Designing Assignments for Integrative Learning

Pacific-chorus-frog-and-northwestern-salamander.jpg.638x0_q80_crop-smartAs the winter term comes to an end, the LC teams have been designing integrative assignments for their paired courses.  While each individual course still proceeds via its own sequence of learning activities and assignments, at the centre of the paired course endeavour is a shared assignment that is introduced and worked on in both classes.

The integrative assignment should challenge students to make connections between the varying materials of each course; to apply different disciplinary concepts and methodologies to complex issues and problems; to synthesize and evaluate outcomes; and to reflect on the process.  We’ve drawn on several resources to guide the design of these assignments, from the Washington Center’s heuristic Designing Purposeful and Intentional Integrative Learning to Boix Mansilla and Duraising’s Framework for Assessing Integrative Learning.

Each teaching pair now has a tentative idea of their integrative assignments.  Here are their synopses: Continue reading

October 8, 2015 – Wicked Problems and Integrative Learning

montreal-east-refineriesThe meeting of October 8 examined attempts by Dawson faculty to put wicked problems at the centre of course work, and also the obstacles to designing truly interdisciplinary and integrative learning experiences.  Carl Saucier-Bouffard and Geoffrey Pearce talked about a Reflections & Environmental Studies field trip to the oil refinery district in Montreal-Est.  Participating on this trip were students from Carl’s Humanities: World Views class, Geoff’s Advanced Topics in Environmental Studies; they were also joined by Jeff Barnes and Michael Duckett who pitched in on the teaching side of the trip.  The general objective was to give students an immediate experience of the local environmental and social impacts on Montreal-Est of oil refinery development.  Continue reading