Summary Article about CLIPs
An article entitled "Evaluative Inquiry in Complex Times" published in the OD Practioner in 2009 describes how theories of omplex systems were used in the development of Communities of Learning, Inquiry, and Practice (CLIPs). It also describes the bsic design and operation of CLIPs including both the operation of CLIPs among the faculty and the positioning of CLIPs within the overall college structure.
Studies and Reports During CLIP Development
The study of using Communities of Learning, Inquiry, and Practice (CLIPs) to build the evaluative inquiry capacity of community college faculty began in Spring 2004 with Bakersfield College as the pilot site. The study had two major prongs: (a) the design and operation of CLIPs among the faculty and (b) an approach for positioning CLIPs within a college structure and culture so they are sustainable beyond the life of the grant and research study.
Designing and Operating CLIPs
When the study begin in early 2004, it focused first on how to design and operate CLIPs within the Bakersfield College context. We began with an informal assessment of the culture, structures, policies, and practices within the college. We considered how to position the CLIP to ensure success for the initial round of CLIPs as well as their long-term sustainability at the college.
Evaluation results showed that the first round of CLIPs (which operated during the 2004-05 school year) were well received and successful in accomplishing their purpose. InSites provided overall facilitation and coaching for the work of the CLIPs.
First-Year Voices: Faculty Building Communities of Learning, Inquiry, and Practice provides information on what the first round of CLIPs did, their impact, and the features of the CLIPs that seem associated with success.
"First-Year Voices" (10/05) (Summary: 2 pages) PDF (120 KB)
"First-Year Voices" (8/05) (Full report: 54 pages) PDF (716 KB)
Once the first round of CLIPs had been in operation for a semester, the study’s coordinating committee at Bakersfield College felt there was sufficient evidence to undertake another round of CLIPs for the 2005-06 school year.
The 2005-06 CLIP Newsletter for Bakersfield College describes the work of the CLIPs during the 2005-06 school year. Six CLIPs were in operation during that time. They focused on Oral Communication, Developmental Writing, General Education Outcomes, Math Learning Objectives, Study Groups in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) courses, and Transitions (from community college to four year institutions).
"2005-06 CLIP Newsletter for Bakersfield College" (8/06) (8 pages) PDF (320 KB)
In November 2005, the coordinating committee developed a plan for how the third round of CLIPs (school year 2006-07) can be operated with overall facilitation and support for within the college rather than primarily through InSites. This round of CLIPs, was being supported by the assessment coordinator and committee at Bakersfield College. The research work at Bakersfield College ended in Summer 2007. The college continued the use of CLIPs during the 2007-08 school year on its own.
The transition to internal facilitation, coordination, and funding, provided the research team with further understanding of CLIPs and the culture, structures, and practices of a college that support them.
The short paper "Building a Culture of Inquiry Through Communities of Learning, Inquiry, and Practice (CLIPs)" (3/07) provides a summary of the status of the CLIP work as of early 2007 PDF (108 KB).
College Context and Culture to Support CLIPs
During the first year of operation, InSites used informal means to assess the college context and culture to determine how to position the CLIPs for both short and long term success.
In 2006 the coordinating committee focused attention on how to support a culture of inquiry on a broader scale within the college. With assistance from InSites, the committee pilot tested the use of an “appreciative inquiry” process. When something increases in value, it “appreciates.” “Inquiry” is the process of seeking to understand through asking questions. Appreciative Inquiry chooses assets as the dominant focus for inquiry. The appreciative inquiry philosophy is being built into the program review process of the college.
As the assessment coordinator and committee build the philosophy and practice of CLIPs into the life of the college, they seek to understand and highlight the features of Bakersfield College that create a culture in which CLIPs and other philosophically congruent processes can be sustained to support ongoing renewal of teaching and learning.
Relationship of Student Learning Outcomes to Assessment
Engaging and Meaningful Program Assessment for Student Learning in Community Colleges provides the basic assumptions/perspectives about assessment that are congruent with the philosophy of the CLIPs. These include assumptions about the purpose of assessment, why assessment is important in a rapidly changing world, the role of assessment in renewing teaching and learning, how to use assessment to address meaningful questions, and the context for valuable program assessment. This paper helps clarify the differences between assessment of student learning outcomes and program assessment and evaluation.
"Engaging and Meaningful Program Assessment" (12/05) (Summary: 4 pages) PDF (196 KB)
"Engaging and Meaningful Program Assessment" (12/05) (Full report: 32 pages) PDF (484 KB)