Nontraditional Courses Offer Experiential Learning

As college students, we’ve been in school for as long as we can remember. Over time, taking notes during class and studying for exams has become a routine.

In recent years, however, Dartmouth faculty and administrators alike have worked together to design experiential learning courses that challenge students to cultivate their skills outside of the classroom. In up to 12 courses per term, students collaborate with community organizations on projects as part of the Center for Social Impact’s newly-launched Social Impact Practicum program.

In English 53.04, “Telling Stories for Social Change,” students work with female clients at Valley Vista, a substance abuse rehabilitation facility in Bradford, Vermont.

Interim provost and computer science professor David Kotz ’86 said that while he cannot be certain, he believes that experiential learning courses are becoming more popular at the College because students increasingly wish to learn from both academic and practical perspectives.

“Experiential learning forces [students] to bring together different skills, knowledge bases and ways of thinking,” he explained.

Kotz added that faculty members might also find experiential learning courses particularly interesting.

“For faculty members, connecting what you know from an academic perspective to the real world could offer a lot of excitement,” he said.

Read the full article from The Dartmouth.