From the Field

The LSC Roundtables: Time for asking What If?

The LSC Roundtables might be understood as a time for brainstorming. They were not. The roundtables were an experiment, designed as an opportunity to explore questions to drive planning of spaces for learning into the future.  They were a time for collaborative reflection about what next, for stepping back and looking ahead. The core of roundtables is the more than two hours given to small working groups to convene around emerging issues of common concern, drafting new kinds of questions, and making the case to such questions reflect current reality and embrace the future.

How do we pay attention to the invisible learner?  This question, which will spark the upcoming LSC conversation, emerged from a working group at the Roundtable at North Carolina State University in March.

A question posed by a working group at the Roundtable at Indiana University perhaps offered another question: What if all “classes” were not classes, but self-directed project teams or peer tutor-led experiences?  

About the LSC Roundtables

National Report

National reports are an essential resource for those now responsible for planning spaces for learning that serve generations of learners. The authors and sponsors of these reports have thought deeply about the future. This National Academy report presents a compelling argument for attention to all students, an argument that speaks to the power of spaces in which students gain a sense of belonging.

Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads​ if students are prepared, have adequate information, and are ambitious and talented enough to succeed in STEM fields, success may also hinge on the extent to which students feel socially and intellectually integrated into their academic programs and campus environments. The importance of social and intellectual integration for success is critical to all students, regardless of background. For minority students who may feel, or be made to feel, like outsiders as they see few others “like themselves” among the student and faculty populations, this issue takes on even greater salience. The development of peer-to-peer support, study groups, program activities fostering social integration, and tutoring and mentoring programs may go a long way to overcome this critical hurdle.

—National Research Council. Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2011.


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