Digital Stories of Curricular Innovation: Undergraduate Programs of Study

New course designs often garner the most attention when we think about “innovation” in teaching and learning. At the U, freshman seminar courses like “Happy in hell: Microbes thriving at extremes” or “Living, working, and dying in Chicago” are examples of creatively designed content that hold promise to connect with students. Students and faculty, however, are also tuned into their academic major, and we firmly believe innovative undergraduate programs abound at the U.

To showcase these programs, we’ve focused on identifying majors that were thematically strong in one or more of the following:

1.Experiential/hands on approaches (e.g., internships, clinical experiences, service learning, public engagement)

2.Global/international perspectives

3.Cultural diversity

4.Interdisciplinary or integrative learning

5.Undergraduate research experiences

6.Emphasis/immersion in writing-enriched curricula

7.Rich use of blended or fully online approaches

8.Commitment to leadership development

With some consultation from across campus, we have started the project with three undergraduate programs: a) the BDA in the School of Architecture in the College of Design, b) the B. S. in Fisheries and Wildlife in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology in CFANS, and c) the B. S. for all undergraduate programs in departments within the College of Biological Sciences.

With our faculty and staff colleagues in the departments and with staff from the Office of Information Technology, the following six-minute videos were constructed that tell a story about each of these majors. We hope in the coming years that we’ll be able to showcase excellence and innovation across many other worthy undergraduate degree programs on the Twin Cities campus.

Bachelor of Design in Architecture

Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife

Bachelor of Science programs in Biology