Faculty participant in UA Little Rock’s first MoSI Workshop

Courtesy of UA Little Rock University News

UA Little Rock Faculty Members Work to Improve Student Success, Graduate Rates

Mobile Summer Institute

Faculty participated in the 2019 MoSI, hosted at UA Little Rock Downtown in May 2019.

More than 30 faculty members from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock spent four days learning strategies to improve student success and increase graduation rates on campus. 

The UA Little Rock Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence, the STEM Education Center, and the Office of the Provost hosted the Mobile Summer Institute on Scientific Teaching May 20-23 at UA Little Rock Downtown.

This training workshop was driven by the reality that less than half of undergraduate students in the U.S. complete their degrees, which is particularly true for historically underrepresented groups. This workshop was an immersive experience where faculty members participated in an active learning environment while engaging with research-based evidence on learning and effective teaching practices.

Dr. Mark Baillie, assistant professor of chemistry and STRIVE director with the STEM Education Center, led the workshop along with a team of education reform leaders from across the country.

The trainers included Peggy Brickman, Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Georgia; Kirsten Coe, assistant professor of biology at Middlebury College; Troy Nash and Breonna Martin, biology lecturers at Mercer University; Tarren Shaw, biology lecturer at the University of Oklahoma; and Suann Yang, assistant professor of biology at SUNY Geneseo.

Chris Etheridge, assistant professor of multimedia storytelling, said the workshop providing him with many examples to measure active learning in his classes.

“I have always thought of mass communication as a field that has excelled in active learning,” Etheridge said. “We like to get students out of the classroom and into the real world to learn by doing. The traditional styles of teaching – lectures, quizzes, exams, and research papers — is what I know because it’s how I learned. When I reflect on my time as a student, the times where I felt I learned the most, were the times where I was actively engaging with complex and challenging topics related to the course. Now, I have a lot more in-class techniques and ideas for assignments that will clearly measure learning.”

Faculty members wrapped up the four-day workshop with a strategic planning session, where participants brainstormed what they can do to improve student success across the campus.

Read the full article at University News.

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