National Collegiate Honors Council



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Published in Breaking Barriers in Teaching and Learning, edited by James Ford and John Zubizarreta. National Collegiate Honors Council Teaching and Learning Monograph III (2018), 254p


Copyright © 2018 by National Collegiate Honors Council.


Varying the typical format of the honors classroom is a great way to encourage creative thinking. When students become accustomed to what to expect from a class, they are often able to fulfill requirements with minimal effort. An unusual and challenging course experience requires students to focus, to think in new ways about their learning. This is part of why courses abroad are often so transformational: students constantly have to adjust to their new environment. The challenge for teachers like me who love leading courses abroad is how to create similarly engaging experiences at home. Using unusual course structures, meeting locations, and even changing the student population throughout the semester are all ways to keep students focused and prevent what Devon L. Graham calls the “glassed-over look” (82). Here are three honors courses that use these approaches to engage students in novel ways.