Creating and Sustaining Transdisciplinary Faculty Learning Communities (NeMLA 2020)

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association
contact email: 

North East Modern Language Association's 51st Annual Convention, March 5-8, 2020
Boston, Massachusetts


Faculty learning communities offer an environment in which normally isolated spaces, places, and disciplinary-specific language and cultures can interact to produce new insights into members’ professional identity and pedagogy while simultaneously enriching a college’s broader community of ideas. The structure of such groups also has the benefit of being far more flexible than formal or ad hoc committees, which are often constrained by end-oriented goals, college bylaws, and other such protocols.


At my home institution, Florida SouthWestern State College, this concept has produced the Community of Practice in Instructional Technology, a transdisciplinary learning community focused on how faculty across all of our college’s academic programs use technology in the classroom. Starting from a small founding cohort, the group has gained momentum to become one of the college’s more well-known learning communities and caps each academic year with a digital pedagogy open house that features a number of concurrent workshops by the group’s members.


The hope is that this roundtable can bring together individuals who are involved in faculty learning communities on a variety of topics from a range of institution types. There are no requirements in terms of participants’ discipline or the role(s) they play in their respective learning communities because, in the spirit of such communities and the convention as a whole, we hope to view this subject from as many vantage points as possible. At their core, all proposals should use the author’s experiences to explore how learning communities of practice can help faculty and staff enlarge their own horizons as teachers and institutional citizens.


Please keep in mind that this is a roundtable session rather than a traditional panel presentation. In this format, a larger number of presenters (approximately 5-8) will each speak for 5-10 minutes (as per NeMLA guidelines) so that more time is reserved for conversation, idea sharing, and/or debate between participants and the audience.


Please submit 300 word abstracts before September 30th through the NeMLA submission page:


Applicants are not required to be NeMLA members at the time of submission but accepted speakers will have to become members by December 9th. 


For further information contact Dr. Scott Ortolano ( or consult