During Wintersession each year, teachers from different academic departments work in pairs to create interdisciplinary Winter Project topics. Students are then able to choose from an array of projects — or even design their own!
By creating a project that incorporates two academic disciplines, students gain a deeper appreciation for the interrelation between subjects. The skills engaged in project-based learning, including time management, prepare students for the types of collaborative learning that occurs in college and in the workforce. Absorbing, analyzing, synthesizing, and applying content with the goal of creating something new also enhances the dynamism of each student's project experience.
With Winter Projects, faculty offer initial materials to introduce the topics, while students seek additional resources to analyze information as they work through their projects. The end result could be practical (a product is developed) or theoretical (a new understanding of a concept is instilled).
How is it graded?
Each year’s Winter Project is reported on the student’s transcript as a number grade and given two academic credits.
It's interesting to watch the students make their own connections as we veer away from linear thinking and dive into the 'what if' and 'how' questions.
Chris Gillman ’05,
Director of the Center for Learning Achievement