Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many institutions had to rapidly shift from in-person to online learning in the spring of 2020. The Fusion Course aims to provide critical training and support for faculty as they continue to adapt to online teaching and offers instruction for how to integrate community engagement methodologies into existing curricula to improve the quality of course delivery and foster student engagement.

Through this faculty development course, learn how to infuse community-based learning into online courses to give students hands-on, real-world experience that will strengthen learning, create connections to the larger community, and improve student retention rates.


The curriculum for this program aims to:

  • Introduce faculty to best practices in community-based and problem-based learning pedagogy
  • Introduce faculty to best practices in engaged online teaching and building community online
  • Explore the potential benefits and challenges, as well as best practices, of using community-based learning in online courses
  • Introduce faculty to and model helpful online learning tools, techniques, and technologies

As a result of their participation in this course, each faculty member will:

  • Identify a course in which they could fuse community-based learning with online learning
  • Learn about and select resources, tools, and strategies that will help to implement that course
  • Create a blueprint/outline for a future course that integrates community-based learning in an online course
  • Be part of an expanded network of educators from across the country who are dedicated to community-based learning

Anticipated benefits for students:

  • A more engaged education and online experience
  • Development of 21st-century skills
  • Hands-on experience rooted in addressing vital community issues and assets

Course Format:
The Fusion Course consists of 5 units to be completed through a combination of autonomous work and live sessions for participants to further discuss course materials and best practices:

  • Unit 1: Getting Started
    Introduction to the course, your instructors, your fellow learners, online learning and community-based learning
  • Unit 2: Project Design and Community Partners
    Designing a community-based learning project that is appropriate for your online course and community partner integration
  • Unit 3: Preparing Learners & Building Online Communities
    Helping students (and faculty!) engage and succeed in an online setting, including cultivating online communities and building student competencies
  • Unit 4: Project Implementation, Assessment, and Reflection
  • Unit 5: Finalizing, Sharing and Celebrating Your Fusion Work
    Finalizing and presenting your course blueprint/outline, ongoing resources/support and celebrating your community-engaged course

Participants can expect to spend a minimum of 20 hours on this course, including reading, discussions, writing, group work, practicing technology tools, and reflecting. During the course, each faculty member will develop their own infused course blueprint.

Three Fusion Course sessions will be offered this fall and early winter, with more in the coming calendar year.


Fusion Course Sessions

Fusion Course Session 1 | October 27 - November 13

Live meeting times:

  • Tuesday, October 27th, 3:30-5:30 PM Eastern 
  • Thursday, October 29th, 2:00-3:00 PM Eastern
  • Tuesday, November 3rd, 3:30-5:00 PM Eastern
  • Thursday, November 5th, 2:00-3:00 PM Eastern
  • Tuesday, November 10th, 5:00-6:30 PM Eastern
  • Thursday, November 12th, 2:00-3:00 PM Eastern
Fusion Course Session 2 | December 1 - December 18

Live meeting times:

  • Tuesday, December 1st, 3:00-5:00 PM Eastern 
  • Thursday, December 3rd, 4:00-5:00 PM Eastern
  • Tuesday, December 8th, 3:00-4:30 PM Eastern 
  • Thursday, December 10th, 4:00-5:00 PM Eastern
  • Tuesday, December 15th, 3:00-4:30 PM Eastern 
  • Thursday, December 17th, 4:00-5:00 PM Eastern
Fusion Course Session 3 | January 4 - January 15

Live meeting times:

  • Tuesday, January 5th, 3:30-5:30 PM Eastern 
  • Thursday, January 7th, 3:00-4:30 PM Eastern
  • Tuesday, January 12th, 3:30-5:30 PM Eastern
  • Thursday, January 14th, 3:00-4:30 PM Eastern

Questions? Contact Sally at sally@mainecompact.org.