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Learning Curve
Flipped classrooms and Massive Open Online Courses
are among the ways St. Bonaventure is embracing
new strategies for teaching and learning
The New
By Dr. Emily F. Morris
Vice President for University Relations
The Financial Service Lab offers an incredible working space for students
and faculty using such high tech tools as the Bloomberg Machine. Classes
meet in the lab in the morning and then it becomes a full-time work area
for Students in Money Management (SIMM) in the afternoon. SIMM pro-
gram students manage a real investment portfolio.
everal years ago, faculty at St. Bonaven-
ture got together with members of the
administration and Board of Trustees to
read the book "Good to Great" by Jim Collins.
Collins described how good organizations be-
come great by discovering their niche, the unique
place that they own in the marketplace -- some-
thing that they do better than any other organi-
zation or business in their realm. He called this an
organization's hedgehog; doing one thing and
doing it well.
This group then set out to determine St. Bona-
venture's hedgehog, which resulted in a rather
simple declaration -- a statement of distinction
that hinged on the notion that St. Bonaventure
University mentors students in vitally engaging
learning environments.
While declarations of this nature are, to some
extent, aspirational, a great deal of evidence in
2006 suggested that this declaration was, in fact,
true. Results of the National Survey of Student
Engagement (NSSE) reflected that St. Bonaven-
ture students at the freshman and senior levels
reported high levels of engagement in high-im-
pact learning experiences -- things in and out of
the classroom that are known to make a signifi-
cant impact on the student experience, student
satisfaction, and outcomes. Our graduation rates
exceeded national averages and those of com-
petitors. Our students were gaining access to
graduate schools and careers at astounding rates
-- as high as 97 percent of graduating classes
were employed or in graduate school within six
months of graduation.
Building on this success, theme and brand
promise, university officials launched in 2013 the
Flipped Classroom initiative. Inspired by the work
of educator Lodge McCammon, university faculty
and administrators were challenged to rethink
the teaching and learning paradigm.