Trends and Issues in Higher Ed


May 12, 2015

Career preparation at the college level

Benjamin Janicki, mechanical engineering master’s student (BS ‘14) consults with Jim Buttrick, Boeing employee, in the new Boeing Advanced Research Center that enables students to work collaboratively with Boeing engineers on aircraft and spacecraft assembly and manufacturing. 
Photo credit: Brian DalBalcon

CAREER CENTER @ ENGINEERING Designed for efficiency and collaboration, the new Career Center @ Engineering will be a branch of the Career Center housed in the College of Engineering. The joint center is scheduled to open to students in fall 2015 and will be located in Loew Hall. It will function as a single entry…

January 20, 2015

‘Productive disruption’ teaches students to be intentional learners

C21 outside

The Center for 21st Century Liberal Learning (C21) is a recent initiative of the College of Arts and Sciences exploring how to best prepare undergraduates to thrive at the UW and beyond. The Center’s core programming revolves around the C21 Fellows, a group of students who experience a unique curriculum tailored to their needs, and…

Helping graduate students find alternative careers

The cherry blossoms are starting to bloom on a sunny day in the Quad at the University of Washington, Seattle. March 12th, 2014 Photo by Katherine B. Turner/UW Marketing, No releases signed.

Several years ago, physics and astronomy graduate students co-founded an organization to support students looking for jobs outside of academia. They met a growing need to connect graduating Ph.D. students to employers. “The reality is that most people don’t go into a tenure-track position,” says Andrew Laszlo, who was a 2013-14 coordinator of the Career…

Independent Study Plans in Community, Environment & Planning (CEP)

First page group shot at CEP event

In 1994 a group of faculty and students in the College of Built Environments used principles of the new community-based planning movement to create their version of the ideal major. Caitlin Dean recalls, “They asked questions like, ‘How can we prepare students for the real world?’ and, ‘What does a holistic education mean?’ ” Their work…

Students step up to collaborate as a professional research team

Graduate Kearby Chess and visitng scholar Sarah Ketchley working at a computer

Under the direction of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC) faculty, undergraduate and graduate students hone skills in historical research and computer programming as they digitize, transcribe, translate and edit century-old texts from Ottoman Iraq and Egypt. As these students advance the growing field of digital humanities, they also experience how diverse teams work in…

October 31, 2014

A classroom veteran tackling new technology

Philosophy of Science Spring 2014 C

There’s a learning curve in setting up a hybrid course, says Lynn Hankinson Nelson, “especially for those of us my age, with 35 years of teaching experience. But the support is wonderful.” Nelson, who was a Teaching with Technology Fellow in summer 2013, credits the staff at the Center for Teaching and Learning, UW Information…

Replacing the five-page paper with online exhibits

_Use only for Provost Report Seriesat request of Eleanor Mahoney

Margaret O’Mara’s urban history students used to write a five-page research paper that only she and peer reviewers read. But when she most recently taught The City (HSTAA 208), the students’ work was posted on a public website, available to anyone interested in Seattle history. Students learned that they could become authors who drew new…

Expecting the unexpected in a dynamic group project

“Running a simulation in a class is more work than giving lectures. But the students retain more. And it’s so much more interesting, for the students and for me.” 
John Wilkerson
Professor, Political Science

John Wilkerson’s initial goal in developing LegSim, a web-based mock legislative session, was to find a more convenient way to manage the one- or two-week capstone of his course on the United States Congress (POL S 353). Now LegSim serves as the centerpiece of the course, and is used by thousands of college and high-school…

Using video to create a community of practice among online students

Students enrolled in the online ECFS degree program include Jeni Zaffram (above left), who runs a licensed child care business from her home in Sultan, Washington; and Miho Wright (above right), who is the director of St. Mike’s Tikes Early Learning Center in Olympia. (Photos are courtesy of Zaffram and Wright, and first appeared in UW Today.)

  Faculty in the online Early Childhood & Family Studies (ECFS) degree learned that video feedback can help student-teachers progress as quickly, or even more quickly, than in-person coaching. Their techniques could also be used to coach students practicing other interpersonal activities, such as leading discussions, says Gail Joseph. “In our program, students video themselves…

Helping students learn to work on professional teams

Students studying and collaborating in Undergraduate

In Sean Munson’s introductory course in Interactive Systems Design and Technology (HCDE 310), students learn computational thinking and gain experience with tools they would encounter on a professional software team. This requires them to learn to program software, a prospect many find intimidating. So Munson crafts programming assignments that build to a capstone project, designing…

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