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The "learner-centered" approach to teaching does much more than focus on students. It puts them front and center, allowing their decisions to shape the experience, the content, their involvement, and ultimately, the depth of their personal learning outcomes. While implementing such an approach can seem daunting, especially in large, lecture-style classes, a larger class doesn't have to mean an instructor-centered class.

Dr. Hurney is the Executive Director for faculty development at the Center for Faculty Innovation where she directs a number of campus-wide programs that support the teaching, scholarship, leader- ship, and service roles of JMU faculty. Dr. Hurney is also an Associate Professor of Biology at James Madison University where she has been teaching General Education courses for majors and non- majors since 1997. In 2005, Dr. Hurney was honored as the Distinguished Teacher in General Education.

Dr. Hurney is developmental biologist and her research laboratory explores tail development in the four-toed salamander, Hemidactylium scutatum. Dr. Hurney received her Biology degrees from the University of Rochester (BA) and the University of Virginia (PhD). She pursued post-doctoral research at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

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Practicing Learner-Centered Teaching in Large Classes