Degree Granting Department
Adult, Career, and Higher Education
Jan Ignash, Ph.D.
Community of practice, Faculty learning community, Institutional research, Quality enhancement plan, Assessment, Student learning outcomes
Focusing upon the intersections between community college faculty and assessment professionals (e.g., institutional researchers) in improving student learning outcomes, the purpose of this study was to describe, analyze, and interpret the experiences of these professionals as they planned for and conducted student learning outcomes assessment in developmental reading, writing, and study skills courses. This instrumental case study at one particular community college in Florida investigated the roles played by these individuals within the larger college effort to develop a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), an essential component of a regional accreditation review. The methodology included individual interviews, a focus group interview, a field observation, and analysis of documents related to assessment planning.
There were several major findings: Â· Assessment professionals and faculty teaching developmental courses had similar professional development interests (e.g., teaching and learning, measurement). Â· While some faculty leaders assumed a facilitative role similar to that of an assessment professional, the reporting structure determined the appropriate action taken in response to the results of assessment. That is, assessment professionals interpreted results and recommended targets for improvement, while faculty and instructional administrators implemented and monitored instructional strategies. Â· The continuous transformation of the QEP organizational structure through research, strategy formulation, and implementation phases in an inclusive process enabled the college to put its best knowledge and measurement expertise into its five-year plan.
Â· Developmental goals for students in addition to Florida-mandated exit exams included self-direction, affective development such as motivation, and success at the next level. Â· Faculty identified discipline-based workshops as promising vehicles for infusing instructional changes into courses, thus using the results of learning outcomes assessments more effectively.A chronological analysis further contributed to findings of the study. This researcher concluded that the College's eight-year history of developing general education outcomes and striving to improve the college preparatory program through longitudinal tracking of student success had incubated a powerful faculty learning community and an alliance with assessment professionals. This community of practice, when provided the right structure, leadership, and resources, enabled the College to create a Quality Enhancement Plan that faculty and staff members could be proud of.
Scholar Commons Citation
Gordin, Patricia C., "An instrumental case study of the phenomenon of collaboration in the process of improving community college developmental reading and writing instruction" (2006). USF Tampa Graduate Theses and Dissertations.