February 2012 Archives

ALCs enable improved student performance

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University of Minnesota Active Learning Classrooms (ALCs) are designed to foster interactive, flexible, student-centered learning experiences, and operate using central teaching stations and student-provided laptops. The University of Minnesota ALC is a modification of the "SCALE-UP" (Student Centered Activities for Large Enrollment Undergraduate Program) concept that originated at North Carolina State University (NCSU) and the TEAL (Technology Enhanced Active Learning) concept at MIT, and uses an adaptation of the Projection Capable Classrooms (PCC) technology system.

Recently, the Science Teaching and Student Services Building was featured by NCSU as the largest SCALE-UP installation in the world, with 10 ALCs that can be divided into 20 SCALE-UP based spaces, holding anywhere from 27 to 126 students.

Research conducted by
U of M researchers J. D. Walker, D. Christopher Brooks, and Paul Baepler confirms the strength of active learning classrooms: students perform better, and teachers end up using more active, student-centered techniques. The full story can be found here.

University of Minnesota collaborators:
Direct any questions about ALCs to OCM Director Jeremy Todd at 612-625-5379, Instructional Technology Coordinator John Knowles at 612-626-8650, or Scheduling Manager Sarah Kussow at 612-626-7086.

The Research and Evaluation Services team at the Office of Information Technology (OIT) explores the nature and effects of educational technology used at the University of Minnesota. Learning environments research http://www.oit.umn.edu/research-evaluation/selected-research/learning-environments/index.htm

Center for Teaching and Learning, considerations for teaching in an ALC:

Are you planning to use a department space for your class this fall? Remember to add it to the Meetings panel of Maintain Schedule of Classes during ECS period 1. Don't leave the facility ID blank!

A class is not considered part of your department's general purpose classroom demand in the Class Scheduling Distribution Summary if the facility ID field in ECS is populated with:

  • A departmentally controlled space; OR
  • ROOM000TBA; OR
  • NOROOMREQD
See the class scheduling policy FAQs for more details on how classroom demand is determined.
If a class needs to be scheduled at a non-standard meeting time for fall 2012, complete a Request for Approval of Non-Standard Meeting Time form during ECS period 1. Justification from departments is needed in order to efficiently schedule general purpose classrooms. OCM reviews non-standard time forms during ECS period 2.

You can find which classes require this form by running the "Course Scheduling - Non-Standard Times" report in UM Reports. If you have questions about the form, contact ocmsched@umn.edu.

Scheduling update: GPC for Spring 2012 (1123) final exams

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Remember to send an email to ocmsched@umn.edu by Friday, February 17 with information on all course sections scheduled in a General Purpose Classroom (GPC). Each section should be identified as needing a GPC or not needing a GPC during finals week.
Question: How many hours a day should my May or summer session class meet?
Answer: Calculate the number of hours it meets during fall or spring semester and divide by the number of days it will meet during May or summer session. For example, MATH 1001 meets MWF, 8:00 - 8:50 a.m. during fall semester. It therefore meets for a total of 45 hours. MATH 1001 meets for 15 days during the summer session, 45/15 = 3 hours per day during summer.

Check the Scheduling website for more information on May/summer 2012 important dates.

For ECS questions, contact the Student Records Training & Support Team at 612-625-2803 or srhelp@umn.edu.
The May/summer session schedule is now posted to the Class Schedule. All May/summer 2012 general purpose classroom assignments have been made. Please confirm that all of your class offerings are accurate and that sections requiring a classroom have a room assignment. During ECS period 3, we will continue to look for rooms for classes added to the schedule.

The last day of ECS period 1 for fall 2012 is February 29, 2012. Remember to delete any class sections in ECS that have rolled forward but will not be taking place during either term. You can delete courses/sections in ECS by clicking on the minus (-) button on the Basic Data panel of "Maintain Schedule of Classes" in ECS.

You may find the following resources for scheduling courses helpful:

Scheduling update: Spring 2012 (1123) final exams

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Information was sent out last week about scheduling spring 2012 final exams. Please remember to send an email by February 17 to ocmsched@umn.edu with information on all course sections scheduled in a General Purpose Classroom (GPC). Each section should be identified as needing a GPC or not needing a GPC during finals week.

The email also covered deadlines for special requests and provided helpful reminders about scheduling finals.Please take a moment to review the spring 2012 final exam schedule and the common final exam times for your department. The department of Economics recently updated their common exam schedule.

Scheduling update: Setting end dates on reserve caps

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Remember to set an end date for reserve capacity requirement groups for fall 2012 and spring 2013. Set the end date to the Friday before the start of the term or earlier:

  • Fall 2012: Set to Friday 8/31/2012 (or earlier)
  • Spring 2013: Set to Friday 1/18/2013 (or earlier)

AppleTV pilot project in Appleby Hall classroom

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The Office of Classroom Management (OCM), in partnership with the College of Education and Human Development, is pleased to announce an AppleTV pilot project starting during spring semester 2012 in Appleby Hall, Room 3. AppleTV allows users to stream and project digital content from programs such as YouTube, iTunes, and other web-based, rented, or downloaded video sources, with the emphasis on providing a way to project material from iPads.

The standard functionality and controls in the classroom will not change, but be supplemented with an additional AppleTV source button at the instructor station. If you are interested in learning more about this pilot, including how to participate, please contact OCM at classrm@umn.edu.