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APPLEs: Action Plan Projects for Learning Excellence

 

What is an APPLE (or “BIG FIG”)?

An APPLE (Action Plan Project for Learning Excellence) is an opportunity for small groups of faculty/staff  to carry out action plans from previous FIGs or  assessments (SLOs, ILOs, CCSSE, etc.). Participants create or implement a concrete product or action that will lead to increased student success. In brief, FIGs and other assessments identify problems and make recommendations, and APPLEs take the next step to solve the problem.

Examples:

  • Create or revise a class, curriculum, program sequence, etc. to meet needs identified by the inquiry/assessment
  • Make a website of shared resources for a particular need
  • Create a collection of model and non-model student work aligned with a rubric
  • Create a shared rubric/formative assessment project
  • Design and start using a process that better meets student needs in any student services area

What are the goals of the APPLE project?

  • Improve student learning, retention, and success
  • Close the assessment loop by putting recommendations into action
  • Increase collaboration
  • Increase involvement in and understanding of assessment processes

What exactly do people do in an APPLE?

  1. Look at previous findings and recommendations from FIGs/Assessments
  2. Find a few sources of other existing data relevant to your topic to establish a context/rationale
  3. Plan and create or implement your product/action
  4. Conduct a short evaluation of the product/action, or make a plan for doing so if you need more time
  5. Document product/action as
  • Brief written report
  • Brief presentation to all FIG/APPLE groups

What are the required activities for team members?

  • Each person submits their own time sheet (returned via campus mail)  to Lisa Gwyn or Dylan Eret. I’ll give them to your project leader when your project is accepted.
  • Meet at least four times over the year to complete all parts of the project together:

1. Schedule  an initial meeting – please invite the TLC coordinator if possible – where you will refine your plan, develop a timeline, and take a look at previously published research on the issue

2. Participate in the TLC Symposium (May 2018) where you will present your project to all the FIG/APPLE groups and get feedback

3. Meet at least two other times between to complete, implement, and evaluate your work.

What else does the leader need to do?

  • Ensure that the project is moving along on schedule
  • Ensure that all team members are included in the collaboration
  • Maintain contact with TLC coordinator and ask for support when needed
  • Submit communications on time to bcctlc@peralta.edu  (all through email)

Timeline:

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Your proposal should be at least one page and include the following:

  • Your description and goals.
  • A timeline of your project (and research you will use).
  • The final presentation you plan to make (e.g., live workshop at a Flex-Day or Symposium and/or an audio recording between 3-5 minutes) summarizing your research in April 2019.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Please send second email update. This should include the following:

  • Status of group members or participants
  • Preliminary Analysis
  • Key Findings

Thursday, March 21 (Flex-Day Workshop) or Monday, April 19, 2019 (Symposium or Audio Recording)

FORMAT: Flex-Day Workshop, Inquiry to Action Symposium, or Audio Recording of between 3-5 minutes

Your final report should include:

  • a digital presentation (e.g., one-page report, slides, audio recording)
  • your research data (survey results, statistics, focus group notes, link to vimeo, etc. as appropriate)
  • at least two links to existing research (e.g. articles, studies, district data reports) we can add to the TLC digital resource library

How much time will this take?

Estimated total time input is about 20+ hours for APPLE project leaders and participants. While we appreciate enthusiastic participants who do thorough inquiry, APPLE projects are intended to be small enough to complete in a few months with a few meetings and a few hours of outside work. They should inform and improve your teaching or other work experience, not interfere with it.

What about pay?

A number of stipends are available for FIGs and APPLEs this year through Professional Development funds and various grants. Participants that are approved will receive a stipend of $200 (or $300 for group leader/organizer), paid by the end of each semester, after the final reports are received. Priority for stipends will be determined by the TLC Advisory Board according to these criteria:

  1. people working on projects that clearly meet the objectives of the criteria below
  2. part-time faculty and classified staff have priority for stipends over contract faculty
  3. new participants in TLC Collaborative Projects
  4. new participants in FIGs/APPLEs

Please note that you are welcome to run a FIG or APPLE even if we run out of stipend allocations. Also, some projects might have a small core group of 2 or 3 people doing most of the work who request stipends, but others may participate in a focus group, pass out surveys, etc. without committing much time or requesting compensation. All community members are invited to the TLC Symposium.

Who should apply for an APPLE?

Everyone! Although priority will be given to projects that explicitly focus on working with students who need basic skills for college, all instructors and classified staff – and thus all students – can benefit from this kind of collaboration.

 What are the 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:
    • Instructional design: Supports collaborative professional development
    • Guided Pathways: Supports institutional student success
    • Student equity: Supports student completion and success
    • Basic skills students and/or instruction
    • Retention, persistence, equity, and success of all students
    • Outcomes assessment and/or “closing the loop”
    • Radical educational models or forms of inquiry that push the boundaries of learning and pedagogy
  • 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 or interdisciplinary.

What about pay?

A limited number of stipends are available for FIGs and APPLEs this year through Professional Development funds and various grants. Approved TLC project leaders and participants will receive a stipend of $200, paid in May or June, after the final reports are received. Priority for stipends will be determined by the TLC Advisory Board according to these criteria:

  1. people working on projects that clearly meet the objectives of the criteria below
  2. part-time faculty and classified staff have priority for stipends over contract faculty
  3. new participants in TLC Collaborative Projects
  4. new participants in  FIGs/APPLEs

Please note that you are welcome to run a FIG or APPLE even if we run out of stipend allocations. Also, some projects might have a small core group of 2 or 3 people doing most of the work who request stipends, but others may participate in a focus group, pass out surveys, collect student work, etc. without committing much time or requesting compensation. All community members are invited to the Symposium.

Should I apply for an APPLE?

Have you participated in a FIG and/or assessment? Do you have a great idea you’ve been wanting to put into action that will help solve a problem that’s been identified? The APPLE project helps you team up with colleagues to put your great idea into action!

  • The project “closes the loop” by implementing FIG recommendations and/or assessment action plans
  • The project focuses on at least one of the following areas:
    • Curriculum or program development
    • Retention, persistence, equity, and success of all students
    • Instruction/services for students who need “basic skills” support
  • The project surpasses the scope of regular instructional planning and department work
  • The project creates something sustainable that will continue beyond temporary funding

Resources:

  • Teaching and Learning Center

    Sunday 20 January 2019

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