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ERIC Number: EJ1094948
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0024-1822
Signature Work: A Survey of Current Practices
Peden, Wilson
Liberal Education, v101 n1-2 Win-Spr 2015
At the centennial annual meeting of the "Association of American Colleges and Universities" (AAC&U), President Carol Geary Schneider introduced the "LEAP Challenge," the next phase of AAC&U's Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP) initiative. The LEAP Challenge calls on all colleges and universities to engage their students in "Signature Work" that will prepare them to integrate and apply their learning to a significant project. First, Signature Work requires student agency and independence: students choose the topic and form of the project, and complete much of the work independently, with guidance and coaching from faculty, staff, or community partners, over the course of a semester or a longer period of time. Second, the project must be integrative, meaning that it requires students to draw on the skills and knowledge they have developed across many disciplines, through their general education and their major, and through co-curricular activities. Third, Signature Work project must address "big problems"--students should apply their learning to real-world issues that matter to society and to the student. This article highlights some of the work being done at eight institutions of higher education to bring Signature Work to all their students. The author focuses on three broad categories of learning practices: (1) applied and community-based learning; (2) capstones and culminating experiences; and (3) e-portfolios, that, as practiced at these colleges and universities, exemplify integrative, student-centered learning at a broad range of institutional types, from research universities to community colleges. Peden notes, this survey is by no means comprehensive, but the examples represent some of the crucial aspects of Signature Work as currently practiced in the field. [For "The LEAP Challenge: Education for a World of Unscripted Problems," see EJ1094930.]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Massachusetts; New York; Ohio; Oregon; South Carolina
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A