On the UT Campus

New Ways to Learn

Students are learning more than ever, and they are doing it in new and exciting ways. Technology plays a major role, but in some cases it’s a matter of simply thinking about fresh ways to teach and learn.

Smart classrooms offer the latest in instructional technology. In some classes students can use their smartphones to engage with the lesson, enabling teachers to ask questions, gather responses, and display them in real-time. They know immediately whether students understand course materials and grasp complex concepts. Such a system inspires active learning, promotes discussion, uncovers misconceptions, provides positive and immediate feedback, and encourages critical thinking.

In a similar way, the flipped class is one that inverts the typical cycle of content acquisition and application so that students learn before they even come to class. Instructors then use class time to guide them in interactive exercises to reinforce the lesson. Instead of listening to an instructor lecture for an entire class, students might listen to a bit of lecture and then analyze, make connections to other material and explore their views with a classmate.

In many subject areas, modeling and simulations offer unique learning opportunities. The top-ranked Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, for instance, has introduced hands-on drilling labs — the Real-time Operations Center, the Drilling Automation Lab and the Zonal Isolation Lab — where faculty and students can monitor data from wells in real time and run simulations for the most efficient and safest ways to drill.

Learning happens everywhere, and the Campaign for Texas has taken our people where they need to be, whether it’s around the world, across town, or right here in the most advanced facilities available.