REACH recognition event celebrates initiative’s accomplishments

On Wednesday, September 27, participants, team members, supporters and benefactors of the REACH Initiative gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of the effort, to date, and to recognize the dedication and talents all of those involved.

The REACH Initiative is part of the broader EI Initiative, and is one of many efforts to spark innovation in teaching and learning across campus.

Now in its third year, REACH aims to transform large, introductory, lecture-based courses into sustainable, active learning environments that increase students’ engagement in their own learning. While excellent examples of active learning already exist in many of our undergraduate programs, especially in courses with low student-to-instructor ratios, the logistics and sheer number of students in high-enrollment, lecture-based courses often inhibit innovation and experimentation. What is unique about the effort is that it is taking a departmental approach – not just individual instructors – to ensure commitment and sustainability into the future.

To date, the initiative has impacted 12 courses, 6 departments and over 15,500 enrollments, 75 faculty and departmental staff, and 300 TAs, and additional courses and departments are already starting to be engaged.

Early indications of impact include:

  • Consistent, active and inclusive course structures and practices
  • Co-created learning objectives, curricula and assessments
  • Expanded TA training and development
  • Improved student engagement and learning
  • Increased lecture attendance, from 55-70% to 80-85%

Faculty and instructors report:

  • Increased skill in designing active learning courses
  • Increased collaboration with colleagues about their teaching

Learn more about the initiative and hear from one of the initiative’s lead faculty, Professor Clark Landis, Department of Chemistry.