We agree that lectures can be boring. As a response, we've eliminated lectures from our curriculum completely. Our course meetings, except for lab courses, are now in a seminar format. For the first 10-15 minutes, a professor gives a mini-lecture covering fine points of homework or readings. Then, for the remainder of the time, we either work problems in small groups or engage in other active learning projects. With small class sizes, where there are no more than 24 students in a class, this creates a unique hands-on learning experience.
To further encourage our students to meet with faculty, we have freshman seminars every third week of ENGR 101. For the first 30 minutes, a guest speaker gives a short presentation. The remainder of the time is utilized for students and faculty to meet over snacks.
We're doing all this because we want every student who enters the Engineering program to graduate with us. The BS Engineering retention rate nationwide is less than 60%. We're aiming for 100% retention at Loyola.
If you're curious, read this NYT article on how an active learning environment benefits students.
A list of recent student projects can be found here.