CEL facilitates multi-institutional research on engaged learning topics. Participants from institutions around the world collaborate over three years, producing scholarship that shapes research and practice globally.
CEL is home to two book series. In addition, CEL research seminars and other initiatives have produced 100+ publications (to date).
CEL’s concise guides offer research-informed practices for engaged learning.
CEL’s concise guides offer practical strategies for studying engaged learning.
CEL brings together international leaders in higher education to develop, synthesize, and share rigorous research on central questions about student learning.
The CEL Scholar role and CEL Student Scholars program enable Elon faculty and students to deepen their understanding of and professional development in scholarly activity on engaged learning.
Henscheid, Jean M., Tracy L. Skipper, and Dallin George Young. 2019. "Reflection, Integration, Application: Intentional Design Strategies for Senior Capstone Experiences." New Directions for Higher Education 2019 (188): 91-100. https://doi.org/10.1002/he.20349.
Henscheid, Skipper, and Young identify the importance of reflection, integration, and application in their piece about Intentional Design Strategies for Senior Capstone Experiences. They suggest that these three elements can aid in developing advanced “analytical and critical thinking, communication skills, employment skills, problem-solving competencies, and team-building.” In addition, in order to foster an environment in which reflection, integration, and application are used to their fullest potential there must be a meaningful educational experience for the student. Something unique and quite important is the acknowledgment that a meaningful educational experience can be different for each individual. Overall, the piece unfolds how to build experiences that “provide structured opportunities for applied learning.”
The authors describe four capstone experiences that promote application of learning:
These experiences, not only are reflective in nature but also suggest that the student take time to reflect on their own interests, needs, and desires, as they move forward in integrating and applying what they have learned.
This piece expands on different ways in which students can engage in learning experiences that support reflection, integration, and application. Breaking down examples of these types of learning experiences can help us to better understand what elements of those experiences really lend themselves to cycles of reflection, integration, and application.
Annotation contributed by Sophie Miller, 2021-2024 CEL Student Scholar
Ryan, Mary. 2013. "The pedagogical balancing act: teaching reflection in higher education." Teaching in Higher Education 18 (2): 144-155. https://doi.org/10.1080/13562517.2012.694104.
Ryan identifies reflection as a process that should be taught. This article shares analysis of a project that collected data across different university courses in Education, Health, Business, Law and Creative Industries in one Australian university. Ryan uses Bain et al.’s (2002) terminology of the 5 Rs – reporting, responding, relating, reasoning, and reconstructing – to sort her data. However, she slims it down to 4 R’s by combining “reporting” and “responding.” The four resulting categories consist of: reporting and responding, relating, reasoning, and reconstructing. These are ordered from the most basic level of reflection to the highest level of reflection. Ryan’s larger project involves semi-structured interviews and focus groups with 40 volunteer staff and 40 volunteer students from across university faculties, along with samples of reflective work from 60 participating students across faculties. Based on her analysis, Ryan explores why reflection is critical to learning and to application of knowledge.
Zeeb, Helene, Felicitas Biwer, Georg Brunner, Timo Leuders, and Alexander Renkl. 2019. "Make it Relevant! How Prior Instructions Foster the Integration of Teacher Knowledge." Instructional Science 47 (6): 711-739. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11251-019-09497-y.
This piece explores how helpful it may be to have prior knowledge in academic situations. Specifically, the authors researched pre-service music teachers and their performance relative to whether they received related instruction prior to a lecture or not. The findings show that relevant instruction produced higher performance during the lecture. Having the ability to integrate prior learning and experience is deemed to be extremely beneficial in this situation. Not only is prior knowledge important, but the knowledge structures the teachers have in their brains are vital to the retrieval of information while in the classroom (p. 713).
Annotation contributed by Sophie Miller, 2021 CEL Student Scholar