Annie Coughlan--Over the course of this fall semester, I have been working as a full-time marketing co-op at RIT’s Innovative Learning Institute (ILI). What’s the ILI? Simply put, the ILI is dedicated to helping faculty teach more effectively, whether they are in a physical or virtual classroom. As a co-op, I’ve been privy to what goes on behind the scenes, and I’ve uncovered something that I feel is important to share with my fellow students. Our professors work hard to deliver courses to us. They nitpick at their course design as much as they do at our course work, all to provide us with a more effective and engaging learning experience.
Let me give you an example. You know that stapled set of pages we get at the start of each semester? That thorough outline of the course, which, if we read it, would answer the questions that we raise our hands to ask in class anyway? That thing called the syllabus? Well, faculty actually take the time to design it to fit within certain specifications, making sure it’s constructed strategically for ease of use, clarity, and conciseness. Yes, that’s right, our professors design syllabi with purpose.
From my cubicle I hear many one-on-one consultations and workshops with faculty and the ILI’s instructional designers and technologists. Every time, faculty make it clear that their ultimate concern is making sure their students are engaged in the course material. Why is that so important to share with you? Well, that means our professors actually care about whether or not we’re engaged and learning something. Remember, they’re passionate about what they teach and work hard to make sure you feel a sense of that passion, too.
Oftentimes, as students, we don’t realize that our professors seek out support and guidance to better support and guide us. Although the ILI works directly with faculty, its real purpose is to improve learning outcomes and experiences for us, the students.
Annie Coughlan is a rising senior in the Saunders College of Business, who is working toward a degree in marketing with a minor in sociology. She's found her passion in learning about people and cultures in order to be the best marketer possible, and is looking forward to what the future will bring.