Dee Fink poses a fundamental question for all teachers: "How can I create courses that will provide significant learning experiences for my students?" In the process of addressing this question, he urges teachers to shift from a content-centered approach to a learning-centered approach that asks "What kinds of learning will be significant for students, and how can I create a course that will result in that kind of learning?"
Fink provides several conceptual and procedural tools that will be invaluable for all teachers when designing instruction. He takes important existing ideas in the literature on college teaching (active learning, educative assessment), adds some new ideas (a taxonomy of significant learning, the concept of a teaching strategy), and shows how to systematically combine these in a way that results in powerful learning experiences for students. Acquiring a deeper understanding of the design process will empower teachers to creatively design courses for significant learning in a variety of situations.
About the Author
L. Dee Fink has worked as an instructional consultant with college teachers for over twenty-five years and founded the Instructional Development Program at the University of Oklahoma in 1979. In 2002 he was elected president of the largest faculty development organization in North America, the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Higher Education.
Table of Contents
1. Creating Significant Learning Experiences.
2. A Taxonomy of Significant Learning.
3. Designing Significant Learning Experiences I: Getting Started.
4. Designing Significant Learning Experiences II: Shaping the Learning Experience.
5. Changing the Way We Teach.
6. Better Organizational Support for Faculty.
7. The Human Significance of Good Teaching and Learning.
Appendix A: Planning Your Course: A Decision Guide.
Appendix B: Suggested Readings.
What People are Saying About This
"When we think of college teaching, we usually think of what goes on in classrooms. Faculty members, administrators, and others who read Dee Fink's book, Creating Significant Learning Experiences, will recognize that the effectiveness of what goes on in the classroom depends fundamentally on what goes on outside the classroomthinking about learning objectives, designing a course, and developing learning strategies that will maximize achievement of the objectives by every student."
—Wilbert McKeachie, author, Teaching Tips
"In addition to introducing a new model for designing significant learning experiences, Fink also identifies specific types of support that faculty members will require from their own institutions and from national organizations—if they are to sustain the profound changes in teaching that must occur to produce societally and personally significant learning. If his recommendations and vision of what is possible today were widely adopted, they would result in a transformation of American higher education and thus of society."
—Lion F. Gardiner, author, Redesigning Higher Education
"Our faculty members have successfully increased student achievement, especially in challenging and rigorous courses, as a direct result of the ideas from Dee Fink's workshops, now collected in his book, Creating Significant Learning Experiences. Simply put, these ideas work!"
—Cynthia Desrochers, founding director, the Center for Effective Learning and Teaching, California State University at Northridge.
"With its clear, practical focus on promoting significant student learning through intentional course design, this book offers a 'significant learning experience' for faculty, faculty developers, and academic administrators alike."
—Thomas A. Angelo, coauthor, Classroom Assessment Techniques
"This book goes to a central challenge facing higher education: how to transform the classroom experience into a significant learning experience. It lays out a practical and tested framework for the redesign and renewal of teaching and learning. If you care about students, if you care about learning, you should read this book."
—John Tagg, author, A Learning-Paradigm College
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Creating Significant Learning Experiences by L. Dee Fink is essential reading for all educators who are dedicated to becoming part of an exciting frontier in education that is destined to be established as the model of educational excellence. Fink demonstrated throughout this text that he has developed expertise about higher education, from which he formulated a methodology that is presented as a road-map for others to transform their teaching into significant learning experiences. Creating change is never easy and Fink thoroughly delineated this message as he provides the step-by-step processes required by educators and institutions to create significant learning experiences. In addition to detailed, explicit explanations of how to engage in the process of creating significant learning experiences in all higher educational settings, Fink provided his supportive rationale that reveals the necessity for transforming higher education from what most of us have experienced to a dynamic, active involvement that stimulates adults to become life-long learners. This book offers detailed explanations and examples that are pertinent to the process of creating significant learning experiences. Diagrams and charts further enhance the author¿s efforts to clearly convey his ideas and strategies that he has tested and proven to be effective and necessary when creating significant learning experiences. Thus, this book is not one to be quickly read as pleasurable prose. The optimal manner in which to gain all that is presented by Fink, is to respond to his invitation to embark on his journey toward the fulfillment of his dream, to ¿see people, all people, living their lives full of learning. ...¿ (p. 254). The reader is invited and encouraged to embrace a process of change that will impact the lives of all who are willing to make the necessary effort that will produce worthwhile results in our society. Creating Significant Learning Experiences is a book that requires reading over a prolonged period of time, in order to allow for the concepts and explanations to be digested slowly and deliberately. The information presented by Fink is well-worth the time and effort required to reading this book; however, if time is at a minimum, gaining an overview of the concepts provided is better than not reading this book at all. For all educators and administrators of higher education, don¿t hesitate to add this book to the top of your reading list.