integrative thinking, first-year seminar


With institutions of many types embracing the rich possibilities offered by course-based learning communities, it is important for programs to consider how they might best prepare students for success in those courses. Key to this work is identifying the particular skills needed and creating opportunities to introduce students to those skills before their learning community experiences. At Queens University of Charlotte, we have tackled this important issue by designing a transition course, the Roadmap Seminar, with components that introduce students to the three skills central to our learning communities: integrative thinking, teamwork, and metacognition. Using mid-semester surveys of students and faculty, learning outcomes assessment, student course performance, and end of semester evaluations, our initial results of this approach are positive. Student work has shown the conscious development of integrative thinking and heightened awareness of how they function as part of a team. This framework provides an opportunity for other institutions to consider how they can prepare students with the specific skills that will make their learning communities truly high impact experiences.