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Engaged Learning is when students are active participants in “deep” rather than “surface” learning. There are various curricular and co-curricular approaches that contribute to engaged learning, in addition to the usual lectures and seminars that characterize most curricula. Such learning raises expectations of students, enables them to consider how their learning affects and is affected by its application, and enhances the educational process by increasing their involvement in learning. Authentic engagement can contribute to civic development and promote psychosocial well-being of students" (Bringing Theory to Practice, "Glossary,"  2012).

E-portfolio: a digital platform on which students can record and archive their learning experiences, often through some combination of posting completed works and preparing original syntheses of their learning experiences. Several trends among today’s population of learners find their confluence in the development and use of e-portfolio systems as a means of tracking and promoting student achievement and engagement.

Experiential learning involves active and sustained student interaction with a real-world issue.  This might include at the 100/200 level studying and producing a scholarly product on a pressing social issue that matters to the student.  At the 300/400 level this might include applying academic knowledge in a real-world context such as an internship or field experience, or working with faculty and/or community members on a community-based project.

Pedagogies of Engagement is the term coined by Edgerton (2001) to refer to student-centered instructional practices focused on fostering “real understanding” of disciplinary knowledge and on the “habits of heart” needed to “motivate students to be caring citizens” (p. 32). Edgerton identifies four strands of engaged pedagogical innovation:

  1. Problem-Based Learning
  2. Collaborative Learning
  3. Service Learning, and
  4. Undergraduate Research

Problem-Based Learning (PBL)  “is the learning that results from the process of working toward the understanding or resolution of a problem. The problem is encountered first in the learning process” (Barrows and Tamblyn, 1980, cited in Smith et al., 2005, p. 2). Barrows and Tamblyn identify six core features of PBL:

  1. Learning is student-centered.
  2. Learning occurs in small student groups.
  3. Teachers are facilitators or guides.
  4. Problems are the organizing focus and stimulus for learning.
  5. Problems are vehicles for the development of clinical problem-solving skills.
  6. New information is acquired through self-directed learning.

Reflective practices foster students’ ability to make intentional and intellectually informed connections between their academic experiences/knowledge and their own lives.

Reflection prompts encourage students to “articulate questions, confront bias, examine causality, contrast theory with practice, or point to systemic issues”  (Ash and Clayton 2009, p. 27).

Scholar-Citizenship is defined by the RU community as active and scholarly participation in the complex and multicultural world by connecting and applying academic skills and disciplinary knowledge to the challenges facing our local, national, and global communities.

Social pedagogy describes a teaching practice wherein students are provided informal and formal opportunities to engage in intellectual dialogue about complex issues with people beyond and outside themselves and the instructor. The higher the level of the Scholar-Citizen course, the greater the expectation of social engagement such that the social pedagogy in a 100 level Scholar-Citizen Intensive course would involve at a minimum meaningful interaction with classmates while a 400 level SCI course might include meaningful interaction with members of a community beyond the University.  

Transformational learning "means that the “whole student” has to develop so as to: prepare him- or her as a thinker and citizen for a challenging world; question and affirm or change what she or he believes; and come to a greater understanding of the complex questions of his or her own life and the lives of others than they otherwise would.  Transformational learning outcomes fall into two closely related broad categories: (a) cognitive outcomes including knowledge and reasoning with disciplinary content and broad, cross-disciplinary abilities of analytic reasoning, critical thinking, problem solving and communicating; and (b) efficacy outcomes including psychosocial, affective, and interpersonal competencies" (College Outcomes Project).