Faculty Inquiry Groups

Faculty Inquiry Groups

Faculty Inquiry Groups (FIGS) allow small groups of faculty members (4 minimum - 8 maximum) to meet in person or online to work together on a specific question, issue, or concern having to do with teaching and learning.

Fall 2021 deadline (for Winter/Spring FIGS): Friday, November 19, 2021 at noon.

There may be another deadline for Spring FIGS, but this will depend upon existing funds.

Why participate in Faculty Inquiry Groups?

FIGs give participants the opportunity to: 

  • meet with colleagues to discuss and/or research a particular issue related to teaching your discipline
  • meet with other interested colleagues for an informal discussion of teaching and learning
  • collaborate with other faculty to research and discuss a specific topic or project that will have an impact on student learning
  • learn and share ideas around a common theme or question in teaching and learning
  • continue to develop professionally as a college teacher and faculty member

What are some possible topics for Faculty Inquiry Groups?

  • Teaching strategies/ approaches
    • Active learning: theory and methods
    • Problem-based learning/ using case studies in teaching
    • Effective lecturing
    • Collaborative/cooperative learning: theory and methods
    • Service learning/ community-based learning
  • Teaching modalities/ settings
    • Online teaching, teaching with technology, teaching hybrid courses
    • Strengthening instructional skills/practices in a vocational setting
  • Skill-building
    • Writing across the curriculum
    • Developing students' oral communication
    • Enhancing students' critical thinking skills
  • Inclusion, Equity, Justice, and Cultural Competency
    • English language learners
    • Privilege, difference, and discrimination in the classroom
    • Challenging students' stereotypes, biases, and misperceptions
    • Inclusive teaching
    • Culturally competent, responsive, or sustaining teaching. See the Library Guide:  Faculty Professional Development for Cultural Competency or the Inclusive Teaching Bookshelf in the Center for Teaching and Learning (as of Winter 2021).
  • Classroom Management
    • Building student confidence and belonging
    • Increasing student engagement
  • Ethical issues in teaching
  • Designing teaching portfolios

Guidelines for forming and maintaining a Faculty Inquiry Group:

  • Groups can be formed any time during the academic year.
  • Groups should plan to meet in person or online at least five times over the course of a term or year. In addition, facilitators will coordinate with the FPD Coordinator for information and planning. Participants typically spend 10 hours reading, researching, and discussing their topic.
  • All faculty members are eligible to participate in FIGS.
  • Groups may be from the same discipline or cross-disciplinary.
  • Each group must have a specific focal topic, issue, concern, question, project, or problem that it will spend the term and/or year addressing.
  • FIG funding cannot be used for curriculum development. Please use the regular College process for curriculum development requests. Faculty Inquiry Groups are not intended to be an orientation program or mentoring program.
  • One faculty member must agree to facilitate the group. This person will arrange and announce meeting times, dates, and locations; manage the group's finances; and make any necessary arrangements for the group's activities. The facilitator is also responsible for submitting a brief report after the final meeting that lists the members who attended and summarizes each of the meetings in a few sentences.
  • Each group will receive up to $250 from Faculty Professional Development to support the group's activities. This money can be used for books or materials, duplication of articles, refreshments for meetings, local travel, a guest speaker, or other expenses that further the project the group has undertaken. Awards will not be made solely for refreshments. For materials, food, or off campus meal reimbursement, the facilitator will be expected to submit itemized receipts with your reimbursement form, and limit expenses for off campus meals to per diem rates. Please note: alcohol expenses cannot be reimbursed.
  • Participants will be awarded up to a $400 honorarium, based upon attendance and participation in the FIG. Those attending less than 50% of the FIG meetings will receive no honorarium.
  • Applications must be complete to be approved.
  • Faculty Inquiry Groups are expected to share their learning with an appropriate audience. Options include but are not limited to reports, presentations, or workshops for your department, your division, or the larger faculty community at the CTL Symposium in Spring term. FPD has a small fund to support refreshments for FIG presentations.
  • Facilitators are expected to write a short report to be shared on the FPD website. Reports should include:
  • The topic or governing questions of your FIG;
  • The resources the group found most helpful;
  • A brief description of each of your meetings; and
  • The overall outcomes of the project, including benefits of the FIG experience for group members.
  • Funds are limited. Priority will be given to those departments that have not recently hosted a FIG. In the event that your FIG is not funded for a particular term, the application may be forwarded to the next term/s.

How can I apply?

Complete the proposal form and email it to fpd@lanecc.edu.

View a sample application

The total number of groups funded is based on available funds. For further information, or to discuss a possible focus topic for your group, please contact the FPD Coordinator, Aryn Bartley at bartleya@lanecc.edu or 541-463-3398.

How can I request reimbursement for expenses?

After your FIG has been approved, please print, fill out the FPD Reimbursement form, and email it to fpd@lanecc.edu.

NOTE: FPD stipends will automatically be included in your pay check from the College. Please do not open up a separate time sheet in My Lane and submit for approval. This will result in a dock in pay and takes time to reverse. Thank you!

Sample FIG Proposals and Reports

FIG Title, Department Proposal Report
Classroom Techniques to Promote Critical Thinking, LLC LLC 2013 Proposal LLC 2013 Report
Technology in the Language Learning, ESL ESL 2014 Proposal ESL 2014 Report
Reading Apprenticeship, multiple departments RA 2014 Proposal RA 2014 Report
ABSE Student Retention, ABSE ABSE 2014 Proposal

ABSE 2014 Report

ABSE Meeting Log

Best Practices in Online Teaching for Mathematics, Math Math 2014 Proposal Math Report
Technology in Teaching, ESL ESL A 2014 Proposal
Multiculturalism and Classroom Management, ESL ESL B 2014 Proposal
Writing and Community, LLC Writing 2014 Proposal LLC Report


FPD would like to acknowledge the Lansing Community College's Center for Teaching Excellence for the use of their materials on Teaching Circles. This program is also based on a highly successful model developed by the Carnegie Foundation's Strengthening Pre-Collegiate Education in Community Colleges (SPECC) project. View past project ideas and find additional information.