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Integrative Learning: Home

Strengthening the student experience at HCC

Integrative Learning at HCC

Goal

Our goal is to provide all students with opportunities to engage in integrative learning experiences.

Who is involved?

Anybody, anywhere at HCC can participate at almost any level they desire. Fill out the Interest Form and we will contact you.

Integrative Learning Project Leader

Melissa Miller-Waters, Ph.D.

Faculty Director of Educational Policy
Professor, English Department

https://learning.hccs.edu/faculty/m.millerwaters

https://hccfacultysenate.wordpress.com

m.millerwaters@hccs.edu

Integrative Learning

Faculty-led collaboration across the disciplines is the key to foster the growth of robust course intersections. Are you looking for an INNOVATIVE WAY to engage students? Are you craving more COLLABORATION AND INTERACTION with your teaching peers in other disciplines? Do you want help provide students with what may be an TRANSFORMATIVE and COMPELLING learning experience where they can connect what they learn in your course to solving REAL WORLD PROBLEMS?

This semester, the HCC Integrative Learning pilot project invites HCC Faculty to consider the Plastic Planet theme as an entryway to generating opportunities for students to approach the theme from the perspective of diverse academic disciplines.The principles and practices of Integrative Learning provide a lens for faculty to design learning experiences that support their course goals and participate in the Plastic Planet events during fall 2019. Generating opportunities for students to work on a topic across the curriculum can allow them to grow their capacity to integrate their learning across their academic experience and demonstrate their understanding and academic approach to the challenge through the creation of signature projects.

Integrative Learning can be observed in the following ways (from Marshall Univ):

  • Integrative Learning will help students make connections among disciplines. (Students will connect examples, facts, or theories from more than one discipline.)
  • Integrative Learning will help students transfer/adapt and apply skills, abilities, theories, or methodologies gained in one situation and/or discipline to other situations and/or other disciplines.
  • Integrative Learning will help students make connections to experiences (Connect relevant experience and academic knowledge)

Integrative Learning is marked by:

  • The capacity to see and make productive connections (across disciplines, between the curriculum and co-curriculum, between theory and practice)
  • Shared Learning Outcomes [THEC Core Objectives from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board]
  • Rich conversation and cross-talk between the disciplines. Courses are not monologues. (from Huber and Hutching

Resources

Hanstedt, P. (2018). What Can Go Wrong When Everything Is Right? Peer Review, (3), 31. Retrieved from https://libaccess.hccs.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsgao&AN=edsgcl.563953033&site=eds-live

Hanstedt, P. (2016). Reconsidering our definition of the “whole student”: an argument for an authority-based approach to university education. Liberal Education, (3), 58. Retrieved from https://libaccess.hccs.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsgao&AN=edsgcl.462901029&site=eds-live

Co-curricular Experiences at HCC

Co-curricular experiences are structured learning activities that complement the formal curriculum. These experiences promote student engagement and can be some of the most compelling and transformative experiences of a student’s education. By offering authentic, hands-on opportunities, they give students the chance to extend their learning beyond the classroom, develop additional skills, and put ideas and theory into practice.

Co-curricular experiences take place outside of the regular classroom and are typically ungraded. For maximum impact, students’ co-curricular experiences should be linked to learning outcomes and should include an element of reflection and self-evaluation.

Examples of co-curricular experiences include working on community projects, doing volunteer work, attending workshops or conferences, participating in student clubs or organizations, attending outside speaker’ series or events, going on field trips,etc. “Learning takes places everywhere.”

HCC Service Learning

Service learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. Students become actively contributing citizens and community members through the service they perform.

The modern service learning movement in colleges and universities creates opportunities for students to combine community work with academic perspectives to make higher education more valuable to students and more relevant to the community.

Resources and contacts for HCC’s Service Learning Program can be found here: https://www.hccs.edu/departments/division-of-instructional-services/service-learning

Service Learning Example: https://katyfoodpantry.org/

HCC Reading Cultures

HCC's Reading Culture was initiated by the national program Bridging Cultures, developed by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Bridging Cultures initiative sought to "engage the power of the humanities to promote understanding and mutual respect for people with diverse histories, cultures, and perspectives within the United States and abroad."

Houston Community College's Reading Culture seeks to expand this effort with a focus on a new text each semester, which can celebrate the diversity of our college and foster better understandings of how these cultures are represented.

The program committee is comprised of a diverse group of interdisciplinary HCC faculty and librarians. More information and resources can be found here: https://library.hccs.edu/reading_culture/home

HCC REEL

HCC’s REEL Film and Speaker Series offers students and the HCC community the opportunity to view films and have interactive sessions with guest speakers. The program features a different theme each semester, in coordination with the Social and Behavioral Sciences Division. For more information contact Dr. Ann Bragdon, ann.bragdon@hccs.edu or (713) 718-5642.

West Houston Institute's Plastic Planet Remix Challenge

OUR THROWAWAY LIFESTYLE IS NOT SUSTAINABLE...

Humans produce over 2 BILLION tons of waste a year. For Americans, this adds up to about 4.5 pounds of waste per person a day. Everyone wants to live like us, but if they did, we’d be in big trouble because it would take at least three more Earths to support us all.

Since the mid-twentieth century, our consumer culture has given us a standard of living that is the envy of the rest of the world. Plastic made this possible by providing goods and services that were cheaper to produce so more people could afford them. But it has also led to a throwaway lifestyle where 99% of what we buy ends up in the trash within six months.

Many people think recycling has helped, but our current system is not working. China was the main buyer of the world’s plastic until they stopped taking it last year. This break in the pipeline revealed that only a fraction of what we recycle actually makes it back into the economy. As recycling piles up in communities across the country and communities look for answers to a problem many thought had been solved, it is time to rethink and reimagine the life cycle of the things we create and remake our Plastic Planet.

…SO, HOW CAN WE RETHINK, REIMAGINE, & REMAKE IT?This Fall, the West Houston Institute invites HCC students, faculty, and staff to create innovative solutions to address the complex problems that are caused by single use plastic and the throwaway lifestyle it has helped create. Students are challenged to use the latest scientific research, cutting edge technologies, and insights across fields and industries to remix the way we live, work, and play to make it more sustainable for
all of us today and for future generations

 

 

WHAT CAN I MAKE?

We need ideas at all levels of society to create real change–it will take everyone, including artists, entrepreneurs, engineers, designers, scientists, writers, and policymakers. Check out the categories below and some examples to help you get started:

 

 

WHY PARTICIPATE?

Participants will work on a real-world problem with local and global consequences. In the process, you will learn valuable mindsets and skillsets around innovation, design, and entrepreneurship. You will be introduced to future mentors who are working to make an impact in Houston and beyond through special networking events. And you will have opportunities to learn how to use digital design tools like 3D printing to help you realize your creative potential in whatever you may choose to do next on your journey.

WHI Plastic Planet Remix Challenge Information Resources:

https://library.hccs.edu/ideas

“Learning takes place everywhere.” Co-curricular experiences give students the opportunity to extend their learning beyond the classroom. Examples include: working on community projects, doing volunteer work, attending workshops or conferences, participating in student clubs or organizations, attending outside speaker’ series or events, going on field trips, etc.

Faculty/Staff: What activities or experiences can you organize or connect students to? What opportunities are there to extend the “theory” of your discipline into some practical experience beyond your classroom? What opportunities might build on or reinforce the SLOs for your course? How will you encourage students to reflect on the experiences they have and tie them back to your course?

Students: What opportunities or events can you find or create? What are you passionate about? What new skills would you like to explore? How can you connect with other people in the community with common interests? What opportunities are there for leadership?

Note: coordinate with HCC’s Service Learning Program for resources and helpful guidelines around volunteer work - https://www.hccs.edu/departments/division-of-instructional-services/service-learning

Here are some ideas for inspiration:

  • Get involved in the Plastic Planet Remix Challenge at the WHI IDEAStudio
  • Participate in or organize a clean-up or recycling event
  • Get involved with a student organization or club, such as the Northwest College Student Sustainability Society (advisor: Jordan Carswell, Jordan.Carswell@hccs.edu)
  • Visit a local recycling center, such as the Westpark Consumer Recycling Center (http://www.houstontx.gov/solidwaste/westpark.html)
  • Create an art project using plastic waste
  • Get involved in a local organization such as Don’t Trash a Good Thing (https://www.donttrashagoodthing.org/about) – see Resources tab for lots more local organizations
  • Visit a local plastics manufacturing plant such as Houston Plastic (www.houstonplastic.com)
  • Attend a screening of a film relating to the topic of plastic
  • Connect with local researchers or entrepreneurs to see what innovations are occurring in Houston

Course Intersections  

Faculty-led collaboration across the disciplines is the key to foster the growth of robust course intersections. The HCC Integrative Learning pilot project invites HCC Faculty to consider the Plastic Planet theme as an entryway to generating opportunities for students to approach the theme from the perspective of diverse academic disciplines.  

The principles and practices of Integrative Learning provide a lens for faculty to design learning experiences that support their course goals and participate in the Plastic Planet events during fall 2019. Generating opportunities for students to work on a topic across the curriculum can allow them to grow their capacity to integrate their learning across their academic experience and demonstrate their understanding and academic approach to the challenge through the creation of signature projects. 

HCC Faculty: How can you foster co-curricular intersections? 

Consider these questions: 

  • How is my discipline approaching the issues around the subject areas that Plastic Planet presents? 
  • How can I engage students in a learning experience that allows them to consider the issue and create a project that aligns with my class syllabus and Student Learning Objectives?
  • How can I engage colleagues outside of my department to collaborate in the Integrative Learning at HCC? 

 Moving Forward: 3 ideas for Inspiration: 

Students should be able to participates in integrative learning experiences. Faculty leading this initiative can create learning experiences in aligment with the theme. In the future, Faculty will select the theme.

  • IDEA 1 Engage students in you class by designing activities that around the topic like  lighting speed presentations
  • IDEA 2 Engage a colleague  in a different discipline and become a resource for their students' experience
  • IDEA 3 Work with a colleague from a different disciple and design an an experience that allows students to tackle the challenge from multiple approaches

Best practices from the literature:

Gebauer, R. (2019).The Critical Nature of Intentionality When Supporting Academically Underprepared Students through Learning Communities .Learning Communities: Research & Practice, 7(1) Retrieved from
https://eric.ed.gov/?q=%22integrative+learning%22&id=EJ1218546

  • Learning communities, if done well, can assist academically at-risk students in improving their learning at levels that exceed their non-at-risk peers (Rheinheimer & Mann, 2000). Although integrating developmental and college-level courses is a positive step in the right direction to challenging the traditional model of remediation, it isn’t enough. Faculty must do more to support academically at-risk students by making the classroom a space where active and collaborative learning can occur. Whether this occurs through team teaching, blocked course sequencing, or hands on learning that allows students to make practical use of new knowledge, faculty should remain open-minded and exhibit flexibility when considering the pedagogical approaches necessary to close the educational gap facing academically at-risk students (Cross, 1976). This curriculum must be delivered in conjunction with co-curricular activities that not only support classroom experiences and help students apply their learning to real life but also, maybe more importantly, build community between students and their faculty. It’s theser elationships that encourage students to become more active participants in their learningenvironment (Tinto, 1998).

Niehaus, E., Holder, C., Rivera, M., Garcia, C. E., Woodman, T. C., & Dierberger, J. (2017). Exploring Integrative Learning in Service-Based Alternative Breaks. Journal of Higher Education, 88(6), 922–946. Retrieved from https://libaccess.hccs.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=pbh&AN=125043465&site=eds-live

 

  • The purpose of this study was to explore how students integrate learning from one particular experience, participating in a service learning-based alternative break (AB), with other postsecondary experiences and to identify the conditions that may facilitate integrative learning. Using qualitative case studies combined with narrative analysis, we analyzed data from interviews with 38 AB participants. Consistent with Barber's (2012) theory of integrative learning, we found evidence that students were engaging in the processes of connecting, applying, and synthesizing learning from their ABs. We identified the importance of interacting with diverse others in facilitating integrative learning, but also noted barriers to integration such as difficulty connecting information across disparate contexts. Through exploring integrative learning in one particular context, the findings from this study can inform our understanding of how students are engaging in integration and improve our understanding of how educators can best support integration in higher education.

Armstrong-Mensah, E., Ramsey-White, K & Alema-Mensah,E. (2019). Integrative Learning in US Undergraduate Public Health Education: A Review of Student Perceptions of Effective High-Impact Educational Practices at Georgia State University. Frontiers in Public Health. Retrieved from: Retrieved from: https://libaccess.hccs.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsdoj&AN=edsdoj.ffcd67bb01574eb3acafd741f65f2703&site=eds-live

  • In 2003, the United States (US) Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommended that all undergraduate students have access to an education in public health to assist with diversifying the public health workforce and ensuring an educated citizenry on public health issues. In line with this recommendation, and that of the Consensus Conference on Undergraduate Public Health Education, Georgia State University established a Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH) program in 2016, with the mission of advancing health through leadership, scholarship, research, and service, to better the human condition and to promote the common good, especially for urban communities in the US and for global populations. Using integrative approaches that encourage student empowerment, self-development, integrative thinking, and reflective learning, the Georgia State University BSPH program currently offers a range of generalist introductory public health courses to over 400 students. This review seeks to examine student perceptions of integrative practices utilized by Georgia State University faculty in the BSPH program and to investigate the extent to which student perceive these integrative educational practices as preparing them to use insights gained in the classroom and from the field, to question, modify, connect, and integrate material learned in the academic setting, to real-life public health challenges. It also seeks to identify which of the integrative educational practices have the highest impact of helping students integrate the knowledge and skills gained to public health issues.

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