The road map provided by Dee Fink's approach to creating new courses is premised on two powerful ideas : 1) Integrated Course Design and 2) Significant Learning Experiences (SLE's).
The first idea -- Integrated Course Design-- means you design all the key ingredients (goals, activities, and assessment) from the very beginning so that everything functions as a balanced system. This is rarely done. It's nearly always the case that content (what is to be taught and learned) takes precedence over everything else.
The second idea -- Significant learning experiences -- means ... Well, what exactly does it mean?
Setting aside Fink's technical definition for the moment, what does it mean to you? And what in your experience illustrates it?
If we were sitting together and wanted to enrich our understanding of significant learning experiences, I'd recommend we do one of two things (or maybe both).
First. A sentence completion using the following stem: "A significant learning experience is ... "
Or you might like this one better: "You know its a significant learning experience when..."
If we were then to share those personal definitions, we'd find that each one of them would add some small dimension to our shared perception of the concept.
Second. If some of us were willing to share a particular memory of a significant learning experience, that too would enrich our understanding and become part of our shared, constructed meaning. And if we'd put on our "analytical hats" just for a few moments and share specifically what made those experiences significant, we'd move forward a tiny bit more. The more we did this kind of thing the deeper our understanding of significant learning experiences would become.
Ummmmmm. It occurs to me that we COULD do this ... using this blog.
If you're willing to share, send your definitions and stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. The e-mail will be immediately posted to our blog DCCCD Significant Learning Experiences. The subject line will be the post title and the text of your e-mail will be the text of the blog. This is the quick and easy way to do it.
If you want to contribute to this blog, contact Gary Duke and let him know you'd like to be an "authorized blogger." He'll send you an invitation.
PS. If you're not sure of any of this, but you'd like to comment on something here, all you have to do is click on the Comment link. The comment will appear without your name unless you type it as part of the comment. If you're logged into your Google account, your name will appear automatically.
Come on. Join in the fun. :)