1.) TRANSITIONING A COURSE
Multiple existing courses across multiple disciplines are suitable for revision or modification into Challenges courses through explicit connection to the student learning outcomes.
Additionally, Clemson students currently involved in engaged learning opportunities for elective credit could earn credit within the Crossings curriculum, creating additional alignment and efficiency.
It is necessary that Challenges courses have a strong emphasis on the student learning outcomes. Through taking courses with a focus on Challenges, students will:
- Demonstrate critical thinking through analysis of challenges,
- Evaluate how varying perspectives influence challenges,
- Demonstrate the integration of ethics into analysis of challenges.
(Of the three learning outcomes above, each Challenges course must address at least two.)
TO CONSIDER: Might you have a course that you would like to modify or adapt? As you read the information below, think about what resources you are interested in exploring or those that you would need.
As we think about courses and course design/redesign, it is important to think about the content and scope of what a challenge is.
A challenge may be global, local, regional, national, international, virtual, and/or philosophical in nature.
A challenge transcends disciplines. The study of challenges cultivates interdisciplinary thinking, stimulating students' intellectual development through integrative processing, systems thinking, metacognition, and/or self-awareness in relation to a position of knowledge.
The idea of students examining challenges (epecially global or universal challenges) as part of the general education curriculum came out of several semesters of discussion and data analysis by Clemson faculty, staff, and students. There is no single comprehensive list of challenges from which instructors should choose. Challenges are always arising and evolving, and any list is always in flux.
At the same time, many faculty find inspiration for challenges in the seventeen UN Sustainable Development Goals, the NSF 10 Big Ideas, the NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering, the Wicked Problems framework, and IDEO's open design. Multiple resources exist at the intersections between disciplines.
When identifying a Challenge, we seek to know:
1. How is the challenge shared (ex: among nations, fields, industries)?
2. What is the scope of the challenge (ex: temporally, geographically, those impacted)?
3. What is its impact for us and our world (ex: local, regional, global)?
FURTHER POINTS TO CONSIDER
1. A challenge may focus on or connect to a current unresolved issue. This does not preclude an exploration of the historical perspective that sheds light on the complexity and roots of the topic.
2. There is not just one solution to a challenge. We want students to consider intractable, complex, and wicked problems. This requires multiple perspectives, tools, and solutions, a departure from the “one answer" mentality that plagues much of the current educational system.
3. It is a significant challenge worthy of extensive, coordinated efforts to address. This implies it is nontrivial, pressing, and broadly consequential. A significant portion of humanity is, or will be soon, affected by this challenge.
4. A challenge requires engagement with multiple perspectives that should be appropriately acknowledged, considered, and valued. This creates a comprehensive view of a challenge that includes inputs, concerns and considerations across time, place, culture, race, and more.
TO CONSIDER: Does a course you teach incorporate one or more challenges? What resources are you interested in exploring or would you need to prepare and teach the course content?
4.) COURSE SEQUENCING AND INTERDISCIPLINARITY
The Challenges courses extend to and build upon skills and knowledge acquired in the Communication and Ways of Knowing areas.
Accordingly, at least 3 credit hours of the Challenges requirement will be from courses at the 3000-level or above. This sequencing within the Crossings curriculum helps students create meaning as the general education student learning outcomes cross with majors, minors, and additional depth.
TO CONSIDER: Does a course you teach touch on a Challenge through an interdisciplinary approach? What pre-requisite courses or knowledge are essential, versus preferred? What resources are you interested in exploring or would you need to prepare and teach the course?
The Course Review page on the Crossings website may also be useful to you.
CREATING A SIGNATURE ASSIGNMENT
The premise of a signature assignment is described in this short video by Dr. Bridget Trogden.
You may wish to enroll in the Learning-focused Assignment Design course in Clemson's Canvas to access resources for building and self-evaluating your signature assignment using inclusive design practices. You can also directly access the design guide here.
How do we design a challenge assignment for a one-semester course? In this 2 minute video, Dr. Claire Dancz, research associate in the Watt Family Innovation Center and project lead on Grand Challenges, explains some of the factors that can help you determine scope within an assignment.
Watch the Challenges Scope video to learn about scoping your challenges assignment.
We want to know what you are thinking at this point, based on what you have learned.
(IMPORTANT! Please don't skip this step!)
We will be creating a variety of learning communities and institutes in spring 2021 and beyond, with a variety of modalities and time commitments. The feedback you provide helps campus partners design opportunities and provide resources to support our shared curriculum.
If you believe that you are prepared to submit a course for review in the Challenges area to be included in the fall 2022 catalog, please submit a "Gen Ed Course Review" form using Curriculog. Be sure to do the following.
- Please read the Curriculog Guidelines document for instructions.
- Please prepare an updated syllabus, where the Challenges learning outcomes are clearly integrated into the course, the signature assignment is apparent, and where there is a topical or by-week outline of what the course will cover.
- Please read the Course Review page on the Crossings Curriculum website.