Answering Why: Strategies for Motivating Student Learning in Non-Major Classes

Concurrent Session 7
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Early classes can be a difficult sell for students who are eager to jump into upper division classes and to make progress toward their career goals. But instructors in these crucial early classes know that this foundational learning is integral to future success and there are some key ways to have a transformational impact on student learning – and their perceptions.

Presenters

Dr. Nathan Pritts is Professor and Lead Faculty in the Center for First Year Experience at the University of Arizona Global Campus. He brings expertise in business writing, advertising, and online user experience to the General Education classroom, infusing the curriculum with foundational outcomes bolstered by clear ties to a student's academic and career path.

Extended Abstract

General Education and Liberal Arts classes – indeed, any foundational required class – can be a difficult sell for students who are understandably eager to jump into upper division classes in their majors and to start making recognizable progress toward their career goals. Instructors in these crucial early classes know that this foundational learning is integral to future success – both academic and professional.  But students, especially early on, can use a little extra help in seeing the path, trusting the process, and staying motivated toward their ultimate goals.

 

Leveraging experience from a recent curriculum redevelopment, and the insights into teaching practice that this led to, we’ll talk about the ways that developers and teachers can both have a transformational impact on student learning – and their perception of that learning. By identifying some key opportunities in the areas of course design and delivery, we’ll develop strategies to make the path brighter, lighter, and to help keep students more firmly grounded in the here and now while ensuring stable and steady progress toward their goals.