‘Super Spring’ will be bursting with new course offerings

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Get ready - Spring will be Super at Brock this year.

In a major initiative to offer more course access than ever before, all six academic Faculties will offer an expanded, innovative calendar of more than 150 Spring and Summer courses that include face-to-face, online, blended and accelerated course delivery.

It’s the first time Brock has offered this many courses during a season that is usually associated more with sun than studies. Provost and Vice-President, Academic, Murray Knuttila says the initiative demonstrates Brock’s commitment to giving students the best options possible.

“Learning is not an 8-to-5 process that happens only between September and April,” said Knuttila. “Students learn 24/7, 365 days a year and we are determined to offer them options that suit their needs.”

Anna Lathrop, the Vice-Provost of Teaching and Learning who is leading the “Super Spring” initiative, says it will allow current and new Brock students to get ahead in their degrees. But she said the opportunity is not restricted to Brock students.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for people thinking of starting a degree to try out university,” said Lathrop. “Or, students from Niagara who are coming home for the summer can also continue their studies by taking a course at Brock.”

Lathrop said the initiative also lets students not going immediately to full-time jobs after exams make use of the time by getting a credit toward their degree.

“Many of our courses will be offered in an accelerated or concentrated format. Students can come to campus and take an intensive two-week class experience. They can also apply to stay in residence if they are not from the region.”

Courses range from the traditional to the innovative.

There is a “clown doctor” who will teach about humour and health care, an English literature course with accelerated context credit and a class about coaching theory with a field study component. There’s also an introduction to community health sciences course in the “two weeks, two profs, two credit” model that was hugely popular when it launched two years ago.

Students who need a more flexible schedule can consider online courses in Communications, Popular Culture and Film; English; Math; Biology; or Recreation and Leisure studies. Or students taking a course on environmental and ecological literacy can end up hiking the Bruce Trail atop the Niagara escarpment.

A new offering is the blended course format, involving two weeks of intensive, face-to-face lectures and seminars followed by a one-month reflective interval for students to complete a major assignment. One example of a blended course is English Literature: Tradition and Innovation (ENGL 1F91).

“The hybrid format means students can be in class without the stress of simultaneously completing major essays,” Lathrop said. “Then comes a period of review, writing and reflection without the demands of keeping up with assigned class readings. This kind of dual approach enables students to focus on immediate tasks and learning outcomes.”

Students can begin registering for Spring and Summer courses on March 25.

Posted on March 11, 2013

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