The Snowball Effect: Evolving Your Class Into An Active Learning Experience

Welcome to the second post in our two-part series about evolving your course to incorporate active learning. Previously we shared how one professor at Ohio University evolved his course into a “90 minute creativity concert” of active learning. Today we’ll share actionable tips that you can apply to your courses.

The Snowball Effect

WHAT IT IS AND WHY IT WORKS

As we covered how Eric Williams transformed his MDIA 1020: Media and the Creative Process course from a traditional, lecture-based format to an engaging, active-learning “90 minute creativity concert,” we were inspired to think about and share ways that other faculty in any discipline could do the same, using a concept called the “snowball effect.”

The snowball effect is a process which begins with one small change that builds upon itself, becoming larger and more significant along the way, like a ball of snow rolling down a hillside. If properly guided, this process can have a majorly positive impact on a situation just by taking small steps along the way.

Changing a class is not a simple process, but it can be made easier by approaching the process of evolving the course slowly and methodically. By instituting a few small changes each semester, you can “snowball” a successful, manageable evolution of the course in just a couple of years, giving you time to adjust, get comfortable, and evaluate. Let’s talk about a few ways you can get started. Continue reading

How A Large Lecture Course of Over 200 Students Built a Community of Collaboration and Inspiration on Seelio

Media and the Creative Process 1020 Collage

Student Advice on Getting the Most Out of Your Large Lecture Course

Have you ever taken a class that was unlike any other? One that challenged you to get out of your comfort zone and make things in addition to learning about them?

Have you ever wished you could see what your classmates are up to to find inspiration or people that can work on exciting projects with you?

We encountered a group of students at Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication who are experiencing that and more in MDIA 1020: Media and the Creative Process. In this large lecture course, students complete regular project-based assignments using a variety of media platforms to put their learning into action. See more about the class philosophy and structure in our earlier post.

This is one of Scripps’ bigger courses, with around 200 students. Yet, even with such a large class size (and both online and on-campus students) we heard again and again that students found it easy to collaborate and find inspiration from their classmates.

 

How?
We want to turn things over to a few students in MDIA 1020 who shared what made this large lecture class so unique and what it was like using Seelio in the class. See who chimed in:

Continue reading

How Eric Williams is Evolving His Class Into a 90 Minute Creativity Concert of Active Learning

Want to know one of the secrets to turning an “okay” class into a “great” one?

The secret is understanding the “snowball effect.” The snowball effect is a process which begins with one small change that builds upon itself, becoming larger and more significant along the way, like a ball of snow rolling down a hillside. If properly guided, this evolutionary process can have a majorly positive impact on a situation just by taking small steps along the way.

If anyone knows the merits of this process, it’s Eric Williams, an associate professor in the School of Media Arts & Studies at Ohio University’s Scripps College of Communication. Eric teaches a course called MDIA 1020: Media and the Creative Process, which he has been evolving over time into an incredible active learning experience for his students.

MDIA 1020 Student Showcase

Continue reading