This spring, the Michigan Colleges Alliance (MCA), in collaboration with Google, is piloting the Google Course Share Collaboration—a new course delivery approach that aims to expand course options at smaller private colleges while retaining the faculty-driven teaching model.
The pilot program launched in January and includes three MCA member institutions: Calvin College, Alma College, and Albion College. The three institutions are testing the viability of an academic resource sharing model between colleges, giving students access to more options of classes.
Each campus created a Google Extended Classroom, complete with Hangouts Meet (Google’s video meeting software) and Jamboard (Google’s 55-inch, 4K interactive display), which is spurring collaboration through linking up digital whiteboards across the colleges.
The classrooms have two large monitors, each showing students from the other two participating colleges. The professor teaches the classes simultaneously with live interaction from all three classes. Steelcase, the largest office furniture manufacturer in the world, outfitted each classroom to help create collaborative spaces for students to thrive.
MCA has tasked Calvin College’s Center for Social Research (CSR) with evaluating the pilot program. Through surveys, focus groups, and research, CSR will provide an evaluation later this spring.