Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses

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9780787960551: Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses

Dee Fink poses a fundamental question for all teachers: "How can I create courses that will provide significant learning experiences for my students?" In the process of addressing this question, he urges teachers to shift from a content-centered approach to a learning-centered approach that asks "What kinds of learning will be significant for students, and how can I create a course that will result in that kind of learning?"

Fink provides several conceptual and procedural tools that will be invaluable for all teachers when designing instruction. He takes important existing ideas in the literature on college teaching (active learning, educative assessment), adds some new ideas (a taxonomy of significant learning, the concept of a teaching strategy), and shows how to systematically combine these in a way that results in powerful learning experiences for students. Acquiring a deeper understanding of the design process will empower teachers to creatively design courses for significant learning in a variety of situations.

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From the Back Cover:

"When we think of college teaching, we usually think of what goes on in classrooms. Faculty members, administrators, and others who read Dee Fink's book, Creating Significant Learning Experiences, will recognize that the effectiveness of what goes on in the classroom depends fundamentally on what goes on outside the classroom¾thinking about learning objectives, designing a course, and developing learning strategies that will maximize achievement of the objectives by every student."
— Wilbert McKeachie, author, Teaching Tips

"In addition to introducing a new model for designing significant learning experiences, Fink also identifies specific types of support that faculty members will require from their own institutions and from national organizations if they are to sustain the profound changes in teaching that must occur to produce societally and personally significant learning. If his recommendations and vision of what is possible today were widely adopted, they would result in a transformation of American higher education and thus of society."
— Lion F. Gardiner, author, Redesigning Higher Education

"Our faculty members have successfully increased student achievement, especially in challenging and rigorous courses, as a direct result of the ideas from Dee Fink's workshops, now collected in his book, Creating Significant Learning Experiences. Simply put, these ideas work!"
— Cynthia Desrochers, founding director, the Center for Effective Learning and Teaching, California State University at Northridge.

"With its clear, practical focus on promoting significant student learning through intentional course design, this book offers a 'significant learning experience' for faculty, faculty developers, and academic administrators alike."
— Thomas A. Angelo, coauthor, Classroom Assessment Techniques

"This book goes to a central challenge facing higher education: how to transform the classroom experience into a significant learning experience. It lays out a practical and tested framework for the redesign and renewal of teaching and learning. If you care about students, if you care about learning, you should read this book."
— John Tagg, author, A Learning-Paradigm College

About the Author:

L. Dee Fink has worked as an instructional consultant with college teachers for over twenty-five years and founded the Instructional Development Program at the University of Oklahoma in 1979. In 2002 he was elected president of the largest faculty development organization in North America, the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Higher Education.

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L. Dee Fink
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