Rutgers Active Learning Community To Host Third Symposium

It was an exciting moment as Rutgers University-New Brunswick prepared to open its first set of general purpose active learning classrooms in 2015. It was also clear that these rooms would be used most effectively if the university created a support system to help instructors employ the pedagogies for which the rooms were designed. The Rutgers Active Learning Community (ALC) was formed to play that role. It was conceptualized using insights from Rutgers staff and faculty, academic research on teaching and learning, and conversations with peers in the Big Ten Academic Alliance and elsewhere. Since then, the community has organized a series of workshops, meetings, feedback sessions, and networking opportunities. It has grown to more than 200 faculty and staff members from many disciplines.

The biggest event on the ALC calendar each year is the upcoming Rutgers Active Learning Symposium. The event, the third annual, is on Tuesday, May 15 in the Rutgers Academic Building on the College Avenue Campus. The agenda, presenter information, and registration form are available now on the symposium event page. Although it's an ALC-sponsored event, the topics are of general interest beyond the realm of active learning, so all are encouraged to attend.

This year's symposium will feature another national expert on teaching and learning in higher education. Kimberly Tanner of San Francisco State University will give the keynote presentation as well as an afternoon workshop. Colleagues from Rutgers and other local institutions will take part in presentations, panel discussions, and poster sessions. There will be additional time to connect with like-minded colleagues at breakfast and lunch. All of this is provided free of charge, thanks to the continued support of the Chancellor's Office in New Brunswick.

Professor Tanner, a neurobiologist by training, brings her disciplinary insights to her work. She has published extensively in the teaching and learning literature, speaks widely on the topic, and directs the Science and Education Partnership and Assessment Laboratory at SFSU, which has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and other major funders. Her keynote session is entitled, "Order Matters: Becoming Metacognitive About Teaching Choices." Her afternoon session is, "Talk Matters: Investigating the Nature of Non-Content Classroom Language that May Mediate Student Inclusion, Engagement, and Learning." She will touch on a host of other topics along the way.

Visit the ALC home page to find out more about other resources available to the Rutgers community. To inquire about booking an active learning classroom, fill out a Course Information Form. It will be directed to the Office of Scheduling and Space Management, but you are welcome to contact an ALC team member first to have a general conversation. Finally, you can reach out to the ALC team to give input and suggestions for sessions, resources, tools, and technologies. If you want to get more involved, or just share an idea, get in touch.