The University of Georgia seeks to assist faculty in transforming undergraduate courses to actively engage students in their learning by using innovative, evidence-based instructional practices. The Office of Instruction assists schools and college to enhance various instructional spaces across campus to further support active engagement of students.
Research shows that active learning improves student engagement, long-term retention of course content, improved competencies, and higher course grades. For UGA, this means we are providing our students with a rich, meaningful classroom experience that provides a long-term impact. Our faculty are engaging students in active forms of learning more than ever before. An Active Learning Snapshot conducted in March 2018 showed that a strong contingent of faculty utlitize active learning in their classrooms. Of the over four hundred faculty responding to the survey—representing 13,508 students and 332 classes taught in Spring 2018—forty-five percent indicate they spent little to no lecture time during their class, instead spending that “active learning time” engaged in activities like think-pair-share, peer work review, presentations, or reflective writing.
Active Learning Summer Institute
Beginning in 2018, President Jere Morehead designated $250,000 for an intensive summer institute to promote a wider adoption of active learning pedagogies. The Active Learning Summer Institute is hosted by the Center for Teaching and Learning. Open to all full-time faculty, this intensive course (re)design institute promotes increased student engagement and success through the implementation of active learning techniques.
During the three-week institute, daily sessions will include discussion of active learning pedagogy and other evidence-based teaching practices, workshops to explore the application of pedagogical techniques, and structured work time where faculty will make progress on the design of their course. Outside formal institute sessions, faculty work independently and with consultant partners to finalize their courses for implementation during the subsequent academic year. By the end of the institute, participating faculty are able to design interactive instructional, assessment, and learning technology strategies that foster ongoing student engagement, motivation, and reflection.
View the below video to hear from prior participants about their experience in the Active Learning Summer Institute:
Active Learning Spaces
To help ensure that physical spaces on campus enable active learning, President Morehead created a $1 million fund to transform select traditional classrooms with fixed chairs and tables into active learning spaces. These spaces have been allocated and are currently in the process of being developed.
The CTL is in the process of creating a teaching laboratory for instructors to examine and test different technologies or classroom setups that promote active learning.