Empowered Learning: The Impact of Asking Students | Greg Honan and Jared Allen

August 14, 2014 1:20 pm
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Greg Honan and Jared Allen ‘14 give their presentation during the 14th annual Teaching and Learning Conference.

In the past decade, the threshold concept framework introduced in the UK has gained momentum in the US as a means of understanding student learning in the disciplines (Ray Land from the UK did at keynote on the topic at this conference in 2012). The framework argues that certain concepts are so essential to understanding a discipline that they act as a kind of portal; before mastering that concept, student learning is limited, but the act of crossing the threshold to understanding dramatically alters a student’s view of the discipline, herself, and (sometimes) the world.

So far, faculty perspectives have guided the scholarly conversation on threshold concepts. This past spring, a group of Elon students from a wide range of majors participated in a semester-long seminar facilitated by Peter Felten and Jessie Moore to analyze threshold concepts from a student perspective. In this talk, we argue seminars such as this empower students because they take students out of the classroom and put them on the same level as faculty.