More and more students are demanding a different learning model from universities. Whether they are recent high school grads who are accustomed to team-based, experiential learning or adult learners who practice real-world problem solving on a daily basis, an ivory tower is not where they want to learn. That’s according to Jennifer Walinga, director of the School of Communication and Culture at Royal Roads University.
“Royal Roads is a breakthrough in that it offers a venue for people who never felt they fit and felt like they were in conflict with other structures and models,” Walinga says. “It gives them a home.”
Royal Roads University has been at the forefront of innovative learning since it was established in 1995. Hallmarks of the university’s model include blended learning (online courses and short, on-campus residencies) and cohorts (going through the entire program with a small group of fellow students), as well as a focus on applied and experiential learning.
Walinga and other program heads in the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences are now sharing some of the challenges they’ve experienced with an innovative learning model – and how they’ve overcome them – with educators from other institutions at a symposium at the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences currently underway at the University of Victoria.