Dr. Pavan Kadandale, UC Irvine
At UC Irvine, we are faced with the challenge of adapting to the changing demographics of our student population. We are fast becoming a so-called “minority-majority” institution, over 50% of our students are first-generation students and, we have an increasing number of students from lower socio-economic groups. In my talk I will describe three strategies that we are employing to help us improve student outcomes at UCI. Firstly, we are incorporating authentic research into our undergraduate labs. I will present one example of how we have built a successful collaboration between a research lab, and an undergraduate lab course, resulting in the generation of useful scientific data from our lab course. Second, I will present data to show that in traditional lecture classes, relatively small changes - requiring minimal effort - can result in improved student learning. These small changes have synergistic effects with incorporating active learning exercises in traditional lectures, leading to improved learning, better higher order thinking, and improved long-term learning. Finally, I will present our work in which we have developed a new system to assess the effectiveness of pre-requisite courses, that can foster productive communication between faculty, and improve curriculum development at the program level.