program at Dartmouth are to:

  • Build a college-wide community through teaching and learning
  • Increase interest in teaching and learning
  • Investigate ways that diverse viewpoints can enhance teaching and learning
  • Nourish the scholarship of teaching and learning and its application to student learning
  • Increase collaboration across disciplines

Through their participation, members can expect to:

  • Increase their awareness of the range of evidence-based teaching and learning practices
  • Identify factors that influence pedagogical choices
  • Feel an increased sense of belonging to a community of scholar-educators
  • Increase their awareness of the range of resources and services to support teaching

Spring 2020 Learning Communities

Learning Communities for Spring 2020 have been cancelled and will be reassessed. Sign up for the Teaching and Learning newsletter to keep informed about programming at DCAL.

Contact DCAL for more information about Learning Communities at DCAL.


These on-going learning communities gather periodically (often monthly) and have a mix of participants who attend regularly and those who may only come to a single session based on the topic.  Topics are usually brainstormed by the participants and chosen by the facilitators.   

Learning Community for Future Faculty
The LCFF was established to cultivate a community focused on teaching and learning amongst graduate students and postdocs. The focus of this group is to share the rewards and challenges of college teaching, while digging a bit deeper into best practices and techniques for teaching and related career development issues. Any grad student or postdocs can volunteer to facilitate.  The LCFF meets monthly and the topics and format are chosen by the participants. Contact Cindy Rosalbo for more information.

Teaching Science Seminar
Since 2006, the Teaching Science Seminar has provided a venue for science faculty to discuss issues concerning teaching and learning in the sciences. Teaching Science Seminar meets monthly during the term over lunch at DCAL. Meetings address various issues and topics related to teaching science, and are led by either Dartmouth faculty or invited speakers. Contact Cindy Rosalbo for more information.