Pedagogies

A total of twelve (12) different types of instructional modalities have been defined for the Ferris Learning Outcomes (FLOs). These methodologies represent a spectrum of different approaches commonly used in Higher Education to instruct students. The relative frequency of these approaches will be tracked using the data workbooks. There are no pre-defined desired levels for any of these strategies. Rather, any distributions discovered will serve as merely as a starting point for a faculty discussion of General Education pedagogy. A brief definition of each of these academic practices follows below.

01) Face-to-face lecture – This is considered the “traditional” instructional model of higher education. The instructor, using a variety of learning props such as the whiteboard, PowerPoint, handouts, etc., delivers course content orally. The students primarily listen and take notes.

02) Flipped classroom – In this more active learning approach, students are expected to gain content knowledge outside of the classroom (from the textbook, internet, or other resources). The classroom sessions are marked by student-student and student-instructor interactions as the material covered is applied to specific questions or problems.

03) Group work – This approach requires the coordinated activities of several people (students, instructors, or other stakeholders) to successfully complete. Individual competence can only be evaluated in the context of the overall group’s performance. This approach is commonly used to evaluate collaboration and/or problem solving skills.

04) Online delivery – These classes are delivered completely online (or very nearly so). At Ferris, these courses typically rely upon an extensive Blackboard Learn shell to present materials, interact with students, and measure student competency.

05) Learn lab – Instruction takes place in FLITE 405 (the Learn Lab). This facility has a variety of technological resources that can facilitate webinars, face-to-face and virtual meetings, and distance education. Courses taught in this facility tend to emphasize collaborative and group work.

06) Computer lab – Instruction takes place primarily in one of Ferris’ designated computer labs. While learning is facilitated by an instructor, students perform web searches, data analyses, and other projects alone or in teams on their computers. These activities may include writing code or other documents, locating and using resources online, or running computer programs or algorithms to solve a problem.

07) Structured Learning Assistance (SLA) – Structured tutoring workshops are paired to courses with high failure or withdrawal rates. Student facilitators are chosen for their knowledge in specific content areas and act as role models to foster student responsibility and task commitment.

08) Laboratory – Laboratory instruction typically takes place in a controlled indoor environment. Students use inquiry-based learning approaches to apply their course-related knowledge in a hands-on approach. Laboratories are common in, but not limited to, the sciences (e.g. physics, chemistry, and biology).

09) Field work – Field instruction typically takes place in an uncontrolled outdoor environment. Students use inquiry-based learning approaches to apply their course-related knowledge in a hands-on approach. Although field work occurs in the sciences, it is also common in many technological fields.

10) Internship/fellowship – Many programs require students to gain program experience outside of classroom instruction. Internships and fellowships are an exchange of services for experience between the student and an organization. Students are exposed to the real-life dynamics of the workplace while taking advantage of their experiences to confirm their career interests and validate their abilities. 

11) Capstone project – As a terminal graduation requirement, many programs require students to complete a “capstone” project. These courses often involve independent student work coupled with one-on-one interactions with a faculty member. These projects usually result in the production of a presentation, paper, or other student product. The exact nature of capstones is rather discipline-specific.

12) Mixed delivery – Often, more than one pedagogical approach is used to deliver course instruction. This final designation is meant to act as a catch-all to capture those instances.