Hundreds of Ideas Emerge from Brainstorming Session

In what might have been one of the biggest brainstorming meetings ever at CNM, hundreds of good ideas emerged from the Academic Affairs breakout session held immediately following the Sept. 13 Convocation.
Hundreds of Ideas Emerge from Brainstorming Session

Jul 17, 2015

Some 500 faculty, staff, administrative support, achievement coaches and more put on their best thinking caps and talked about ways to better engage students and build connections with them to ensure their success in college.

The participants were broken into groups of five and given colorful cards with inspirational words on them. The facilitators -- Lis Turkheimer, Academic Affairs Executive Director, and Jim Berry, Chair of the Faculty Chair Council -- then asked them to pick the cards they felt most passionate about and come up with ideas associated with the cards that would engage their students

 “The reason we picked connecting with students and student engagement as a topic is because there is overwhelming research that shows that student success increases greatly in students who feel connected/engaged with their college,” Berry said

Louise Scherffius of Academic Affairs thought up the idea for the massive brainstorming activity. She developed and organized all the materials used in the meeting, including the cards and posters.

Examples of words and ideas that emerged out of the sessions were:

  • Help -- Overcome barriers – check sources & causes of student’s barriers.  Develop a trusting environment and then ask a student, “Why are you falling asleep and being inattentive in class?”  Then, when they share, you can point them in the right direction.
  • Ask – a student about their progress; get them thinking.
  • Use – jokes. Engage students with fun. The information we impart to the students is important, but fun can help the students absorb and listen.
  • Humanize –connect, recall life examples.
  • Take – time to listen. Sometimes the person is going through “something.” Take time to get to know the individual.
  • Put – your private life aside and be in the moment for each student that approaches you.

Turkheimer said the tent was “buzzing” with people talking and sharing ideas. “Everyone liked the feedback. It was all about students.” She added that “the expectation is that the suggestions will be implemented individually by faculty and staff inside or outside of the classroom.”

Click here to see all the responses.