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The tiered education department classroom at McGill University in Montreal can accommodate up to 96 students.

What would you say to someone who needs convincing that lecture halls and other large spaces can also be active learning environments?

“Large, active learning classrooms support the largest number of students efficiently. The classroom can also be used outside classroom hours for collaborative activities. You’re really increasing the use and efficiency of the real estate.” —Andrew Kim, manager, WorkSpace Futures, Steelcase

High-capacity classrooms: The collaborative BioSciences West classroom at The University of Arizona holds up to 112 students.

Active learning should allow students in traditional lecture halls to work in small groups solving problem sets or developing presentations. That can be accomplished without renovating the space, but the layout does present challenges.

Lecture courses can be made more interactive by breaking up class time with small-group activities.

UNC-Chapel Hill’s Center for Faculty Excellence has experimented with alternative classroom designs that make it easier for instructors to use interactive learning methods—including in lecture hall-sized spaces.

Students enrolled in media ethics at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill this fall walked into a lecture hall that looked radically different than two years ago. Gone is the stadium-style seating. Now the room, used for a wide range of courses, has 100 rolling swivel chairs with adjustable tables and nine mounted video screens.

UTEP President Diana Natalicio throws out the first pitch at an El Paso Chihuahuas minor league baseball game.

This spring, University of Texas at El Paso President Diana Natalicio was recuperating from a serious health scare: She had suffered a form of cardiac arrest and collapsed while leaving a building on campus in February.

Luckily, she had been walking with a UTEP police officer who knew CPR and called paramedics immediately. She believes her life was saved by the officer, whose daughter is a pre-med student at UTEP.

President Diana Natalicio’s “access and excellence” formula powers the University of Texas at El Paso's mission. Access means working with local schools to develop talented students of limited resources. On the excellence side, a robust research environment provides the financial and academic fuel.

Colleges now enhance game-day experiences with more luxury suites and better wireless connectivity in an effort to lure fans away from the comforts of home and to the stadium. See a slideshow here.

Stories of student success filled the air a few cobblestoned blocks from the NACUBO annual meeting headquarters in Montreal this July, as administrators from six institutions formally accepted Models of Excellence awards. CASHNet, the dinner’s host, sponsors UB’s Models of Excellence program.

Source: Association of American Universities Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault, Spring 2015; 150,072 students at 27 institutions participated

With sexual assault, awareness efforts may well lead to higher incident reporting—and even assumptions that initiatives aren’t working. But there are still ways to measure program effectiveness.

It starts with identifying prevention goals, says Jane Stapleton, executive director of practice for the Prevention Innovations Research Center at the University of New Hampshire.

Body check: Initiatives at Connecticut College include an annual Green Dot hockey game, now in its fifth year. Facts and materials about sexual assault and bystander intervention get posted around the rink, and the team wears special jerseys. It has been the team’s most attended game of the season.

With headline after tragic headline, and demands from angry constituents and stakeholders to do more, colleges and universities are facing the harsh reality that just complying with the minimum requirements of the Campus SaVE (Sexual Violence Elimination) Act isn’t enough to prevent sexual assault.

Five years ago, a researcher in Kazakhstan frustrated at the inaccessibility and cost of so many scholarly journals launched Sci-Hub, a website that today provides quick, free access to 47 million articles, often by illegally bypassing paywalls.

A recent article in Science found that in a single six-month period, Sci-Hub received requests for a staggering 28 million papers.

To the publishers whose copyrights are being subverted, Sci-Hub is nothing but piracy.

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