CETL Faculty Inquiry Group-FIG


WHAT IS FACULTY INQUIRY?

Faculty inquiry is a form of professional development by which faculty identify and investigate questions about their students’ learning and/or about their own professional practices. The inquiry process is ongoing, informed by evidence of student learning and undertaken in a collaborative setting. Findings from the process come back in the form of new curricula, new assessments, and new pedagogies. Faculty may then want to investigate methods and venues for presenting their findings to the larger professional community. The core work of faculty inquiry involves instructors asking questions about the teaching and learning that goes on in their own classrooms; seeking answers by consulting the literature, gathering and analyzing evidence, and engaging students in the process whenever possible; using what they find out to improve the experience of their students; and sharing this work with colleagues so that they and their students can benefit too. Usually, questioning begins with a problem the instructor has perceived—something that’s not going right. (Mary Huber, The Promise of Faculty Inquiry for Teaching and Learning Basic Skills, 13)

What can a Faculty Inquiry Group Do?

  • Create professional communities in which educators can share what happens in their classrooms.
  • Articulate and negotiate the most important outcomes for student learning and/or professional success.
  • Use the tools of classroom research to understand the experience of students more deeply.
  • Share insights and findings among their local colleagues or with the profession at large.
  • Examine a wide range of evidence, from examples of student work to campus-level quantitative data that describes patterns of student performance.
  • Invite, and offer, critical reflection and peer review.
  • Collaborate in the design of curricula, assignments, and assessments.
  • Build trust as an essential component of ongoing improvement.
  • Support professional identity and responsibility among educators.

Faculty Inquiry Groups 2014-2015