2007 Conversation Cafes ~ Learning at Clark

Dream Big Conversation Café

College members from all areas of Clark came together May 14 and 15, 2007 to participate in two Conversation Cafés discussing the Learning Centered College paradigm. The focus of the discussions was student success and retention at Clark and the role deep learning plays in that success.

During these initial conversation cafés, Clark college employees shared a profound learning experience and reported current exemplary efforts at Clark to provide deep learning experiences for our students. Participants came to the event with creative ideas for providing meaningful learning opportunities they would like to see instituted at Clark. These big ideas look at the larger vision of where we as a college could be in the future.

Group Photo

Responses from these questions were captured by hosts at each table and then compiled by Gail Liberman, Director of the Teaching and Learning Center. A team then reviewed the responses and identified the recurring threads and themes.

graphic: recurring threads & themes link

Participants discussed the following three questions:

1. Share a memorable learning experience where you were actively engaged and responsible for applying the subject matter to your own present or future needs. What made this experience memorable? How well did you learn the subject being taught?

  • What was the activity or project you had to do?
  • Was it challenging for you?
  • What was the most important lesson you learned from that experience?
  • Did you learn the subject matter the teacher wanted you to learn? Do you still remember it?

graphic: responses 1 link

2. What practices and activities have you done, observed or heard about at Clark which engage students in actively applying their learning to the real world? Please name one or two exemplary practices or activities.

  • What projects have you had students do in your class that showed they knew the material?
  • What projects have you or others facilitated where students had to apply the learning to their own lives, present or future?
  • How do you or other people at Clark make the learning relevant to students?

graphic: responses 2 link

3. Dream Big. If your department could be completely learner-centered, what would it look like? Wild ideas encouraged.

  • If you could do anything you wanted in your classroom what would you do to make your subject real, immediate, relevant, and engaging for students?
  • What college practices would simulate the real world for students?
  • How could we graduate students who are confident and capable citizens?

graphic: responses 3 link



Recommended Readings:

From Teaching to Learning - A New Paradigm for Undergraduate Education, by Barr and Tagg

Focus on Learning, Transforming Teaching, by Maryellen Weimer


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