Transforming the Large Enrollment Lecture Classroom into an Active Learning Zone to Build Student Success

How can you turn a class with more than 200 students into something more than a lecture-based, sage on the stage session?  The Active Learning Zone project is a personal initiative aiming at using reflective, scholarly and scientific teaching to produce a better quality and more engaging student experience to enhance learning in my large enrollment courses. In this session, I will discuss recent efforts on how I am leveraging technology to create a learning community within the classroom and to use 2-stage collaborative exams to build student success in large enrollment courses.

Colin Montpetit comes to us from the University of Ottawa (Ottawa, OntaKeynoterio). Colin received his undergraduate (1997) and graduate degree (2002) from the University of Ottawa for his work in the field of Comparative Physiology and Endocrinology. He then pursued an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship (2002-2005) at the University of Toronto in the field of Comparative Endocrinology of feeding behavior and development. In 2005, Colin headed to Green Bay, Wisconsin, to take up his first faculty appointment as an Assistant Professor of Biology at St. Norbert College.

In 2007, Colin headed back to his alma mater as an Assistant Professor to pursue opportunities to formally explore research questions dedicated to teaching and learning in higher education in the field of sciences. In this role, Dr. Montpetit’s efforts are dedicated to advancing the quality of undergraduate (biology) education through professional development, scientific teaching, and student/faculty research collaborations with a particular emphasis on active learning in large enrollment courses, collaborative testing, and the translation and validation of concept inventories.

Colin is a co-founder of the Ontario Consortium of Undergraduate Biology Educators. And is no stranger to the uOttawa Teaching and Learning Support Services and Centre for University Teaching in contributing to their professional development program.

Colin was the recipient of the 2013 Andre Lalonde Memorial Award for Science Professor of the Year chosen by the Science Student Association of the University of Ottawa and was recently awarded a 2015 National Capital Educator’s Award.

In this interactive session, Dr. Montpetit will talk about his Active Learning Zone project and the role of scientific and reflective teaching in leveraging technology to transform his large enrollment lecture classrooms into active and collaborative learning zones. He will talk about how an instructor can turn a class with hundreds of students into something more than a lecture-based, sage on the stage session and how these approaches aim to build student success.