Lynn’s 2013 J-Term features innovative learning

January Term to focus on experiential learning, citizenship and solving real world problems
Lynn’s 2013 J-Term features innovative learning

Published Dec. 12, 2012

Lynn University’s fifth annual two-and-a-half week January Term (J-Term), part of Lynn’s nationally praised Dialogues of Learning core curriculum, sends students around the world – and around our local community – to learn in some unconventional, exciting and often experiential ways. This year’s J-Term (Jan. 3 - Jan. 18) will expand on innovative aspects introduced last year including a partnership with Apple, Inc. and the Citizenship Project, required for all first-year students.

The Citizenship Project

Citizenship ProjectThe Citizenship Project: Commitment to Community is Lynn’s Quality Enhanced Plan (QEP). It requires all first-year students to take one of 22 courses in the Dialogues of Innovation J-Term that focuses on a civic issue, problem or topic and will engage students in experiential learning opportunities and community service work with local, community-based partners.

Lynn students will study homelessness, environmental sustainability and urban renewal while working directly with local community partner organizations including Gumbo Limbo (mangrove clean-up), Habitat for Humanity (building a home) and the Solid Waste Authority’s Paint your Heart Out program where students will paint buildings at the Gold Coast Camp which is used by the Special Olympics and other groups of individuals with physical disabilities.

New and noteworthy citizenship classes:

  • From Bad to Beautiful: Turning Bullies into Good Citizens
  • The Ocean as an Environmental Crime Scene
  • Power to the People
  • Creating a Social Media Strategy for a Non-Profit Organization
  • Capturing the Need: Conservation Photography

Download The Citizenship Project PDF for additional information and full list of courses.

Challenge Based Learning (CBL)

CBLIn 2008, Apple [Education] partnered with New Media Consortium (NMC) to develop CBL. Since then, CBL concepts have been used and implemented in middle schools, high schools and universities across the globe to solve real-world problems.

CBL is “an engaging multidisciplinary approach to teaching and leaning that encourages students to leverage the technology they use in their daily lives to solve real-world problems through efforts in their homes, school and communities,” notes Apple’s website. It “is collaborative and hands-on, asking students to work with other students, their teachers and experts in their communities and around the world to develop deeper knowledge of the subjects students are studying, accept and solve challenges, take action, share their experience, and enter into a global discussion about important issues.”

This hands-on, experiential, real-world approach to education parallels Lynn’s dedication to international, individualized and innovative learning – and in particular the philosophy behind the Dialogues of Innovation.

This method of teaching will be weaved throughout classes:

  • The Samaritan in the Mirror
  • Economics of Sustainability 
  • Social Entrepreneurship 

In these J-Term classes, teachers and students will use Apple iPads to implement CBL methods to help them solve real-world problems. These methods include: coming up with the big idea, narrowing to the essential questions, committing to the challenge, reflections from students and faculty, attainable solutions, documenting evidence via creative videos and assessment which occurs at regular intervals throughout the process. CBL was first incorporated into J-Term courses last year and the response from both faculty and students in a follow up survey were overwhelmingly positive.

“Last year’s success proved that this will engage faculty and students more fully in our Citizenship Project during our January-Term courses, which are 2 ½ weeks long,” said Chris Boniforti, Lynn's chief information officer. “CBL allows individual faculty to create her/his own perimeters and small student groups can focus on real, yet different, problems across the various courses and generate some creative challenges and solutions, connecting students with multiple community partners and beyond.”

The Dialogues of Innovation

Aside from The Citizenship Project that includes 22 local, civic-based J-Term courses, Lynn’s 2013 J-Term, also referred to as the Dialogues of Innovation, is offering 28 on- campus courses and 7 travel domestic and abroad travel J-Term courses to upperclassmen.

International travel courses:

  • Bali Service Project 
  • Advocacy for the Galapagos Islands

Domestic travel courses:

Local courses:

  • Baseball Dreams and the Miracle League: The Third Inning
  • Top Chef Lynn
  • Soap Box Derby (including a race)
  • Call of the mall: The Psychology of Shopping
  • The Comedy Behind Comic Strips
  • How to do Florida, The Natural Florida!
  • Predicting the future

Speaker series

The J-Term also includes three speaker events in the Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center to discuss issues related to civic engagement, community action and other topics that will help students consider ways to become more involved in issues that interest them.

Jan. 4, 10 a.m.: Engaging the Community panel discussion

  • Speakers: Ashley Belcher (Lynn alumna ‘12 pursuing a master’s of international development at Clark), Erika Fernandez Zamora from Stanford University (environmental advocate) and a recent Citizenship Project participant.

Jan. 9, 11 a.m.: From Fish to Restaurant, and Being Sustainable

  • Speaker: Jose Duarte, Lynn alumnus ‘95 and ‘98 and chef and owner, Taranta Restaurant, Boston--a “green” restaurant that offers an average of 80 metric tons of carbon production a year.

Jan. 18, 11 a.m.: The Citizenship Project Celebration in the Wold 

  • Speaker: Dr. Adolph Brown, anthropologist and psychologist,“The World’s Greatest Edu-trainer” will deliver a motivational closing keynote speech.