Discovery Learning requirements place focus on research experience
Published: Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 13:09
By the time students graduate, they must satisfy a series of requirements, from breadth courses and ENGL 110 to a multicultural class and First Year Experience, in order to obtain a diploma. Some requirements depend on the college a student is enrolled in, while others transcend several colleges.
One requirement that often is overlooked is the Discovery Learning Experience, a three-credit requirement which every university student—regardless of their college—must complete.
Some students fulfill the DLE requirement with internships, study abroad programs, independent studies and student teaching opportunities, Karen Stein, faculty director for the Center for Teaching and Learning, stated in an e-mail message. She said that students can check their DLE progress on UDSIS via the degree progress report.
"Courses that meet the Discovery Learning Experience requirement will be indicated on the report," Stein said. "This also is true for courses that meet the multicultural requirement as well as the First Year Experience requirement."
She said for a course to be classified as a DLE, whether it is a regularly scheduled course or an independent study, it must incorporate two goals. One is that the students must apply critical thinking skills and academic knowledge to develop effective responses or decisions with problems encountered in the learning experience. The other goal is for students to engage in some type of reflection and include a self-assessment and analysis of what they learned by the end of the DLE.
"So in a very real sense, the emphasis is upon learning, not just having an ‘experience,'" Stein said.
Sophomore Kim Thompson, a Spanish education major, is satisfying the DLE requirement by going to Grenada, Spain with a study abroad program in the spring.
"I am actively fulfilling the requirement," Thompson said. "But I am not aware of the other options the university offers."
In order to find the courses that have been approved by the university Faculty Senate as meeting the criteria for the DLE designation, students can go to the Registrar's Course Search page, Stein said.
"If you go to the Course Search page, there are almost four pages of classes approved for the DLE designation," she said. "They are found in all colleges across campus and in many departments."
Stein said some examples of DLE courses that were offered this Fall Semester are Community Nutrition (NUTR460), Drugs and the Criminal Justice System (SOCI452), Broadcast News (COMM427), Reporter's Practicum (ENGL308) and Social Psychological Aspects of Clothing (FASH419).
Fashion professor Jaehee Jung, who teaches FASH419, said her class is research-based and students must complete a major group project at the end of each semester.
"Not for the sake of finishing final projects but what they are getting from it and learning," Jung said.
Stein said many of the listed DLE courses within certain departments are internships or undergraduate research opportunities.
"In addition to taking a DLE-approved course, students can also engage in independent study with an instructor's approval," she said.