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02-03 LS&A Bulletin

Science Learning Center


1720 Chemistry Building
930 North University Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1055

Claire Sandler, Director

Phone: (734) 764-9326 or 615-3133
Fax: (734) 936-8381
Website: http://www.umich.edu/~slc/  
email:  

The Science Learning Center (SLC) is an interdisciplinary resource center that supports teaching and learning in the five natural science departments: astronomy, biology, chemistry, geological sciences, and physics.

The SLC serves as a clearinghouse where many outside-of-classroom learning activities are coordinated, and students' opportunities to learn are strengthened by the availability of personnel, textual, and technology resources. Located in the atrium of the Chemistry Building (Room 1720), the SLC is home to several areas of activity. These include instructional technology labs, Graduate Student Instructor and study group meeting alcoves, a loan desk for reserve and research materials, and a central meeting area. In the SLC's eight alcoves, students can consult with GSI's or meet with a group of peers; each alcove is furnished with a study table, chairs and a whiteboard. The Center's collections include textbooks and study guides for reference use, supplementary print and electronic course materials, and a video viewing station so students can review video materials professors have assigned. The SLC offers PCs and Macintoshes, equipped with instructional software selected by professors.

The Center's equipment and staff activities are designed to improve student learning and involvement in the sciences, particularly in the introductory courses. The SLC plays an integral role in the university's vibrant science-learning community, encouraging students to be part of a scientific community early in their undergraduate career. The SLC's specific mission is to offer:

  • a site for faculty to introduce instructional technology in a supported environment;
  • a place where students and Graduate Student Instructors come together for small-group or one-on-one tutoring sessions;
  • a meeting spot for students to form and work in formal and informal study groups;
  • a staff to help students get started on assignments using technology or do research with reserve books and electronic materials.

The Science Learning Center organizes study groups for a number of courses in Chemistry, Biology, and Physics. SLC-coordinated Peer-Led Study Groups are led by Peer Leaders trained in group facilitation and collaborative learning techniques. Study Groups generally meet once every week for 2 hours and groups are usually comprised of 6-8 participants. Typical activities include sharing of classwork, discussions and critiques of each other's work. (The small size of the group along with the nature of the focused activities distinguishes study group from a discussion section.)


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