Effective and Ethical Survey Methods

Here is a video (in two parts) that discusses strategies for creating surveys.

If you plan on doing a FIG and/or using a survey with your students,  this video can help you create the most effective survey to get the information you need while respecting the time and privacy of your respondents.

2011 bcctlc surveymethods part1

2011 bcctlc surveymethods part2

Fall 2010 Faculty/Staff Inquiry Group Information

Faculty/Staff Inquiry Groups

Mini Grant Application

Berkeley City College – Fall 2010

Due Wednesday, September 22nd, 5 pm

The Title III Initiative will fund up to 25 Berkeley City College faculty members in Fall 2010 to conduct research in their classes to improve their teaching and student learning. Faculty must work in groups of 2 – 5 members (some staff may also qualify to participate) to develop a critical question that will guide research in their classrooms during spring 2010 (you will be asked to write a tentative critical question as a part of your application).

While faculty from the same department may work together, interdisciplinary teams may also apply. The teams will meet at least four times over the semester to form their research question, develop a plan to investigate it, and review the data to make recommendations. At the end of the semester, the groups will be asked to share their findings with each other in the form of a short report or presentation board AND through video interviews. Even though priority will be given to projects that explicitly focus on working with basic skills students, we believe that all instructors would benefit from this kind of collaboration and will do our best to fund a variety of projects.

A subcommittee of the Teaching and Learning Center Advisory Committee and the Title III team will approve the final list of projects.

Project Goals:

  • Create a culture of collaboration;
  • Strengthen teaching through inquiry and research;
  • Improve staff and faculty understanding of student learning;
  • Document the findings to plan future workshops, projects, and plans.

Criteria for Selection:

  • The inquiry question is focused (click here for more details on how to develop a strong inquiry question);
  • The inquiry focuses on at least one of the following areas:
    • Basic skills students and/or instruction;
    • Retention, persistence, and success of all students;
    • Student services that support student completion and success;
    • SLO assessment and/or “closing the loop”;
  • The proposal exhibits a sense of urgency, passion, and interest in the issue;
  • The inquiry leads faculty and staff to gather meaningful information from students to better understand their learning and experiences;
  • The inquiry should forge new ground rather than merely substantiating claims or research already documented;
  • [If applicable] Teams should be inclusive, inter-disciplinary, and/or cross-function.

Once you receive the grant, all team members must:

  • Attend the orientation where you will refine your question and develop a tentative research plan;
  • Meet at 3 more times over the semester (the first orientation counts as the first meeting, and the final presentation as the last);
  • Take simple notes of your discussions;
  • Conduct research/gather data from your classrooms and from your students;
  • Evaluate the research together;
  • Develop recommendations, findings, or paths for future research;
  • Allow a video team to interview at least two team members and one meeting (optional: video taping of one classroom);
  • Participate in the final presentation meeting.


  • Faculty will be awarded $300 stipends at the end of the semester upon completion of the requirements; team leaders will receive $400.


Click HERE for Online Application

Faculty Inquiry Group BCC (Simple) app F2010


Faculty/Staff Inquiry Groups (FIGs) Fall 2010

This fall we will continue to support Faculty/Staff Inquiry Groups through the Teaching and Learning Center. Through this project, teams of faculty and/or staff members will develop a critical question into a thorny issue around student experience and success at BCC. Teams will participate in orientations, receive coaching, and conduct research in their work. Selected teams will receive a small stipend for their work.


  • Create a culture of collaboration;
  • Strengthen teaching through inquiry and research;
  • Improve staff and faculty understanding of student learning;
  • Document the findings to plan future workshops, projects, and plans.

For more information, click this link:  Fall 2010 FIGs

For the application, click here:  FIG Online Application

What makes a strong inquiry question?

Why does inquiry require a question?

Often, when we are working to fulfill some requirement or to achieve some goal, we do not stop to go deeper into the issues before us. We must give quick answers and solutions based on anecdotal data or on our hunches and intuitions. This is a normal way of approaching issues.

Inquiry allows us the room to wonder, to question, and to ask our students what they think. It opens a space for critical and creative thinking, for building our receptivity to ideas that may not match our own, and it allows us to change our minds. So, rather than come up with a solution after a long meeting, a strong inquiry question guides our discussions, our research, and our listening, so that eventually our thinking leads to thoughtful decisions, policies, and practices.

A good critical question:

  • Should be something each team member feels interested in or about (at least to some degree);
  • Should NOT be easily answered. While you may have a hunch, it will hopefully shed light on an issue or idea that has been unclear to you before;
  • Should be something that forces your team to look beyond the surface;
  • Should lead your team to interact with students (interviews, focus groups, surveys) and their work (tests, papers, freewrites, projects, presentations, etc.);
  • Should be thorny or possibly controversial.