What is Applied Learning?

Actually sitting in the room with the dietitian, being on the other side of the table, picturing myself in a few years in her shoes, was extremely life changing.

What is Applied Learning?

Applied learning is a pedagogical model that places students in experiences requiring them to integrate theories, ideas, and skills they have learned in new contexts, thereby extending their learning.

Put another way, Applied Learning is a model that lets students engage in hands on, real world, or otherwise practical experiences and helps them get more out of Geology and Geography Field Mappingthose experiences as well. Students in an Applied Learning experience might, for example, use iPads to perform accurate geological surveying in the field, or they might travel to Belize and teach students at San Pedro High School. Students not only do this hands on work, which gives them vital experience for their future careers, but they also critically reflect on their experiences, directly apply the concepts and theories they learn in their coursework to the challenges they faced, and examine the impact this experience will have on their own future.

Applied Learning at UNCW

With a strong focus on promoting Applied Learning as part of our quality enhancement plan, UNCW supports Applied Learning all across our campus, across the region, and even across the world! Here are some of the examples of Applied Learning Experiences that students have taken part over just the past two academic years:

  • Chemistry students studying plastic in the ocean and on our beaches to gauge its environmental impact,
  • English students worked with local businesses such as Bento Box to redesign menus and promotional materials,
  • Communications students travels to Swansea in Wales to film a documentary that captured the experiences of students studying abroad there (Look at what they've made!)
  • Marketing students performed market research and consulted for a US business looking to expand its operations overseas,
  • First Year students in the Hollywood East residential learning community worked together to learn about and use filming equipment to produce professional quality interviews and promotional videos,
  • Students from the Nursing and Social Work programs working together to critically examine practices of delivering difficult health news to patients and their families,
  • Studying abroad for a semester in Rome, Wales, Ecuador, or dozens of other locations!

Every semester, ETEAL awards grants to support Applied Learning projects and experiences across all UNCW departments. While all of our ETEAL supported initiatives are Applied Learning experiences, they're not the only Applied courses and projects here at UNCW. In fact, many of our departments and programs have been engaging students in applied learning experiences for years.

PED 101 Expo Stations