ERIC Number: ED414811
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Exemplars.
This report describes efforts by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (New York) to reinvent teaching and learning through the development of a comprehensive curriculum to make learning more student-centered, and to utilize innovative technology in the classroom by replacing the lecture-lab-recitation format with smaller, interactive studio courses. A two-staged restructuring process was initiated to: (1) realize academic excellence through interactive learning, and (2) to preserve financial equilibrium without passing costs on to students. Building on efforts that had already led to the introduction of computer-enhanced calculus into the curriculum, Rensselaer introduced active learning in mathematics, science, and engineering in the form of studio courses with limited enrollments and project-based approaches to instruction. Lecture halls were transformed into "theaters-in-the-round," where students sit at multimedia-based computer workstations and interact with their professors, who teach and lead discussions from the center of the circle. Professors are able to monitor students' work on their own networked workstation, and students feel the need to come to class prepared to demonstrate what they have learned. Comments from students, faculty, and administrators on the new approach to teaching and learning at Rensselaer are included. (MDM)
Descriptors: Administrative Change, College Curriculum, College Faculty, College Instruction, College Students, Computer Assisted Instruction, Curriculum Design, Curriculum Development, Educational Attitudes, Educational Change, Engineering Education, Excellence in Education, Higher Education, Mathematics Education, Program Descriptions, Research Universities, Science Education, Student Centered Curriculum, Technology Transfer
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Pew Charitable Trusts, Philadelphia, PA.; John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Miami, FL.
Authoring Institution: Pew Higher Education Roundtable, Philadelphia, PA; Knight Collaborative, Akron, OH.; Pennsylvania Univ., Philadelphia. Inst. for Research on Higher Education.