Preparing Students to Leave the Academic Nest: Using Creative Inquiry to Develop Fledglings
Curriculum and Instruction
Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research
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AbstractIn a required communication course for all biology majors at Tennessee Technological University, the focus has traditionally been on professional development and career readiness. On the surface, the previous course structure prepared students to enter the job market. However, on closer review, many students struggled with independent thinking and speaking. Following course redesign using inquiry-guided learning models and student surveys, alternative assignments based on students’ abilities and goals were introduced. Using interdisciplinary teams to competitively debate an open-ended question, students received opportunities to improve leadership, teamwork, and communication skills, i.e., to fledge from the academic nest to the job market.