First-Year Seminars foster the capacity to communicate effectively and collaboratively.
A seminar is, by definition, a collaborative space; it requires that all members exchange views, supporting and challenging each other. Communicating constructively also requires that students listen actively and ask questions. In a small seminar environment, intellectual growth occurs when students take chances, communicating their views openly and directly—respectful of and stimulated by diverse perspectives.
The best seminars offer opportunities for working in partnership with others, as well as a place where all students are comfortable “thinking aloud.” First-Year Seminars should never be run as lecture courses. Indeed, participating regularly in seminar discussions is vital and should be reflected in the overall grade. Faculty should also devise assignments that require students to present materials to others, formally and informally.
Resources for Students and Faculty: