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2018 Innovators: 6 Programs to Change Classroom Culture

2018 Innovators: 6 Programs to Change Classroom Culture - Cover

What drives change in the classroom? This special report looks at how six institutions encourage innovation in teaching. To choose them, we talked with our colleagues on the teaching beat and sought nominations on social media and through The Chronicle’s newsletters. Our choices reflect several key trends in academe: One large research university has a campuswide program to make its courses more engaging to students, and has lots of data on what works and what doesn’t. But innovation doesn’t always require a large budget or take place on a large scale. Other colleges use incentives that involve gamification, online seminars for online instructors, and even an accelerator approach that’s likelier to be found in the tech sector.

Not everyone believes incentives are the answer. A psychology professor and former administrator who has experience with efforts to shake up the classroom argues that motivation for change comes from intrinsic rather than extrinsic rewards.

Whatever may drive innovation, plenty of it is in evidence in today’s college classrooms.

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