Faculty Inquiry Groups

Faculty Inquiry Groups

What is a Faculty Inquiry Group?

Faculty Inquiry Groups (FIGS) is a professional development program in which a small group of faculty members (4 - 10 maximum) meet in person or online at least five times throughout the academic year or a term to work together on a specific question, issue, or concern in their teaching and/or their students' learning.

Why participate in Faculty Inquiry Groups?

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

What are some possible topics for Faculty Inquiry Groups?

  • Issues in online teaching in your discipline
  • Evaluating teaching
  • Learning styles and teaching styles
  • Problem-based learning
  • Teaching and learning with technology
  • Writing across the curriculum
  • Ethical issues in teaching
  • Collaborative/cooperative learning: theory and methods
  • Using case studies in teaching
  • Applying learning theory to the classroom
  • Active learning: theory and methods
  • Developing students' oral communication
  • Incivility in the classroom: dealing with difficult students
  • Infusing issues of privilege, difference, and discrimination in the classroom
  • Working with difficult or disruptive students
  • Student success
  • Service learning
  • Teaching portfolios
  • Strengthening instructional skills/practices in a vocational setting
  • Effective lecturing
  • Course and syllabus design
  • Enhancing students' critical thinking skills
  • Classroom assessment techniques
  • Assessing and grading students' learning
  • Multiculturalism in the classroom
  • Challenging students' stereotypes, biases, and misperceptions
  • Teaching hybrid classes
  • Course and syllabus design (but not curriculum development)
  • Strategies for teaching
  • English language learners
  • See the Library Guide:  Faculty Professional Development for Cultural Competency: https://libraryguides.lanecc.edu/culturalcomp  The goal of the guide is to collect materials that will inspire faculty to participate in FIGs (Faculty Inquiry Groups) exploring topics through an equity lens. The guide is not exhaustive but a selective sampling of relevant material. Claire will continue to add resources, especially materials that can be used in the classroom setting--a specific request by the CCPD committee. Feel free to send suggestions and feedback directly to Claire at dannenbaumc@lanecc.edu.

Guidelines for forming and maintaining a Faculty Inquiry Group:

  • Groups can be formed any time during the academic year and should plan to meet in person or online at least five times. 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.
  • 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, please 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.
  • 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.
  • Participants will be awarded up to a $300 honoraria, based upon attendance and participation in the FIG. Those attending less than 50% of the FIG meetings will receive no honoraria.
  • Participants may be invited to share the results of their projects and discussions with colleagues at LCC, and are encouraged to consider presenting an Academic Colloquium.
  • Faculty Inquiry Groups are not intended to be an orientation program or mentoring program.
  • Funding is available on a first come, first – served basis.

For more information about this program, please contact the FPD Coordinator, Adrienne Mitchell at mitchella@lanecc.edu or (541) 463-5871.

How can I apply?

First, complete the proposal form. 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, Adrienne Mitchell at mitchella@lanecc.edu or (541) 463-5871.

View a sample application

How can I request reimbursement for expenses?

After your FIG has been approved, please print, fill out the FPD Reimbursement form, and turn it in to Leah Smith (Building 16/ room 166). 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 is timely to reverse. Thank you!

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.

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
Multi-culturalism and Classroom Management, ESL ESL B 2014 Proposal
Writing and Community, LLC Writing 2014 Proposal LLC Report