Northern Michigan University received the 2013 Engaged Campus of the Year Award from Michigan Campus Compact. An NMU delegation of academic service learning faculty, graduate students and administrators traveled to Lansing to receive the award at the Giving and Volunteering Celebration at the state capitol. The ceremony included a number of service awards and a special presentation by Gov. Rick Snyder, who spoke about the strengths of Michigan communities and citizens’ willingness to give of their time to help one another. It was sponsored by the Council of Michigan Foundations, the Michigan Community Service Organization and the Michigan Nonprofit Organization. Pictured (from left) are: Joe Lubig (Education), Lizzie Corser, John Barch, Rachel Harris, Dave Bonsall, Hanna Kratz (Center for Student Enrichment), Paul Lang (Academic Affairs) and Charles Ganzert (CAPS).
NMU’s Active Learning Catalysts Teaching Commons received the 2013 Innovative Use of MERLOT Award at the Sloan-C/MERLOT Emerging Technologies for Online Learning symposium in Las Vegas. Pictured is Matt Smock (AIS-Instructional Design and Technology), who accepted the award on behalf of NMU, and Gerry Hanley, executive director of MERLOT. The company presents the honor to an individual, department or program demonstrating “novel, comprehensive or creative usage and/or application of MERLOT materials and services.” Nominees must provide evidence of an impact on students that can be demonstrated through qualitative or quantitative research or anecdotal evidence.
The goal of the NMU catalysts project is to increase the adoption of technology-enhanced active learning in classes taught by science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) faculty. The project, which is supported by a National Science Foundation grant, is centered on a cohort of six STEM focal point faculty (catalysts) who are immersing themselves in active learning pedagogy, redesigning their own courses and serving as models for their peers. Redesigned courses are offered in a student-centered technology-rich studio classroom in the Learning Resources Center. While preparing to reapply for the grant, the project team consulted with MERLOT staff about disseminating project information and results. The key idea that emerged was to create a MERLOT “Teaching Commons” for the project in order to give the project a higher profile. MERLOT is an international initiative enabling faculty to integrate technology into higher education. It is an online community of faculty and institutions collaborating to increase the quantity of high quality web-based, interactive teaching and learning materials.