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Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses 1st Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0787960551
ISBN-10: 0787960551
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book…inspires faculty members to undertake a new direction in college teaching." (Exchanges, 6/28/2004)

"Overall, this is an exciting and important book. This is a five star book." (Teachers College Record, August 6, 2003)

"Fink's book is full of excellent suggestions." (Community College Week, September 1, 2003)

Review

"When we think of college teaching, we usually think of what goes on in classrooms. Faculty members, administrators, and others who read Dee Fink's book, Creating Significant Learning Experiences, will recognize that the effectiveness of what goes on in the classroom depends fundamentally on what goes on outside the classroom¾thinking about learning objectives, designing a course, and developing learning strategies that will maximize achievement of the objectives by every student."
—Wilbert McKeachie, author, Teaching Tips

"In addition to introducing a new model for designing significant learning experiences, Fink also identifies specific types of support that faculty members will require from their own institutions and from national organizations—if they are to sustain the profound changes in teaching that must occur to produce societally and personally significant learning. If his recommendations and vision of what is possible today were widely adopted, they would result in a transformation of American higher education and thus of society."
—Lion F. Gardiner, author, Redesigning Higher Education

"Our faculty members have successfully increased student achievement, especially in challenging and rigorous courses, as a direct result of the ideas from Dee Fink's workshops, now collected in his book, Creating Significant Learning Experiences. Simply put, these ideas work!"
—Cynthia Desrochers, founding director, the Center for Effective Learning and Teaching, California State University at Northridge.

"With its clear, practical focus on promoting significant student learning through intentional course design, this book offers a 'significant learning experience' for faculty, faculty developers, and academic administrators alike."
—Thomas A. Angelo, coauthor, Classroom Assessment Techniques

"This book goes to a central challenge facing higher education: how to transform the classroom experience into a significant learning experience. It lays out a practical and tested framework for the redesign and renewal of teaching and learning. If you care about students, if you care about learning, you should read this book."
—John Tagg, author, A Learning-Paradigm College

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (March 6, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787960551
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787960551
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #667,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. M. Saus on January 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Fink starts with an interesting proposition: What do you want your students to know several years from now?

To be realistic, while it would be great for my students to have a working sociological vocabulary five years from now - I would rather they look at their world with respect and understanding, treat other people with dignity and grace, and be able to think critically about the world around them.

Fink proposes that curricula and teaching methods can (and should) be changed to meet the ever changing educational needs and dynamics of today's students. The text soundly lays out justification for the change in educational environments, and provides a sound framework to build classes that reach beyond memorization and regurgitation. Fink advocates setting students up for success by meeting their needs for core subject components, tying subject matter together with other subjects, personal life experiences, and the student's social context. The logical effect being, students who learn more, because they want to, and retain the material longer.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have used some of Fink's other materials and always liked them (i.e."Fink's Five Principles of Good Teaching"). This was the text for a Community College Program Design Course and I know I will keep it forever. Perhaps it is because the book matches my idea of what good design should include and is not so complicated that it makes good instructional design overwhelming.

I feel my courses are more complete, my students are learning more - I know because I'm getting better results on the assessments, course evaluations and word of mouth recommendations to take my sections.

You will reach for this book every time you want to design a new course or update an older one.
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Format: Hardcover
Creating Significant Learning Experiences by L. Dee Fink is essential reading for all educators who are dedicated to becoming part of an exciting frontier in education that is destined to be established as the model of educational excellence. Fink demonstrated throughout this text that he has developed expertise about higher education, from which he formulated a methodology that is presented as a road-map for others to transform their teaching into significant learning experiences. Creating change is never easy and Fink thoroughly delineated this message as he provides the step-by-step processes required by educators and institutions to create significant learning experiences. In addition to detailed, explicit explanations of how to engage in the process of creating significant learning experiences in all higher educational settings, Fink provided his supportive rationale that reveals the necessity for transforming higher education from what most of us have experienced to a dynamic, active involvement that stimulates adults to become life-long learners.
This book offers detailed explanations and examples that are pertinent to the process of creating significant learning experiences. Diagrams and charts further enhance the author's efforts to clearly convey his ideas and strategies that he has tested and proven to be effective and necessary when creating significant learning experiences. Thus, this book is not one to be quickly read as pleasurable prose. The optimal manner in which to gain all that is presented by Fink, is to respond to his invitation to embark on his journey toward the fulfillment of his dream, to "see people, all people, living their lives full of learning. ..." (p. 254).
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a fantastic resource that is applicable for any course in higher education to enhance learning. I was especially taken by Fink's questions, particularly "What do you want your students to learn?" As instructors we often get overwhelmed by the volume and breadth of what we teach to students, forgetting the simple question of what we want students to learn and how to get them there. Fink's book has given me great insight into my teaching, as well as informed my work in faculty development and education. I work in medical education, which is an environment of sophisticated and advanced learners, and Fink's book has contributed to my practice and I have recommended the book to many of my fellow faculty members.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book provides a thoughtful analysis on some of the major issues in changing to a paradigm of results or significant learning in the classroom. It takes Bloom's taxonomy and creates another taxonomy that shares some level of commonality and is well defined in the book, but challenges the reader to learn yet another taxonomy... I like the description provided in the book around active learning and educative assessment as they are described thoroughly with good integration into the goals-activities-assessment triad. 4 stars because this book drags on a bit, would have been a 5 star at 200 pages.
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Format: Hardcover
This book changed the way I design my college level courses in a very effective and enjoyable way. It will give you a lot of insight on the design of courses that will encourage students to continue learning. I also enjoyed all the reference on the results of scientific work that deals with innovative teaching methods. You will love this book.
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