National Collegiate Honors Council


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, Spring/Summer 2013, Volume 14, Number 1


Copyright 2013 by the National Collegiate Honors Council


In 1998, the Boyer Commission called for using more innovative methods of course delivery, moving away from the traditional lecture toward inquiry-based learning. The National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) has long held that undergraduate honors education is one arena where pedagogical innovation takes place. Members of the honors community note that what makes honors unique is that honors courses serve as laboratories of curricular innovation and experiential learning (Braid, “Cultivating”; Braid, “Majoring; Bruce; Hutgett; Lacey; Schuman, “Cultivating”; Strikwerda; Werth; Wolfensberger, van Eijl, & Pilot). Exemplary honors courses should include participatory learning, an emphasis on primary sources, interdisciplinary and experiential themes, and content that “thrive[s] at the cutting edge of curricular experimentation” (Schuman, Beginning 36). Online honors courses can meet all these aims of honors education.