Experiential Learning Faculty Working Group

Introduction

Undergraduate education at UT Austin is distinguished by a wide and growing array of immersive, engaging learning experiences led by outstanding faculty scholars. The Faculty Innovation Center suggests that providing experiential learning opportunities means creating assignments and activities based on real-life situations or primary research that engage students in reflective, data-driven problem-solving with no predetermined right answers. This learning occurs when undergraduates work closely with UT Austin faculty in research labs, studios, and world-class collections to discover knowledge and create new insights.

The availability of these high-impact learning experiences varies dramatically across UT Austin’s academic programs. Students may also face significant challenges in incorporating experiential learning into their degree plans because of conflicting course requirements or restrictions on the credit that may be awarded for experiential learning.

In the fall of 2017, Provost McInnis assembled the Experiential Learning Faculty Working Group (EL Working Group) consisting of faculty from colleges, schools, and units across campus to explore questions about how faculty and academic units should be supported in developing, scaling, and integrating experiential learning. The group will also develop a report with recommendations for the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.

Charge

The charge of the Experiential Learning Faculty Working Group is to:

  • Define the characteristics and principles of high-quality experiential learning that apply across disciplines.
  • Review the options currently available to students to apply and create knowledge through high-quality, high-impact learning experiences.
  • Develop recommendations for scaling these opportunities so they are integrated into the educational experience of every UT undergraduate, taking into account:
    • current structural and procedural barriers to participation,
    • measurable goals the University should set,
    • appropriate incentives, support, and resources faculty and departments need to do this well.

Information

EL Working Group Members

View all members of the working group.

Timeline

The EL Working Group will submit recommendations to the provost by March 30, 2018.