Active Learning at UGA
June 18, 2019
by Jere W. Morehead, President
Faculty at the University of Georgia are passionate about teaching. Dozens of faculty have participated in UGA’s Active Learning Summer Institute, now in its second year, to discover new ways to engage their students in the learning process. The intensive, multi-week institute, which is led by UGA’s Center for Teaching and Learning, is open to full-time faculty at all levels.
The Active Learning Summer Institute grew out of the President’s Task Force on Student Learning and Success. The task force recommended that the University transform courses and classrooms to promote interaction, teamwork, reflection, and other active learning strategies that have been found to increase students’ understanding and long-term retention of material and improve students’ writing and critical thinking skills, among other benefits. The 32 faculty who participated in last year’s institute already have seen gains in their students’ enjoyment of the classroom experience and performance on exams after redesigning their courses. These faculty now are serving as change champions within their departments, schools, and colleges to educate other faculty members about active learning.
Because active learning is vital to students’ academic success, the University also designated $1 million to transform select traditional classrooms with fixed chairs and tables into spaces that fully support this innovative teaching method. As a leader in higher education, UGA is committed to helping faculty incorporate this and other evidence-based instructional methods to ensure maximum learning for our students.