Proposal Abstract

Helping students develop the ability to integrate learning and make connections across disciplines and contexts is “one of the most important goals and challenges of higher education today” (see ACC&U, 2004, A Statement on Integrative Learning). Commonly researched pedagogies that foster integrative learning include experiential (e.g. service learning and internships) and high impact practices (e.g. learning communities, first year seminars, electronic portfolios and capstone courses). Additionally, Bain’s (2012) work draws attention to the role of essential questions. Bain noted that students who successfully transferred learning across contexts were able to do so because they were seeking in-depth answers to their own questions, challenges or problems (2012).

The purpose of this presentation is to share the results from a case study that supports the positive impact of essential questions on students' capacity to integrate learning across contexts. In doing so, we will also introduce the theoretical foundations of the essential question method. Participants will be asked to brainstorm strategies for implementation as well as possible challenges in adapting the method in their own programs. Participants will leave the session able to articulate the purpose and value of essential questions as well as strategies for implementation.

Location

Room 2010

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

 
Mar 27th, 9:00 AM Mar 27th, 9:45 AM

Putting Students in the Driver's Seat: Using Essential Questions to Foster Integrative Learning

Room 2010

Helping students develop the ability to integrate learning and make connections across disciplines and contexts is “one of the most important goals and challenges of higher education today” (see ACC&U, 2004, A Statement on Integrative Learning). Commonly researched pedagogies that foster integrative learning include experiential (e.g. service learning and internships) and high impact practices (e.g. learning communities, first year seminars, electronic portfolios and capstone courses). Additionally, Bain’s (2012) work draws attention to the role of essential questions. Bain noted that students who successfully transferred learning across contexts were able to do so because they were seeking in-depth answers to their own questions, challenges or problems (2012).

The purpose of this presentation is to share the results from a case study that supports the positive impact of essential questions on students' capacity to integrate learning across contexts. In doing so, we will also introduce the theoretical foundations of the essential question method. Participants will be asked to brainstorm strategies for implementation as well as possible challenges in adapting the method in their own programs. Participants will leave the session able to articulate the purpose and value of essential questions as well as strategies for implementation.