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Faculty invited to learn details on ‘2020’ project to make introductory courses more interactive

April 13, 2012

Faculty interested in finding ways to make large introductory classes more interactive and engaging are invited to attend one of two informational sessions next week for the Course Transformation Project.

Sessions will be offered at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 17, in Lowden Hall 304, and at 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, in Altgeld Hall 203.

Vice Provost Anne Birberick and Julia Spears, director of the Office  of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning, will facilitate the sessions.

Faculty selected to participate could receive up to $12,000 in funding to transform large, lecture-based, classes into more interactive experiences that incorporate things such as multimedia learning, small group projects and experiential learning.

Beyond an overview of the project, Birberick and Spears will outline expectations for participants, explain allowable uses for the funding and discuss the types of support that will be made available by the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning, the Office of Assessment Services and others.

The CTP is a key part of the university’s efforts to meet its Vision 2020 goal that ensures that, by the year 2020, at least half of all students who graduate from NIU have some sort of engaged learning experience.

NIU’s efforts will be modeled after the Next Generation Course Redesign Project at the University of North Texas.

That program has successfully demonstrated that these kinds of courses not only can be transformed but that their redesign promotes a learning environment in which students are cognitively engaged – developing critical thinking skills necessary to deepen learning – and socially engaged – developing relationships with faculty and peers.

For more information, contact Birberick at (815) 753-0494 or [email protected] or Spears at (815 753-8154 or [email protected].