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


PEERS in PEDAGOGY: BCC’s Faculty-to-Faculty Mentoring Program

PEERS in PEDAGOGY: BCC’s Faculty-to-Faculty Mentoring Program – Fall 2010, led by Linda McAllister & Laura Ruberto

General Goals:

Through the Faculty Peer Mentoring Program we hope to encourage teacher effectiveness, collaborative learning, and student retention. We also hope the program, in its pilot Fall 2010 run, will help build community at BCC especially across disciplines and among part-time instructors who often feel isolated. This program will pilot two different approaches to self-assessment and peer-based assessment.


Participants will meet for an orientation during the last week of September when they will be paired with another instructor and decide on the method of assessment they’d like to use. With the assistance of the Program Leadrs, they’ll try out one of the two options (see below) to receive a mid-term assessment of their teaching and of student experience in their class. The Program Leaders will prepare a short conversational-video explaining the goals and basic structure for the program. The video will be put online.  They will continue to solicit interested participants. At the end of the semester, participants will draft a short report and attend a final meeting to debrief their experience and to offer professional develop suggestions to the Teaching and Learning Center.



Instructor is videotaped, watches tape, and does a self-assessment exercise based on video. Two people who self-evaluated with video meet and discuss findings and strategies for improvement, which could involve visiting each other’s classroom, for instance.

RESULT: Pairs will write up a collaborative report about efficacy of teaching strategies and also of the process of video-tape self-assessment. This report will be anonymous.


Two instructors will visit each other’s classrooms, observe some teaching and then (without the instructor present) engage students in directed conversation about the classroom learning using the TAP method. Instructors will meet and exchange and discuss findings.

RESULT: Pairs will write up a collaborative report about efficacy of teaching strategies and also of the process of TAP assessment. This report will be anonymous.

For more information, please contact Laura Ruberto (lruberto@peralta.edu) or Linda McAllister (lmcallister@peralta.edu).

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

Fall 2010 Programs

This fall, Title III and the Basic Skills Initiative are running four different types of activities in the Teaching and Learning Center.

The Inclusive Classroom
This workshop series taught by Dr. Kimberly Mayfield from Holy Names College focuses on helping teachers develop curriculum and teaching practices that reach students with a wide-range of life experiences, learning styles, and cultural backgrounds. Monthly workshops will be held during Fall 2010 and participants will continue in Spring 2010 as mentors to additional participants. Compensation (subject to change): $1000 stipend for full participation. Contacts: Joan Berezin (jberezin@peralta.edu) & Terry Tricomi (ttricomi@peralta.edu).

Student Learning Outcomes Workshop
Dr. Mary J. Allen will present a workshop on how create simple and sustainable assessments connected to your department’s Student Learning Outcomes. The training will consist of one initial workshop with follow-up meetings to complete SLOs by department. Faculty appointed by department to conduct SLO assessment and follow-up should sign-up and attend the first workshop. Compensation: TBA. Contacts: Joan Berezin (jberezin@peralta.edu) & Terry Tricomi (ttricomi@peralta.edu).

Faculty/Staff Inquiry Groups [FIGs]
Teams of faculty and staff work together to research a thorny issues the encounter when working with students. The research questions should require the team to gather data from students to better understand the issue. Orientation in September; final presentation in late November/early December; meetings with team during semester.Priority will be given to inter-disciplinary teams, projects designed to close the assessment loop, and projects that focus on basic skills students. Compensation: $400 for team lead/$300 for participants (maximum 5). Contact: Scott Hoshida (shoshida@peralta.edu; 510-981-2897).

Faculty Peer Mentoring Program
This fall, the TLC will test two different peer-based assessment models to give participating faculty mid-term feedback on their teaching. The first model will include video-taping classroom teaching and conducting self-assessments, and the second model includes student feedback facilitated and recorded by another faculty member. In both cases, the Program Leaders will help set up the assessments, gather data about the effectiveness of each, and create recommendations for future professional development to support teaching and learning. Contact: Laura Ruberto (lruberto@peralta.edu) or Linda McAllister (lmcallister@peralta.edu).

TLC Workshop Development Grant (application to be released in October)
This pilot mini-grant program will fund a few teachers to develop workshops in Spring 2010. No compensation in F2010. Contact: Scott Hoshida (shoshida@peralta.edu; 510-981-2897).

Other Workshops, Programs, Presentations, etc.
If you are interested in using the Teaching and Learning Center for any event for faculty and staff at BCC, then please do not hesitate to contact the coordinator, Scott Hoshida, to schedule a time to use the space and to help publicize your event.

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