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CSL Tutors Save the Day! a New Training Program

Posted by: Erin Blevins | September 19, 2019 | No Comment |

In the context of higher education, Chickering & Ehrmann (1996) wrote, “Learning is not a spectator sport. Students do not learn much just sitting in classes listening to teachers, memorizing pre-packaged assignments, and spitting out answers. They must talk about what they are learning, write reflectively about it, relate to past experiences, and apply it to their daily lives. They must make what they learn part of themselves.”

In that spirit, the Center for Student Learning adopted a new medium for our tutor training program this Fall. After one hour of lecture-style information provided for our tutors on topics ranging from privacy/ethics to effective communication to submitting timesheets, more than sixty of our new tutors were broken into groups and charged with the task of saving the College of Charleston from a significant weather event. The only way for our tutors to save the campus from extensive flooding was to use the knowledge they gained from new tutor training to solve riddles and decode puzzles that would open boxes with combination locks. Each box they opened represented a key campus location and provided new clues and challenges that would eventually lead them to securing the last location on campus – the CSL!

The project-based learning technique we used is a form of an escape room where participants are “locked” into a room and must “break out” in a pre-determined amount of time. Escape rooms and break-out activities have been popular in educational settings in the last few years and something that the College of Charleston is working to implement more regularly in classrooms. Jared Seay, Research Librarian and Media Services Coordinator, was awarded a grant from the Innovative Teaching and Learning in the Liberal Arts and Sciences Small Grants Program. Jared’s mission is to transform learning into “immersive scenarios,” as he calls them, that allow students to interact with course content through platforms such as escape rooms, break-out boxes, role play, and megagames. We reached out to Jared to learn how we could make this work for our tutor training, and he was instrumental in its success!  Developing the break-out scenario took a great deal of time and effort, but we think it paid off! The tutors were excited, engaged, and enjoyed the experience. The CSL plans to incorporate additional immersive scenarios into our ongoing training programs later this Fall!

Written by Abe Saunders, CSL

Chickering, Arthur W. and Ehrmann Stephen C. (1996), “Implementing the Seven Principles: Technology as Lever,” AAHE Bulletin, October, pp. 3-6

under: Program Spotlight, Uncategorized

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