Purpose of Website | Project Overview
The NSF Approach | CLIPs | Pilot Study Hypotheses
Pilot Study Components
Relationship of Pilot Study to BC and InSites | Intellectual Property Rights

BC Faculty CLIPs Introduction | Benefits
Relations to Institutional Work on Assessment and Program Review
Who Participates | Framework for CLIP Activities | Stipends/Time
Conferences and Site Visits
CLIP Participants’ Responsibility for Providing Data to InSites
Report | Institutional CLIPs

Purpose of Website

We have established this website to facilitate the work of the (CLIPs) at Bakersfield College that are developing the capacity of community college personnel to evaluate programs and policies and develop an evidence-based culture with student learning as the ultimate goal. It is designed to be continually updated and enhanced as those involved in the project provide information for inclusion.

Project Overview

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a grant (#REC-0335581)  to InSites to test an approach to building the capacity of community college personnel to evaluate/study their instructional practice and the policies and conditions that support high quality teaching and learning. Beverly Parsons, Executive Director of InSites, serves as the Principal Investigator (PI) for the project. Learn more about InSites at www.InSites.org. Bonnie Suderman, Assessment Coordinator, and  Ed Knudson, Dean of Student Learning, are the lead contact persons at Bakersfield College for the grant. Please contact any of them for further information on the overall work of this grant.

Kathy Wyckoff of InSites is the main contact for making changes to this Web site. Please share your thoughts about the Web site as well as information that you think should be included.

The NSF Approach

The approach taken is described in the project title— "Building Program Evaluation Capacity through (CLIPs) at Community Colleges." Bakersfield College serves as a pilot site for the project.


(CLIPs) are informal, dynamic groupings of educators and institutional stakeholders formed to investigate some aspect of teaching and learning of high interest to them. They engage in an "evaluative inquiry" cycle of study and action.

Participants in CLIPs deliberately create a safe, trusting, respectful environment in which to investigate their work and share insights, concerns, solutions, tools, and practices to improve teaching and learning and professional and institutional practices. CLIP participants actively seek assistance and learn from one another and make adjustments in their instruction based on feedback and data. See BC Faculty CLIPs for more information about the CLIPs at Bakersfield College.

Pilot Study Hypotheses

This research study is grounded on three hypotheses:

Pilot Study Components

During the 2005-06 school year, the pilot study at Bakersfield College has these components.

  1. Faculty CLIPs. Teaching and learning-focused CLIPs are being set up in an “incubator” (or greenhouse) style where they are started separately from the broad institutional work on assessment and program review that is underway at Bakersfield College. The CLIPs are being operated over three school years (2004-07) to develop and understanding of their effectiveness before decisions are made about if and how the CLIP model might be used more broadly at Bakersfield College. See Section XI. CLIP Plans and Tasks for a description of the faculty CLIPs in operation during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 school years. That section also provides the names of the CLIP facilitators. Please contact them for further information.
  2. Institutional CLIP. During the 2005-06 school year the Bakersfield College Assessment Committee and the coordinating committee for the grant decided it would be appropriate for the CLIPs to continue at Bakersfield College beyond the life of the grant. Contact Bonnie Suderman for further information on this transition.
  3. Sharing Learnings from CLIPs. InSites will also prepare materials for NSF about the value of CLIPs in building evaluation capacity drawing on their work under the grant with community colleges including Bakersfield College and by means of information from the pilot site work is for the site to “package” the learning and results from the CLIPs in a way that they can support any appropriate continuation of CLIPs and an evidence-based culture long term at their institution. It is expected that the tools will be largely electronic tools. Some of the materials and processes are also intended to fulfill NSF’s interest in providing assistance to other educational institutions and third party evaluation-focused groups. Contact Beverly Parsons for further information on this component of the work.
  4. Support for Bakersfield College’s General Assessment and Program Review Work. Although InSites staff will have little or no involvement in the general work underway at Bakersfield College regarding assessment and program review, the presence of these activities provides encouragement for those involved in the CLIPs to undertake their work. Thus, the plan allocates some grant funds for development of BC personnel inquiry shall and knowledge that support the college's assessment and program review work. Contact Ed Knudson or Bonnie Suderman for further information on this component.
  5. Data Gathering for the CLIP Study. During this process InSites and the project evaluation team from Research Evaluation Association for Latinos (REAL) will be gathering research data to support the process of building evaluation capacity and to address the overall research question: Are CLIPs a useful means by which community college personnel develop and use evaluation capacity to improve instruction and student learning? See BC Faculty CLIPs for more information about the expectations of those involoved in the faculty CLIPs.

Relationship of Pilot Study to BC and InSites

The diagram below describes the relationship of the BC pilot study to both the general work at Bakersfield College related to assessment and other work at InSites under this grant.

Relationship of Pilot Study to BC Assessment and Program Review Work
Figure 1 – Relationship of Pilot Study to BC Assessment and Program Review Work

Intellectual Property Rights

The Dean of Learning Resources and Information Technology and the InSites project manager will work out the specific details of intellectual property rights to be consistent with the policies and practices of Bakersfield College, InSites, and NSF.

BC Faculty CLIPs


The Bakersfield College faculty members involved in this work are participating in an action research study to learn how faculty—organized as Communities of Learning, Inquiry and Practice (CLIPs)—enhance their assessment and inquiry capacity and use that information to enrich instruction. The research encourages faculty experimentation and learning without fear of connections to faculty evaluation. Participants will investigate creative ways to enhance teaching and learning. Faculty may invite administrators, staff, and students to be a part of CLIPs.


Participating faculty benefit by:

Bakersfield College benefits through the expanded ideas among faculty about assessment and inquiry for learning and increased connections to NSF.

Relation to Institutional Work on Assessment and Program Review

This research study is set up to complement the institution-wide assessment and program review work at BC. The learning from the research will, in time, benefit the work on assessment and program review underway by faculty-led committees on campus.

Who Participates

Each participating faculty member is part of a core group who function as a Community of Learning and Integrated Practice (CLIP). Most CLIPs are composed of faculty in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Each CLIP designs its own study within a flexible framework. As part of the research design, participants provide information on their reactions and experiences about the CLIPs to InSites.

Framework for CLIP Activities

Each CLIP member undertakes the following activities within the context of the specific research plan his/her CLIP develops.

  1. Engages in a process that exemplifies CLIP principles and practices of working collaboratively and creatively with others in a safe and trusting environment and accessing external knowledge.
  2. Access the Bakersfield College electronic communications tool (ETUDES or similar tool) and CLIP website to post comments, read/post articles, etc.
  3. Participate in meetings with other CLIPs. Drawing on the interests and needs of the CLIP members, the CLIP facilitators and the InSites staff member will determine the agenda and content of the joint meetings.
  4. The extent and nature of meetings within each small CLIP will be determined by the CLIP participants. They will decide when they will meet by themselves or individuals within the CLIP may meet in pairs, etc.
  5. Share results of their study with other Bakersfield College faculty, student services staff, administrators and InSites, making their own decisions about what data and information they want to share and with whom. See attached page for ideas on topics and format.
  6. Provide information to InSites about experience via interviews, questionnaires, reflections, focus groups as jointly determined to contribute to the research monograph of the study. While each CLIP is conducting its own evaluative inquiry study, InSites is conducting a study of how CLIPs operate. As part of the broader research design, participants provide information on their reactions and experiences about the CLIPs to InSites.
  7. The faculty in the CLIP are asked to consider connections with at least one member of the Bakersfield College staff development committee, one support services faculty, and/or one administrator in their CLIP work, with the faculty making their own decisions about the specific people to involve, when, and how. The purpose of the involvement of these other Bakersfield College personnel is for them to both serve as a resource to the faculty CLIP members and for them to learn how the work of the CLIP might affect their roles and responsibilities.
  8. Consider ways of involving the following types of people in the CLIP activities (not necessarily in the CLIP itself but in the tasks the CLIP carries out): program graduates, current students, business leaders, community members, personnel of four-year institutions to which graduates often go.
  9. Pay special attention to the needs and characteristics of Latino students.

An InSites staff member will be in regular contact with each of the CLIP facilitators to determine what technical assistance, conversations, materials, links, etc. InSites can provide to assist the CLIPs. An InSites staff member will be a participant-observer in CLIP meetings at times jointly decided by the CLIP facilitator and InSites. The CLIP facilitators and InSites staff member will meet as needed to address overall issues and plan the cross-CLIP meetings.


Faculty CLIP members will receive a stipend for the time they are involved in a CLIP. CLIP facilitators will receive an additional stipend amount.

The stipend is designed to compensate for the time that is involved in meetings with the full group, with members of the individual CLIPs to interact around one another’s plans, and providing information to InSites about the experience. The likely amount of time is 25 -35 hours. The time for individual work in refining one’s own course/class/program is expected to be a regular part of a faculty member’s responsibility.

Conferences and Site Visits

A key feature of the CLIP approach is to establish a culture of evidence-based learning within the college and with outside sources as adjustments are made to instructional and other practices. Given the many excellent conferences and workshops available on topics relevant to the CLIPs, a portion of the budget is allocated for CLIP members to attend such events. The funds can also be used for visits to other colleges to learn more about their assessment, teaching, and learning approaches related to CLIP work. The CLIP facilitators and the InSites PI will make decisions jointly about the allocation of the funds. In some cases, the CLIP facilitators and InSites may determine that it would be a better use of resources to bring an outsider into Bakersfield College to address a topic than to have Bakersfield College personnel attend an external event.

The general process for bringing knowledge from conferences and site visits into the work of the CLIPs (and to others at Bakersfield College as appropriate) will be to have a team of two or more CLIP members attend an event. InSites will work with the CLIP facilitators to convene a pre-conference/visit meeting of those attending to provide a time for the team and other interested CLIP members to identify the most important issues to investigate at the event and develop their approach for doing so. InSites and the team will hold a debriefing meeting of the conference attendees upon their return at which time they work out ways to share their learnings with other members of the CLIPs and others at Bakersfield College. (People who attend a conference/site visit will have registration and travel expenses covered but will not receive an extra stipend for attendance.)

CLIP Participants’ Responsibility for Providing Data to InSites

Since NSF’s interest is in learning about the value and nature of CLIPs for building evaluation/assessment capacity within community colleges, it is a primary responsibility of CLIP participants to provide information to InSites in accord with the research study design. Information on the study questions is provided below.

The study of the CLIP work at Bakersfield College is focused on the overall question: Are CLIPs a useful means by which community college personnel develop and use evaluation/assessment capacity to improve instruction and student learning? The more specific evaluative research questions presented below shape the data to be collected for the study. CLIP members will be involved in providing information related to the first four questions.

  1. Quality of Faculty CLIPs: To what extent did members of the faculty-CLIPs:
  2. Link of CLIP features to impact: What links can be made between particular faculty-CLIP practices, philosophy, materials, and/or conditions and the extent to which faculty:
  3. Other effects: What other effects (intended or unintended) have the faculty CLIPs had on the faculty, the college, and students and their orientation toward using evidence to enhance student learning?
  4. Evidence generated: What, if any, evidence do participants generate during one and two years of CLIP involvement to indicate that a change they make in their approach to instruction is leading to improved student learning? Which of the CLIP practices, philosophy, materials, and/or conditions are most related to making it possible to generate evidence?
  5. Quality of institutional CLIP: Does the institutional CLIP practices, philosophy, materials, and/or conditions enhance decisions made about the topics addressed in the CLIP?
  6. CLIP professional learning materials/processes: Do the materials/processes produced for other Bakersfield College personnel (based on the CLIP experiences that show promise of improving student learning) successfully assist other faculty and administrators to build their evaluation capacity?
  7. Other sustainability factors: At the end of the three years, what are the dominant policies, practices, and conditions at Bakersfield College that support the CLIP faculty’s ability to assess their instruction (and student support services) to enhance student learning? What are the dominant policies, practices, and conditions at Bakersfield College that inhibit the CLIP faculty’s ability to assess their instruction (and student support services) to enhance student learning? Have these factors changed over the three years, and, if so, how? In what ways might the CLIP approach be used to continue to influence policies, practices, and conditions toward creating a more supportive environment for an evidence-based culture?


Data collected around these questions will contribute to reports that are to be products of this evaluative research study for NSF and others interested in how to enhance the capacity of community college faculty and administrators to conduct and use program/course evaluation/assessment data and processes to improve student learning.. Data will be collected by InSites and the project’s evaluators from Research Evaluation Associates for Latinos (REAL).

Institutional CLIPs

As noted above, the CLIPs are designed as complements to the official existing organizational structures and groups of the college. The dominant purpose of a CLIP is for educators and stakeholders to learn together about program assessment and evaluation related topics and apply that knowledge in a practical and informal way within their official responsibilities. See CLIP description below. Go to Section V - CLIPs.