Learning Fellows Build Community in Remote Classes

Hannah Silverstein recently wrote about how the Learning Fellows help build community in remote classrooms:

In a normal "Engineering Sciences 20: Introduction to Scientific Computing" class session during a normal term, "ENGS 20" head learning fellow Mer Anderson '21 would spend much of her time circulating around the lecture hall, encouraging pairs of students as they solved coding problems posed by Professor of Engineering Petra Bonfert-Taylor.

A computer and mechanical engineering major, Anderson first learned to code in just such a class, an engineering prerequisite. "The way coding works is the way my brain works," she says.

She liked it so much that she applied to become a learning fellow—one of the 47 undergraduates hired as "near-peer mentors" for students in classes across the institution. That experience "made me realize that eventually I want to be a professor," she says.

Of course, this spring has been anything but normal, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced all Dartmouth courses to follow a remote teaching and learning model. And the Learning Fellows Program—a joint initiative of Learning Design and Technology and the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning (DCAL), now in its fifth year of helping faculty extend opportunities for active learning in the classroom—has had to adapt quickly to the new reality.

Read the rest of this story on the Dartmouth News website.