You mention SCALE-UP in several places. What is SCALE-UP?

In the General Engineering Program at Clemson, we have adopted the basic methodology of the Student-Centered Active Learning Environment for Undergraduate Programs (SCALE-UP) learning environment in our classrooms.  All of our classrooms comprise circular tables, whiteboards for every table, and multiple projectors so that there is no "front" to any of our classrooms.

Our lectures to the students are short and provide adequate scaffolding for the active learning activities we have planned for any given day.  This allows the instructor to take on more of a "coaching" position, where we continually walk throughout the classroom and engage each student or team with various Guided Inquiry questions.  After the first month of the first semester, students are accustomed to owning their learning space and will often get up at the whiteboards to work problems or explain a topic to their table.  By the second semester, students understand what we expect and will often seek out a whiteboard before calling us over to help. 

During each class, we encourage students to bring specific questions to class that they developed during the reading, and many of the examples and topics we cover in class are student requested.  We sometimes assign simpler questions from the In Class Activities or Review questions for students to complete before we actually cover the topic in class.  This can (a) set the stage for your lecture and (b) allow students to understand why they need to pay attention to your lecture.  If they have struggled with a question before listening to you, they are suddenly much more interested in hearing what you have to say.  After either reviewing the previous assigned work or lecturing to review the highlights of the reading ~ this is no longer than 15 minutes ~ we assign other In Class Activities (ICAs) to work on the remainder of the class.

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