DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Roanoke College Definition

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Roanoke College has an excellent working definition of Integrative Learning and examples of integrative learning strategies involving faculty collaboration.  The handout is used in their Integrative Learning workshops with faculty.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

Integrative Teaching and Learning

“Fostering students’ abilities to integrate learning—across courses, over time, and between campus and community life—is one of the most important goals and challenges of higher education.”

— From A Statement on Integrative Learning, Association of American Colleges and

Universities and The Carnegie Foundation  for the Advancement of Teaching


A working definition of integrative learning  for Roanoke College:


A system of learning that deliberately makes connections between classes, fields, and academic and co-curricular life, with the end goal being the development of students who can encounter new challenges and new knowledge in a productive manner.


Important elements:

    • A general education curriculum with broad exposure to multiple disciplines and ways of knowing
    • A total curriculum that helps students
    • Discover clear connections between course content and their lives as workers, citizens, and community and family members
    • Examine diverse perspectives on any subject and teaches them how to evaluate competing claims and different perspectives while forming their own judgment
    • Connect skills and knowledge from multiple sources and experiences
    • Apply theory to practice in various settings
    • Understand issues and positions contextually
    • Address real-world problems using multiple areas of knowledge and modes of inquiry
    • Pursue their college experience in more intentionally connected ways
    • Become self-aware, intentional learners

Opportunities for enhancing integrative learning:


    • Integrative freshman-year seminars
    • Learning communities that link courses
    • Capstone projects that synthesize knowledge and skills acquired over    students’ undergraduate careers
    • Multiple structured opportunities for student reflection on their learning from matriculation through graduation (for both learning and assessment)
    • Reflective essays
    • Explicit self-assessment rubrics for students
    • Writing/electronic portfolios
  • Team-taught, team-planned, and/or team-supported courses in general education and majors
  • A core curriculum extending over four years of students’ enrollment
  • Curricula that develop student knowledge and intellectual capacities cumulatively, sequentially, and in developmentally appropriate ways
  • Strong, explicit connections between general education and the major
  • Faculty modeling integrative thinking as well as recognizing and encouraging it in students
  • Faculty members across disciplines assuming collective responsibility for the entire curriculum to ensure every student an enriching liberal (integrative) educatio
  • Faculty members collaboratively developing skills matrices within the core curriculum and within majors (to identify where and how often students have opportunities to develop key skills)



Association of AmericanCollegesand Universities.  Greater Expectations:  A New vision for Learning as a Nation Goes to College.  Association ofAmericanColleges and Universities, 2002. <http://www.greaterexpectations.org/>


Association of AmericanCollegesand Universities and The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.  A Statement on Integrative Learning.  Association of American Colleges and Universities and The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 2004. <http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/dynamic/downloads/file_1_185.pdf>


Bierman, Scott, et al.  “Integrative Learning:  Coherence out of Chaos.”  Peer Review 7.4 (Spring 2005):  18-19.


Board of Directors,  Association of AmericanCollegesand Universities.  “Ten Recommendations for a New Accountability.” In Our Students’ Best Work: A Framework for Accountability Worthy of Our Mission.  Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2004


Huber, Mary Taylor.  “Fostering Integrative Learning through the Curriculum.” Public Report of the Integrative Learning Project.  Association of American Colleges and Universities and The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 2007.



Huber, Mary Taylor, and Pat Hutchings. “Integrative Learning:  Mapping the Terrain.” Association ofAmericanCollegesand Universities, 2004.



Humphries, Debra. Vice-President of AAC&U. Presentation at General Education Institute, May 2005.


Additional Resources


Humphreys, Debra, and Abigail Davenport.  “What Really Matters in College.”  Liberal Education Summer/Fall 2005:  36-43.  Available on RC Blackboard.


"Integrative Learning: Opportunities to Connect." Public Report of the Integrative Learning Project sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities and The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Edited by Mary Taylor Huber, Cheryl Brown, Pat Hutchings, Richard Gale, Ross Miller, and Molly Breen. Stanford, CA, January 2007. < http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/elibrary/integrativelearning>


Jones, D.P., and P. T. Ewell (1993, pp. 9-13).  “’Good Practices’ Derived from Educational Research.”  Cited in Chapter 7:  Quality and Coherence in General Education, Handbook for Undergraduate Curriculum.  Jossey Bass, 1997.  Available on RC Blackboard.


Special issue on integrative learning.  Peer Review 7.4 (Spring 2005).   <http://www.aacu.org/peerreview/pr-sufa05/pr_sufa05contents.cfm>

            Selected articles available on RC Blackboard.

DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.