So far this semester, we discussed three important concepts in Higher Ed. First, we talked about how important it is to have a diverse community, and second and more importantly we showed that it is almost inevitable to maintain an inclusive learning environment. Next, we discussed a few pedagogical methods used to ensure that we are facilitating Diversity and Inclusion. Specifically, we identified Problem-Based Learning (PBL) and Case-Based Learning (CBL) as two effective ways to help achieve Diversity and Inclusion in academia.
As far as I am concerned, I see two important things from here. First, from now on, I am going to prioritize taking classes that use either PBL or CBL. As shown in class and discussed in many of the blog posts on PBL and CBL, these classes are instrumental in helping students apply the skills they are learning to real-world situations. Many of the classes we are taught during our training (at least in my field) are so abstract that it is often difficult to really picture how we could apply these concepts and how useful they are for our future professions. PBL and CBL classes have the ability of helping us achieve these goals.
Second, I truly believe that programs should include more courses that use PBL or CBL in their curricula. As argued above, this is crucial for students, as it will help them acquire skills that they can bring on the job market. About two years ago, I attended a professional development workshop on how to be successful on the job market. One issue that was raised during the workshop was that employers are looking for students who have who ready or simply put, who have a specific set of skills. One thing that most people reading this blog can agree on is that courses that do not have a PBL or CBL component won’t be enough to acquire those skills. With PBL or CBL courses, there is an opportunity for students to learn something that could really be useful in their professional careers. Also, given that not everyone has the opportunity to get an internship before they go on the job market, students imperatively need to have such experiences during their training. Furthermore, schools should get invested in helping their programs design these curricula as ways to ease the Inclusion and Diversity process on campus.