In an effort to document their culminating experience, many UNLV seniors are including experiential learning as part of their journey to graduation. The culminating experience is the final course in the UNLV general education curriculum that serves to demonstrate and assess student achievement of the University Undergraduate Learning Outcomes, as well as those of the major. Students benefit from hands-on learning experiences throughout the community. Education students develop skills in elementary and secondary school classrooms, criminal justice students ride along with local police officers, and students from various departments complete specialized internships. Many of these real-life learning experiences are also informed by a research and reflection component: students investigate best practices and recent research in the literature of their field and reflect upon and use that information in their own practice. This blend of practice and reflective research is great preparation for post-college life.
Fourteen instructors from six different colleges worked with library faculty in the University Libraries’ two-day Culminating Experience Faculty Institute in May to create or revise culminating experiences for students in their degree programs, and many of the participants created assignments that integrate experiential learning with research. Participants learned about sample culminating experiences from around campus, worked on assignment descriptions, and developed modes of assessing student learning.
One faculty member who participated in the institute remarked that “connecting with other faculty from different departments to talk about teaching and learning is a rare and valuable experience.” Library faculty look forward to collaborating with you to develop assignments that integrate best practices for student learning while connecting them with all of the resources available to them to explore their research topics.
Contact your liaison librarian to collaborate on a course assignment.