Course ReDesign: Implementing Active Learning In Any Classroom
Location: JC Room B
The Center for Academic Advising, Retention, and Transitions (CAART) is responsible for managing UNIV transition courses and programs across the university. UNIV courses range from our transition to Mason course (UNIV 100) to preparing students for workplace realities (UNIV 421). For the fall 2019 semester, we will offer nearly 70 sections of UNIV 100 with 1/3 of our incoming first-year students taking the course. The CAART team is responsible for training nearly 70 faculty and 70 Peer Advisors (PAs) who are undergraduate student leaders who co-teach UNIV 100. A guiding philosophy for this course is to have our students engage with the information presented in the class. Rarely will the faculty and Peer Advisors lecture to students, instead the faculty and PA will involve students through discussions (small and large group), activities, personal reflections, etc. In the summer of 2018, the CAART team participated in The Stearns Center's Course ReDesign Academy to provide us with more framework and rethink the way that we train our faculty and PAs to teach UNIV 100. From the academy, we have taken the approach of beginning every lesson plan with the student learning outcomes in mind, and then fitting the content and in-class activities or tasks to make sure those learning outcomes are met. Assessing learning outcomes from activities or tasks can often seem daunting, but the academy helped us rethink how we are truly measuring student learning by making sure they actually know the information, not just if they can regurgitate the correct answers on a test. Assessments can include a reflective journal, sharing with a partner two things they learned from class, writing on a post-it note something they are still unsure about, etc. During this active presentation, our goal is to help other faculty see the importance of active engagement in the classroom and to learn various ways to engage students in the classroom. Additionally, we hope that this brief introduction would plant the seed to encourage more faculty to think about how they can ReDesign their courses as well!
Copyright (c) 2019 Jodi Ross, Kayla Vaughn, Annabel Mazariego and George Mason Publishing
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