By the end of the is week, both our Collaboration Rooms should be open. These rooms each hold 200 students and are meant to support our REAL (Relevant, Engaged, Active Learning) courses. Collaboration 1 is on the first floor and was formerly known as Room 107. Collaboration 2 is on the second floor. It was a number of different rooms before the remodel. If you are scheduled to come to a core course class to participate in a group exercise, it will be in one of these two rooms. They look like this…
As you enter these group sessions, keep in mind that our REAL courses change the role of the faculty member in the learning process. Lots of research shows that students learn more when they are in blended learning formats that allow them to prepare outside of the class using on-line tools and then come to apply what they have learned with others in class. Rather than lecturers, faculty are content curators, facilitators and de-briefers interested in developing student competencies through real world application. This means it’s important that you come prepared for these sessions. You are no long passive consumers of lecture content. Instead, you are an active participant in learning. If you are unprepared, it’s going to be obvious to everyone.
Feedback from our REAL courses over the last two semesters shows that the vast majority of students very much enjoy the group sessions and felt they facilitated learning. Many students also appreciated the adaptive learning technology, which allows students to work at their own pace and re-examine material when needed. Keep in mind though that this technology doesn’t allow you to postpone everything to the last minute—staying on schedule and completing each section and assignment is key to success in these courses. Also, remember just because you aren’t meeting with the instructor in class every week, you still have the ability to meet with faculty and T.A.s during office hours and interact with your fellow students who are taking the course. So get help when you need it. With these courses all in BA-1, your TA’s or Faculty’s office is very close by.
So is the Office of Professional Development and the Exchange. You will have plenty of opportunities to engage with tutors, career coaches, and outside speakers while you are in the building for your REAL sessions. As I said in my blog last week and again at Welcome to the Majors on Friday, you need to be game to succeed here. That means you need to get out of your comfort zone, ask questions, get involved and a take ownership of your college experience. If you do that, you’ll find this place is really awesome.