Mission and Vision fulfillment will require the university to employ faculty and staff who are competent in and professionally committed to the tenets of an open, inclusive, comprehensive, polytechnic university, in particular the core instructional methods. Ensuring that future faculty and staff have the requisite knowledge, experience, and commitment to these tenets will require a strategic hiring plan that emphasizes prior experience and/or commitment to these tenets for selection.
Active learning engages students to fully participate in their learning by thinking, discussing, investigating, and creating. Active learning can take many forms and be executed in any discipline. In active learning classrooms, students practice skills, solve problems, struggle with complex questions, propose solutions, and explain ideas in their own words through writing and discussion. Research indicates that active learning methods are especially effective for student learning.
Applied learning refers to an educational approach whereby students learn by engaging in the direct application of skills, theories, and models. Students apply knowledge and skills to hands-on or career settings, creative projects, or independent or directed research. The applied learning experience can occur outside of the traditional classroom or be embedded as part of a course. Research indicates that applied learning increases student motivation and promotes success.
Authentic learning connects what students learn in the classroom to real-world issues, problems and applications within contexts that closely approximate the workplace. Authentic learning helps students understand the relevance of what they are learning and how they can apply their skills in the professional world. Students confront open-ended problems and/or grapple with ambiguity that result in interdisciplinary learning. Research indicates authentic learning improves critical thinking, increases engagement and motivation, increases information retention, and promotes teamwork and collaboration.
Inclusive learning provides students the opportunity to equally access, use, and acquire tools to understand learning content. Students, along with their contributions within the learning environment, are equally valued and respected regardless of their social identities. Learning activities are intentionally designed to remove barriers and support a variety of learning modalities, abilities, and backgrounds.
Student-centered learning is personalized, cooperative, collaborative, and community-oriented with a high degree of student engagement in self-directed projects that are culturally and socially relevant to students. Students are creators of information (not just consumers) and have a voice and often, choice, in what and how they learn. They are active agents of their own learning. Students construct their own knowledge through a blend of individual and collaborative work to build capacities that apply to 21st-century skills and abilities. Personal technology is used to produce as well as consume disciplinary content. Students take ownership over their own learning, support each other’s progress, and celebrate successes. Assessments are frequent, including self-assessments by the students, to ensure the requisite content is mastered.