Inquiries into Teaching and Learning

The Academic Affairs Assessment Committee (AAAC) and the Faculty Center for Teaching & Learning (FCTL) invite you to engage in systematic assessment of student learning outcomes as part of FCTL's Inquiries into Teaching and Learning project. This project is funded by the Office of Academic Affairs through AAAC and FCTL.

This principle aim of the project, like that first articulated by Walvoord and Anderson (1998) and, later, by Savory et al. (2007) , is "to help you approach your own teaching in a more structured fashion, as you investigate teaching (and learning) questions that you really care about, that cycle back into your teaching for improved student learning, that are embedded within a specific classroom context, and that you may have encountered over successive course offerings."

It is also our hope that participants in this project will go on to serve as resources for faculty at Ferris who wish to improve their teaching and students' learning through a systematic assessment of student learning outcomes.

Participants in the project will proceed through two phases:

Phase I: Planning

During this phase, you will work individually and the other participants to:


  • Identify one or more "points of inquiry," that is, specific questions about your teaching or your students' learning that you wish to examine.
  • Identify or develop assessment tools or methods to collect information that will provide answers to your questions.
  • Establish a timeline for carrying out this work.

Phase II: Implementation and Reflection

  • Collect the information
  • Consider how the information answers your questions and what changes to your teaching, the course, etc., are warranted.

Phase III: Dissemination

During this phase, you will meet with the other project participants to share your findings and lessons learned. You will also, if you choose, have opportunities to share your findings more widely with other faculty on campus or at a conference.


Support for faculty includes:

  • Collaboration with Ferris faculty and staff with expertise in the areas of teaching, learning, and assessment.
  • Funding of no more than $1,000 per participant to attend a symposium, conference, or workshop on student learning outcomes and assessment.
  • Professional Development Incentives, contingent on successful completion of each phase. Phase I: $200 PDI; Phase II: $400 PDI; Phase III: $200 PDI.

Invitation to faculty

All Ferris faculty (tenure-track and non-tenure track alike) are invited to participate in this project; please send a letter of interest to Todd Stanislav. This letter needs only to indicate that you are interested in participating in the Inquiries into Teaching and Learning project and the course which will be the context of your assessment. You may send the letter by campus mail (IRC 134A) or e-mail at


If you have any questions, please contact Todd Stanislav at ext. 3541 or by e-mail to


Walvoord, B.E. and V.J. Anderson. 1998. Effective Grading: A Tool for Learning and Assessment. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA.

Savory, P., A.N. Burnett, and A. Goodburn. 2007. Inquiry into the College Classroom: A Journey Toward Scholarly Teaching. Anker Publ. Co., Inc., Bolton, MA.


"Assessment at Ferris State University"  This is a home page for access to a wealth of information and links regarding assessment activities, support, and resources at Ferris State University and elsewhere on the web.

The Science Centre for Learning and Teaching is a "research-focused unit engaged in the scholarship of teaching and learning in the Faculty of Science at The University of British Columbia. Its research perspective is "reflective, practice-based, project- and community-building oriented."

The Assessment Institute
October 25-27, 2009
Indianapolis, Indiana

The Assessment Institute in Indianapolis is the nation´s oldest and largest event focused exclusively on Outcomes Assessment in Higher Education and is designed to provide opportunities for:

  • Individuals and campus teams new to outcomes assessment to acquire foundation knowledge about the field
  • Individuals who have worked as leaders in outcomes assessment to extend their knowledge and skills
  • Those interested in outcomes assessment at any level to establish networks that serve as sources of support and expertise beyond the dates of the Institute.

Presentation at 2009 SOTL Academy

PowerPoint slides for "Inquiries into Teaching and Learning: Putting Research into Practice through an Initiative to Support SOTL at Ferris State University," by John S. Gray, Meral Topcu, Bonnie Wright, Clifton Franklund, and Todd Stanislav, a presentation at the first Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SOTL) Academy held May 18-19, 2009, in Ypsilanti, Michigan on the campus of Eastern Michigan University.