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The Promise Lives in changing the way students engage in learning.

Michael Lafreniere, an assistant professor at the Ohio University Chillicothe Campus, teaches environmental engineering and mathematics. He has helped develop a novel undergraduate learning approach called a Collaboratory Classroom. In this setting, students use networked tablet PCs, desktop PCs, and collaborative software to interact with the professor and other students during classroom lectures. The end result: an enriched and engaged learning experience for students and professors, Lafreniere says. “The Collaboratory Class allows each student to ‘come to the board’ without leaving his or her seat inside the classroom and even beyond the classroom. Working with tablets and touchable monitors allows all students–even those who do not have a lot of computing knowledge–to become engaged and active participants in their learning,” he says. Lafreniere’s 1804 Fund award allowed him to evaluate the influence this approach has on student success. He says the award also lends a measure of prestige to the project, providing a springboard for further funding. Faculty outside of math and engineering have taken notice, Lafreniere says. “I’ve been approached by Chillicothe art and chemistry professors who want to explore using the concept in their classrooms,” he says. “I’m excited about where this concept will go. I think it ‘has legs’ for still other areas of scholarly study and research.”


Michael Lafreniere

The 1804 Fund

The Promise Lives
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