14. Seminars

FLC Program Directors

Your office should find rooms, order food and room arrangements, AV material, etc.

FLC Facilitator

Planning and finding presenters for FLC seminars is an important part of your facilitation. At first you may need to facilitate some seminars. The answers to the questions below will guide your work. To find out what topics are of interest to your FLC members before your meeting to plan topics, use a seminar topic request form (word doc).

If possible, collect the schedules of your FLC participants the term before the FLC begins. Identify two-hour time slots in which to schedule seminars. If there are several options, let the community decide which ones to select. If there are no times available, alternate between times with the fewest conflicts, making sure that everyone can attend one or the other. If some cannot attend a session, share your notes, handouts, etc. with them.

At seminars it is sometimes helpful to have everyone read an article ahead of time, perhaps one on-line, for example, from the Journal on Excellence on College Teaching (site licenses for all faculty at an institution are available).

After the first year you may be tempted to repeat a successful agenda that worked well the previous year. However, the new members of your FLC may have different needs and ideas. The previous year’s schedule and topics can serve as an example for the new community, but let them start anew and design an agenda with format and topics that meets their needs.

Your role in seminar and retreat planning is to provide guidance and boundaries. You should be a helpful facilitator, and your FLC will appreciate your insights and light-handed touch. Use a seminar information request form (word doc) to fine tune an upcoming seminar.

Examples of memos inviting session leaders and reporting back to the group are on the FLC website.

FAQs About Choosing Seminar Topics

  1. What seminar selection method do we use?

    The group suggests, discusses, and selects topics and facilitators by consensus. Plan for first semester—leave second semester open.

  2. What topics could we skip?

Consider what sessions will be presented at other university-wide sessions or conferences the FLC may attend, for example, the Lilly Conference.  Avoid duplication.

  1. Do topics vary in complexity?

Topics may vary from “how to” (for example, training in use of web technology) to complex (how to meet the learning needs of students in various stages of intellectual development).

  1. Do things change as the year unfolds?

The “seminar process” is developmental. Usually, at some point the members of the group wish to be the seminar leaders and contributors. The group then moves to focus on their own experiences, not just those of outside experts.

This project has been supported in part by grants from the US Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE) and the Ohio Board of Regents.