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Collaborative professional learning for higher ed faculty

Focused Online Collaborative Interactions combine best practices in professional learning with the benefits of video conferencing technology to provide direct collaboration with your fellow attendees and session facilitators. Far from being another passive webinar presentation, these synchronous FOCI sessions are highly interactive. There is no travel required to participate!

FOCI logo


Each FOCI series consists of six virtual meetings of scaffolded content that are distributed over time, providing opportunities to implement and reflect on new skills and concepts between sessions.

You’ll work with a cohort of peers in large and small groups to learn together. Facilitators from the Charles A. Dana Center will guide each session and ensure that you have all the tools and support you need to apply your knowledge effectively in the classroom.  

FOCI series designed for higher ed mathematics faculty members:

Series 1: Deepening Student Understanding — Learn More
Promoting effective student discourse through active and collaborative learning

Series 2: Strengthening the Classroom Experience — Learn More
Creating mathematical tasks that are worthy of collaborative effort

Series 7: Strengthening Conceptual Understanding in Introductory Statistics — Learn More
Incorporating active teaching and learning strategies (for in-person or virtual settings)

FOCI series intended for faculty members from any discipline:

Series 3: Empowering Students as Learners — Learn More
Fostering engagement and persistence through psychosocial strategies and learning science

Series 4: Creating Effective Learning Experiences at a Distance — Learn More
Fostering a community of engaged learners in a virtual environment

Series 5: Driving Improved Student Outcomes — Course currently being redesigned
Implementing student-centered teaching and learning

Series 8: Promoting Student Success in College-Level Courses — Learn More
Designing and improving effective corequisite courses

FOCI series intended for academic advisors, academic counselors, or academic specialists:

Series 6: Supporting Academic Advisors to Scale Mathematics Pathways – Learn More
Guiding Students’ Math Journey to and through Math Pathways

Our state-of-the-art videoconferencing.

I especially loved that the experience was research-based, giving me sources/articles to explore (and refer others to) on these topics in the future. I also loved meeting, working with, and getting to know others in our cohort from ALL OVER THE U.S. The nationwide part is, I think, one of my favorite aspects of this experience. Thank you for everything!


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is my commitment?

    Actively participating in the full series of 6 sessions (12 total hours)
    Each session is 2 hours long. During each session we will use authentic situations to explore, struggle with, and make sense of pedagogical and content challenges. Session delivery uses the video and audio features of Zoom. This technology enables us to converse “face-to-face” in real time, in large and small groups, without the expense and hassle of traveling to a central location.

    Preparing for each session and trying new ideas in your own classroom after each session
    Prior to each session, you are expected to do a limited amount of preparation work, often a short reading, video viewing, document analysis, and/or personal reflection. After each session, you commit to trying a technique or approach we discussed during the session.

    Contributing to the large and small group discussions; supporting your peers
    Contribute in the large and small group discussions, bringing your own perspectives and prior experiences into the conversations. Collegially engage in conversations and application activities focused on deepening student understanding through effective student discourse and collaboration.

  • What support will I get from the Dana Center?

    FOCI materials
    You will receive high quality, well-researched, and thoughtful materials for the entire series. All session materials – readings, reflections, handouts, and slide decks - will be provided. You will also have access to recordings of the sessions so that you can review the content on your own.

    Support from trained facilitators
    Dana Center curriculum and professional learning specialists will lead the sessions. These individuals are available to answer questions and provide support during and between the sessions. They can address content and application questions as well as technology issues (e.g. the video conferencing platform).

    Certificate of completion
    You will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the series that may be submitted with tenure or promotional materials for your department. The topics and number of hours of professional learning you completed will be listed on the certificate.