Launched: Concordia’s Next-Generation Learning Project
How can students be prepared for the future?
How might programs be reshaped for today’s learners?
How can more opportunities for meaningful multi-disciplinary and experiential learning be offered?
And, how will faculty members be supported to “teach for tomorrow”?
“If we are going to teach for tomorrow, then we must explore new ways to provide inclusive access to learning and to prepare students for the uncertain and complex world they will encounter when they graduate,” says project lead Sandra Gabriele, the vice-provost of Innovation in Teaching and Learning.
The project builds on previous efforts to support classroom innovation.
“We’ve supported faculty members’ experimentation mostly at the course level through our curriculum innovation awards. We’ve also hired curriculum developers to help us develop more coherent and forward-looking program offerings,” she says.
“The next step involves bringing a tighter and more disciplined focus to our innovation efforts.”
In this vein, the Next-Generation Learning Project will be launching a handful of experiments and pilot projects over the next year, including:
Course ReBoot Camp: An intensive series to help faculty do comprehensive redesigns of courses around active learning principles and techniques. Up to 15 selected participants will each receive $1,000 in research funds for completing the camp. Applications are now being accepted.
“Wicked problem” courses: New forms of team-taught courses with embedded multi-disciplinary projects that provide students with opportunities for innovation and applied or contextualized learning. These will be designed around big societal challenges in conjunction with community, industry and government partners. Plan to attend the upcoming networking event being held on April 17.
Innovation in inclusive teaching: New opportunities for faculty to hone their skills handling contentious social issues in class, engaging racial and gender diversity, Indigenizing courses and curriculum, and utilizing Universal Design for Learning.
Skill-oriented certificates: Courses, workshops and other offerings to develop students’ workplace skills, building on programs like GradProSkills.
Fully online, low-residency and/or blended-format program offerings: Moving beyond individual online course offerings to create programs that provide students with flexible access to learning opportunities and are less dependent on their physical location.
International cotutelles, dual degrees and faculty exchanges: Creating more opportunities for links between Concordia and other universities to ground more networking and mobility.
Program-integrated lifelong learning opportunities: Courses, workshops and other offerings (including skill-oriented certificates and micro-credentials) that offer graduating students relevant packages of continuing and professional education.
Through these interventions, the Next-Generation Learning Project aims to address the evolving needs and expectations of Concordia students.
The project will “provide students with learning experiences that are broadly accessible and inclusive, and that help them acquire valuable skills, navigate complexity, work collaboratively across disciplines, and take advantage of global and lifelong opportunities for learning,” says Gabriele.