Designing Courses for Significant Learning Fall 2009
Higher education today is being called on to deliver a new and more powerful kind of education, one that prepares students to be more engaged citizens, better equipped to solve complex problems at work and better prepared to lead meaningful lives individually. To respond to this call, teachers in colleges and universities need to learn how to design more powerful kinds of learning into their courses. In 2003, Dee Fink published a seminal book, Creating Significant Learning Experiences, that offered teachers two major tools for meeting this need: the Taxonomy of Significant Learning and the model of Integrated Course Design. Since that time, educators around the world have found Fink's ideas both visionary and inspiring. This issue of New Directions for Teaching and Learning contains multiple stories of how college-level teachers have used these ideas in a variety of teaching situations, with subject matter ranging from the sciences to the humanities. Their conclusion? The ideas in Fink's book truly make a difference. When used properly, they lead to major improvements in the level of student engagement and the quality of student learning!
This is the 119th volume of the Jossey-Bass higher education quarterly report series New Directions for Teaching and Learning, which offers a comprehensive range of ideas and techniques for improving college teaching based on the experience of seasoned instructors and the latest findings of educational and psychological researchers.