Table of Contents


Information for specific audiences:

Integrative Learning

Students are the focus and faculty and staff are key to
facilitating student learning and success.

What USC Connect means by Integrative Learning

Integrative learning can be described in many ways, but for USC Connect integrative learning is defined as:

  • the construction of knowledge across within- and beyond- the classroom experiences, and
  • the ability to apply new understandings from within & beyond the classroom experiences to solve problems in new contexts.

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. The undergraduate experience can be a fragmented landscape of general education courses, preparation for the major, co-curricular activities, and “the real world” beyond the campus. But an emphasis on integrative learning can help undergraduates put the pieces together and develop habits of mind that prepare them to make informed judgments in the conduct of personal, professional, and civic life. Read more

a statement on integrative learning
association of american colleges and universities
the carnegie foundation for the advancement of teaching

USC Connect emphasizes three components to help students integrate learning:

1. Participation in educationally purposeful Beyond-the-Classroom Experiences

Field work, internships, study abroad, research, fine arts performances, student organizations, special events, and community service are just a few ways students can engage in meaningful experiences beyond-the-classroom.

What kinds of experiences could your students have beyond-the-classroom that would help them to see their field in a larger context or help them develop key skills?

2. In-class experiences help students share ideas, raise questions, and make connections

Research shows students integrate learning when they are asked to articulate connections, share and question one another's ideas, and receive specific feedback. Connect coursework & beyond the classroom experiences with thoughtful questioning, class discussions, small group activities, demonstrations, case studies, and other opportunities for students to share perspectives.

3. Assignments that help students integrate knowledge and apply it in new contexts

Professor David Miller describes an example of integrative learning

Papers, in-class presentations, reports, e-portfolios, artwork, performances, conference presentations, blogs, Wikis, websites, original programs/events give students opportunities to learn and apply their knowledge to new situations.

More on integrative learning (definitions, articles, documents)

We will continue to build our resource pages for Faculty and Staff. Please share strategies that work for you: E-mail articles, syllabi, or recommendations.

Contact Us

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Please contact us with any questions or comments:

USC Connect
Thomas Cooper Library, Suite L132
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208

Irma Van Scoy, Executive Director
Damara Hightower-Davis, Assistant Director
Natalie Smith-Kenner, Administrative Coordinator
Nick Vaught, Student Services Coordinator
Lisa Camp, Student Advisor

Student Representative Board

Other important links:

Columbia, SC 29208 • 803-777-2808 •