As reported in the Washington Post, William E. “Brit” Kirwan is retiring as chancellor of Maryland’s public university system after a 12-year tenure known for his campaigns to expand access to higher education and use technological innovation to rejuvenate staid lecture courses.
One of his passions is an initiative to use computer interaction to redesign dozens of undergraduate courses, from biology to psychology, that had often failed to connect with students because he said they grew bored listening to professors. The new courses, featuring an expansion of online instruction and in-class discussions, often boosted class size and student engagement while saving money and raising grades.
“The passive, large lecture method of instruction is dead,” Kirwan told The Washington Post last year. “It’s just that some institutions don’t know it yet. We do.”
The drive for technology in the classroom that Kirwan championed also exists in the Maryland community colleges and K-12 public schools that county governments fund. For more information about these types of programs, see our previous post on Conduit Street, Digital Learning & Early College Grantees Announced and, as an example, this information from the College of Southern Maryland.