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TOP 25 Project: proposals sought

01/05/2007

President Hodge and Provost Herbst announce a new initiative to develop inquiry-based learning models for Miami's 25 highest enrolled courses. The TOP 25 Project: Engaging Students in their Learning seeks faculty proposals to redesign these courses to create systemic change in undergraduate learning at Miami.

Funded projects will utilize approaches to learning that are student-centered, inquiry-driven and based on active learning strategies. They will develop strategies to improve students' critical thinking and problem-solving skills and reduce the amount of class time spent on low-level memory material via innovative outside-of-class learning approaches.

The top 25 courses account for more than 20 percent of undergraduate credit hours in any semester and comprise a significant portion of first year students' curriculum. The newly developed learning models are expected to improve student content mastery, critical thinking or problem-solving ability, and satisfaction. "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 President David Hodge.

The models will build on learning outcomes tied to assessment to continuously monitor learning and modify the courses as necessary. The redesigned courses will make efficient use of resources and people, including faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, measure costs and be expected to provide superior learning outcomes at no more cost than current levels.

Departments should identify teams of two to four faculty who will be leaders in the course redesign project. A selection committee of faculty from each division will review pre- and full proposals and recommend up to six for funding in each of the next four years.

The call for proposals and other information is online at www.units.muohio.edu/led/. Click on Top 25 on the left. Questions can be addressed to Jerry Stonewater, director of the TOP 25 Project, stonewjk@muohio.edu.

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