The first recommendation of the American Academy’s recent report "The Future of Undergraduate Education" is simple: we should work to improve undergraduate instruction.
But how? In many disciplines, we don’t have rigorous measures of learning, so we cannot easily identify the best practitioners and simply copy what they do. Undergraduate students, however, experience numerous teachers and a lot of instruction, some good and some bad. They are a source of valuable information about what constitutes good practice.
So, at a recent event co-sponsored by the Center for Ethics and Education, the University of Wisconsin at Madison College of Letters and Science, and the American Academy, we asked five undergraduate students at the university to describe instructional practices that they’ve encountered rarely but were especially effective -- and that they think should be more widely shared. Of course, some strategies work in some disciplines better than others, in some kinds of classes better than others and for some instructors better than others.