Significant Learning Project

ILS 138, CRC First-Year Seminar, Fall 2015

Your Significant Learning Project (SLP) will present your personal quest and progress toward understanding and obtaining a Liberal Arts Education. As we’ve discussed, regardless of your ultimate major and career choices, a Liberal Arts Education is a key component of every college degree, as well as of lifelong learning. The project is worth 50 points and 25% of your course grade.  

DUE: Week 12

You can think of this project as having three major areas of exploration: personal, community, and conceptual.  Personal is the idea that college is about YOU and your strengths, aspirations, and desires. Community is about the contexts you are in – example: in Chadbourne Residential College, at UW-Madison, in the United States, on planet Earth, etc. Finally, part of college is taking ideas and making them relevant to your life. What is a Liberal Arts Education and how does it relate to your life?

  • The project is to be an original work of at least 1000 words
  • At least two academic references or citations will be included
  • You will meet individually with your Peer Mentor at least once about the project
  • The project will reflect your current understanding of a Liberal Arts Education
  • The format or genre of the project is entirely up to you, within the parameters below
  • There is an option to do a creative project representing a Liberal Arts Education
    • If you choose this option, you will include a 500 word reflection
  • You’ll share your project with your class on the final day of the course
Clarifying Expectations and Notes:
  • We expect you to pull themes and ideas from the course and to explore them further in this final project. That is, you should learn more as you write and create and not simply represent what you already knew before the project commenced.
  • You do not have to accept, adopt, “love” or even like the idea of Liberal Arts Education, but you do have to strive to understand it to complete this project effectively. Every idea has its challenges and benefits, and we encourage you to explore the full range of possibilities.
  • Most any writing genre or medium is appropriate, upon approval from your Instructor and Peer Mentor. Consider forms of writing that could serve you in multiple ways; this project could be useful again in the future.  Note that some of these might not be 1000 word projects, and that you will need to include a process piece or reflection (500 words) in order to complete the assignment. Please contact your Peer Mentor or Instructor with any questions.
  • Here are some things that students have done in the past that worked well, along with our suggestions (none of which are meant to limit your imagination!):
    • An opinion editorial for the Badger Herald or Daily Cardinal about the place of a Liberal Arts Education at UW-Madison
    • A letter to members of your family (or friends) about the role of liberal education in any 4-year degree, which includes an explication of the connections between your current classes
    • A play, epic poem, or song exploring or exemplifying a Liberal Arts Education
    • A collage, painting, or drawing accompanied by a reflective process essay concerning how you came to create this product