Student feedback leads to dreamier courses

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The Principal’s Dream Courses program gets full marks for initiative, but might fall short on application. 

Through the program, the Principal’s Office will provide up to $13,000 to fund a maximum of three proposals to redesign courses.

These courses must incorporate creative and innovative teaching methods, as well as focus on at least one of three themes: sustainability indigenous identities and Queen’s 175th anniversary.

Experimental courses can be great. Handing the reins to a group of smart and creative professors can lead to cutting edge programs and courses. 

By granting freedom to talented teaching staff, this initiative also has the potential to expand the range of teaching techniques to include multiple learning styles and outcomes. 

But we must plead caution. 

Experimental courses always sound good in theory, but sometimes fail to live up to their potential for students’ learning experience.  

New courses must be considered on the basis of their realistic merit to students, not just for how they provide an opportunity to use the word “innovative” in a press release or to promote the university’s history. 

Redesigned courses will only be effective if they incorporate student feedback throughout the process, and look critically at how the use of different technologies impact student learning styles. 

All courses at Queen’s require an effective and accountable process for student feedback to be heard. 

This is especially true for courses that experiment with students’ education. 

— Journal Editorial Board  

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