March 14th, 2019 / 12:10 PM
Lasers, Chicken Eggs and a Nagging Medical Problem: Key Ingredients For a “Signature” Learning Experience For Illinois Illinois Wesleyan Students
Assistant Professor of Biology
Illinois Wesleyan University
In recent years, higher education has morphed from fact-cramming in lecture halls to real-world learning experiences that blur the lines between passively acquiring knowledge and actively applying concepts. At IWU, we are embracing this new way of “signature” learning. Yet, how do professors (like myself) that were educated in lecture halls succeed in breaking down the walls and engaging our students in real-world learning?
The answer, I believe, is to look to the real-world. That means identifying challenges that impact our community. It involves a willingness to meet new people outside of academia, seek their advice, and then be ready to try new things collaboratively. Today I will tell you a story of how a signature experience for my students came about, how it continues to evolve, why it involves lasers, chickens and medicine, and what this all means for student learning at IWU.