News Release

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Personalized learning in large classes

12/08/2006

Miami University's board of trustees today (Dec. 8) heard of a plan to bring Miami's best teaching practices to its most populated classes: The TOP 25 Project encourages faculty in the 25 highest-enrolled courses to submit proposals for learning models that will be student-centered, encourage critical thinking and bring innovative approaches to learning.

Plans are to fund up to six projects in the first phase of the program and to require monitoring and assessment of the projects. Departments with courses on the list range from accountancy to art to computer science and systems analysis, chemistry and educational psychology.

The top 25 courses account for more than 20 percent of undergraduate credit hours in any semester. It is hoped new learning models can significantly engage students and improve learning. "We need to begin the process on the first day, creating an active learning environment in which students 'adopt the mind of a scholar' as soon as possible," said Miami President David Hodge. "This means turning many of our courses upside down."

Trustees heard reports on admission applications being up 4 percent over this time last year, on plans to assess faculty workload, on the success of the capital campaign and on long range financial planning for Miami.

Trustees also:
• approved the university requesting approval of the Ohio Board of Regents to issue bonds for new projects and renovation projects not to exceed $90 million.

• authorized the university to continue with a spending formula that has been used for the last two years. The formula weighs market and inflation elements in relation to income and realized gains on the university's endowment in order to create a sustainable spending plan.

• approved the university working to purchase property at 216 E. High St. in Oxford, and at 1550 University Boulevard in Hamilton, and

• approved recommendations of the Committee on Naming Facilities, including returning The Inn to its former name of The Miami Inn.

Trustees elected new officers for 2007. Richard Smucker will serve as chair, John Christie will serve as vice chair, Kay Geiger will continue as secretary and David Herche will be treasurer.

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