Wednesday, November 2, 2016

FLRG (Faculty Load Review Group) Update #3: BRAVO Subcommittee Update

The Faculty Load Review Group (FLRG) next meets Monday, Nov. 7. The BRAVO subcommittee co-chair Shirley Thompson has published this report to keep faculty updated on the work of this group:

The BRAVO subcommittee of the Faculty Load Task Force had its first in person meeting this past week and have outlined our next steps to move forward on our task of examining the various teaching modalities.  Our charge is to try to determine the best methods for ensuring student success and equity in teaching responsibilities across the identified modalities (Distance Learning, LGI’s, Small Group Instruction, Dual Credit, Lecture, Lab, CO-OP, etc.)  Our first steps were to outline current practice in terms of what is happening at various campuses in the way of establishing a faculty member’s load and what is in our district documents such as HROGs concerning load for these various modalities.

I’ve linked the current survey we sent out last week with the responses we’ve received so far.  Our survey was built by taking the questions we were charged by the Task Force to answer.

Please send your inquiries, thoughts, comments to your campus representative to be sure your input comes back to our next meeting on Nov. 16th.  Shortly after that meeting you will get another update.

We’ve identified several pieces of information we need from each campus:

1.     How did your campus come up with course section max numbers?  For example at my college the max for history & government is 35 while the max for MATH classes is normally 25.

2.    We also think having a list of rooms, by campus, with fire code capacity and discipline set maxes would be good.  For example, a room might have a fire code capacity of 30, but the set up the subject area wants is 25 due to the layout of the furniture and activities the students are expected to do during class.  We are developing a form for this part of the request and will send that out in a couple of days. Audra is sending a copy of the form used at CVC and Shirley and Eddie are going to pare it down to get only what we need for our purposes.  Once that is completed we will send it out to the committee.  In the meantime it would be good to talk with your institutional research people about a project coming their way.

3.    I’ve linked the spreadsheet created by the responses we have so far from our list of questions assigned to our group by the Faculty Load Task Force.  I’ve arranged the order of responses by campus.  I have several from CVC that are not on this list.  I need to add them to the spreadsheet and will resend when that’s complete.  Without those we have 86 responses so plenty to read in your spare time. The goal here is to start getting the big picture so we can drill down at our next meeting on November 16th from 2 – 4 pm at the District Office.

4.    We discussed having the curriculum committees establish course section maxes. To do so, we need a charge written for them to respond to in January during faculty return week. This would be at the course level not the subject level.  For example some English classes might have a max of 20 others a max of 25 depending on the number of graded papers expected.

5.    Included in the discussion was the DL pay grid and the fact that having this separate practice of paying for extra students, and not letting the class make with full pay for less than 15 is problematic because of the inequities created between lecture and DL compensation .  We are looking for a means to have a simplified assignment of load and extra service.

6.    We looked at the pay/load allocation for Co-Op students and have asked that each of us talk with some Co-Op instructors to see if they think the load/pay assignment is fair.

Our Colleague Specialist on the committee noted how having a grid to determine load % or pay amount is preferable to having a document that can be interpreted multiple ways. Our goal is to try to simplify the guidelines and practices used across the district for load. Included in this discussion was the idea of using contact hours for pay/load whether the course is for load or extra service.

In regard to the question about “significant overloads” affecting teaching quality, a suggestion was made that perhaps we should consider a policy of allowing extra service work to be evaluated instead of regular load classes if the faculty member has more than a two course overload. Not a requirement, just an option if the dean chooses to do so.

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