Windows on Learning: Resources for Basic Skills Education

Faculty Inquiry: Case Studies

There are many ways to improve the quality of teaching and learning, but one that holds special promise is an inquiry-based approach, sometimes referred to as the scholarship of teaching and learning, in which teachers design ways to understand more deeply why and how their students are (or are not) learning. This process becomes especially powerful when done in the company of other educators, and in SPECC we have given this model a name: Faculty Inquiry Groups. On this site you will find a variety of FIG models, along with stories about how they were organized and to what effect.



Prealgebra Classroom Research: Working Together to Improve Student Learning

Learn about the research project of a Teaching Community at Los Medanos College and the impact it had on mathematics instruction.

Visit site


How Jay Got His Groove Back

See how Pasadena City College's Faculty Inquiry Group worked to improve retention in its Mathematics classes.

Visit site


Powerful Uses of Technology in Developmental Composition

Find out more about the English Division at Glendale Community College's in-depth evaluation, revision, and implementation of an advanced electronic pedagogy -- called Full E-mersion -- for its developmental composition program. On this site, you can hear reflections from faculty participants in the Faculty Inquiry Group, and examine, as they did, the experience and work of students in the new program.

Visit site

What FIGS Do:

  • Create professional communities in which educators can share what happens in classrooms
  • Articulate and negotiate the most important outcomes for student learning
  • Use the tools of classroom research to understand the experience of students more deeply
  • Share insights and findings
  • 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 curriculum, assignments, and assessments
  • Build trust as an essential component of ongoing improvement
  • Support professional identity and responsibility among educators



  • This electronic portfolio was created using the KEEP Toolkit, developed at the
    Knowledge Media Lab of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
    Terms of Use - Privacy Policy