High-Impact Faculty Development: How El Camino College Helps Faculty Implement Learning-Centered Techniques in the Classroom

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by Lisa Cook, Academic Impressions

Have you experienced this scenario? Your faculty members attend a professional development training and return to campus excited to try new ideas. Fast-forward a few months...and little has changed because pedagogical transformation was shunted aside in favor of day-to-day teaching and research obligations.

When this scenario happened at El Camino College, a group of faculty decided to change it.

"Life's very, very busy so it's hard to take this next step," explains Kristie Daniel-DiGregorio, Professor of Human Development. Along with her colleagues, she noticed that faculty would feel "electrified" by training, but that afterward, techniques were only implemented in an ad hoc fashion. She and a team of her colleagues wondered what would happen if the college continued to support their professional development on an ongoing basis after the training concluded. El Camino's Faculty Inquiry Partnership Program — FIPP — was created to do just that.

And they've been tracking the results. Student success rates in courses taught by faculty who participated in FIPP are two percent higher than rates in courses taught by faculty who had not attended. More than 90% of students reported that the strategies faculty in FIPP employed helped them better understand the material and increased their interest in the content. 97% of El Camino faculty in FIPP continued to use two or more of the learning strategies in their teaching, and nearly half reported using six or more strategies.

We wanted to learn more about what has made El Camino's program successful, and we reached out to Daniel-DiGregorio to learn more about:

  1. The components of FIPP: How it works
  2. The role that peer accountability plays in the program
  3. Some proven practices for institutions that may be considering a similar approach

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