Ideation Circles

Ideation Circles

Encouraging Conversation and Idea Sharing Across the College

*Submit a request to start an Ideation Circle Today!

What are they?

A small group of faculty or staff from any area of the college who come together for at least a semester to discuss a teaching and learning topic that they can delve deeply into during group discussions. Ideation Circles can be around a book, a problem, a project, or simply a topic of interest that will generate conversation, reflection, and build community.

Topics might include ideas such as:

  • Incorporating Active Learning Strategies
  • Fostering Effective Discussions
  • Ideas for Accessible Content
  • Using Canvas in a Face to Face Course
  • Using Critical Thinking Across the College
  • iPads in the Classroom
  • The possibilities are endless!

How are the topics decided?

A group of faculty who want to explore a certain topic usually decide. If you have a teaching and learning topic that is of interest to you, chances are there are other faculty interested also!  Topics can be broad or narrow depending on the group decision. Ideally 2-3 people will suggest a topic to start a Circle and the call for participation will bring in more faculty participation.

Should faculty be from the same department?

One goal of the Ideation Circles is to foster community and encourage interdisciplinary conversation however, there are some topics that might narrow disciplines and that is alright if there is a group of faculty interested in the topic. However, a mix of disciplines is highly encourage to broaden the conversation by inviting a variety of perspectives on a topic.

How do Ideation Circles explore the chosen topic?

To suggest the creation of an Ideation Circle submit a request by completing this form. If possible, include all names of interested faculty. If none yet exist please request to have an open call. After a topic has been chosen the requestor can begin by calling a time to meet. The CTL will provide a location and resources as needed by the group. There are a few ways a group can operate their Ideation Circle:

  • Guided Discussion: This would involve choosing an artifact to discuss such as a TED Talk video, a webcast, an article, a problem scenario, a book, etc.
  • Table Talk: This includes everyone coming prepared with a question or interest in the topic and sharing their thoughts, ideas, and strategies for the chosen topic.
  • Expert Spotlight: The group can invite a colleague, expert, or guest speaker in the chosen topic to come prepared to talk about a group decided question or idea.
  • Learn & Share: The group can decide on a topic or question to research and members come to the Ideation Circle meeting to share what they learned and ask further questions. Depending on time and topic this may be limited to a certain number per meeting time.
  • General Ideating: The format would just be a general conversation around a selected topic. No set agenda other than to discuss issues or ideas about teaching and learning.

How are Ideation Circles Structured?

This should be determined by the group members at the first meeting. This can be informal or formal depending on the group decision. There can be:

Ideating Fashion: This would have no pre-determined leader. The group determines a topic, sets a meeting, and then just sees where the conversation goes. No formal leader is appointed and conversation is free flowing

Share the Circle: Groups can share leadership by each member picking a meeting date to be the “leader” who is responsible for guiding discussion and/or choosing an artifact to discuss, etc.

Ideator: In this structure the group determines a leader who will organize dates, meetings, and topics or artifacts to discuss or explore.

What if our Ideation Circle wants to watch a webinar or buy a book?

The Center for Teaching and Learning wants to encourage interdisciplinary conversation about teaching and learning and will support Ideation Circle projects to the best of its ability. Limited funds are available to support Ideation Circle goals. This may include funding a webinar viewing or purchasing books for a group. Up to 5 Ideation Circles per semester can be supported up to $750. for materials, books, speakers, webinars, etc. To begin this will occur on a first come; first served basis. An Ideation Circle funding request must be submitted with an identified goal for the group.