Active Learning Classroom Experiences

Here is a short (5 minutes) video, with highlights of end-of-semester interviews with faculty who taught fall 2015 courses in the ALCs as a part of this project. The video will be used as a part of fall 16 faculty orientation.


A pre-requisite to ensuring ongoing innovation and improvement of blended and active learning / teaching is a comprehensive understanding of student and faculty experiences and evolving needs.

Several initiatives have been underway in SoN to help us better identify those elements of blended and active leaning / teaching that work well, and can be used as models and starting points for future course development, as well as identify areas that pose potential challenges that can be addressed by developing innovative new teaching strategies and approaches.

Here are recent highlights:

  • DNP Online Course Project – SoN faculty in Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, in collaboration with SoN academic technology staff have identified a need for a new design of online portions of DNP courses that would offer students greater consistency of navigation and more uniform course structure. Several prototypes of a new course template were developed in early 2016, and piloted in 10 spring semester DNP courses. Feedback collected from students (via a end-of-semester online survey) and faculty (email and one-on-one suggestions during the semester) allowed us to improve the design, determine the relative importance of specific design elements, and let us allocate our instructional design resources effectively. Version 2 of the course template and course-building process will be be used in 32 DNP courses taught during the 2016 fall semester. The new course design will also allow SoN a more efficient course review during the forthcoming re-accreditation of the DNP program in 2016-17.
  • ALC Teaching Strategies Project – This project was partly funded with a Small Educational Innovation Grant, and is ongoing. Its purpose was to monitor evolving student and faculty perceptions of active learning classrooms during SoN transition from lecture-based large-enrollment courses to active learning, and to establish an initial baseline that can be used as a point of reference for new undergraduate concept-based curriculum (CBC) that will launch in the fall of 2017. This ongoing project has several phases:
    • First-phase pre-development data collection, via end-of-semester student survey
    • Summer (2015) course development: work with 5 faculty who teach large-enrollment undergraduate courses in the ALCs to add active-learning strategies to their existing courses
    • First-phase post-development data collection via student survey and video-recorded faculty interviews (see excerpts, below)
    • Identification of recommendations and steps for immediate short-term improvements
    • (forthcoming fall 16 / spring 17) New concept-based curriculum development
    • (forthcoming fall 17 / spring 18) Second-phase data collection and comparison to the 2015-16 baseline, data analysis to determine outcomes and next steps.