Our goal is to help recognize, shape, and promote the use of a university-wide ecosystem for learning, creating and innovation. This means that we want to link together the places where students think, work, and research rather than keep them as isolated spheres. We want to empower students to engage meaningfully in their learning, work together, innovate, make mistakes, revise, and grow intellectually. Conceiving of Rutgers's vast resources as forming a system, and then capitalizing on that, ensures a student experience that is more productive, innovative, and rewarding.
Breaking Down the Walls Between Courses and Other Activities
We want to encourage instructors and students to bring coursework outside the traditional classroom, and to break down the walls that sometimes divide coursework from co- and extra-curricular activities. We want to encourage a more integrated and organic intellectual experience for our students. We are excited by the concept of students as producers, by the maker movement, and by projects that actively engage students.
Spaces, Connections, and More
This ecosystem requires physical and virtual spaces--classrooms, study spots, collaboration spaces, learning centers, libraries, and more. But it also depends on making connections. Connections within a course that link class-time activities with outside projects, connections that bring students together in formal and informal groups to create and share new ideas, partnerships between student researchers and faculty mentors, and much more.
The ecosystem is also fueled by technology in many ways. Technology that gives students access to a broader community of thinkers and inventors than can be contained in any single place--even a major Research I, Big Ten institution, technology that facilitates communication between students and their course mates, and technology for sharing what they've created with the Rutgers community and beyond.
And, we'd be remiss if we didn't remind you that the ecosystem includes a host of areas just off campus. Students have major metro areas, rivers and coastal settings, mountains, forests, and farms at their disposal. Don't let your learning be contained within boundaries. Make this ecosystem yours, add to it, use it in ways no one else has before. Time is short, so get started!