ETEAL and Applied Learning for Students

ETEAL and Applied Learning for Students

What is Applied Learning?

Kate Sherwood examining a human skeletonYou may not be familiar with the term, but Applied Learning is something you've probably already done in a few of your classes. At UNCW, when we talk about Applied Learning we're talking about courses or projects that give you the opportunity to directly apply the things you've learned to real world problems and in situations that you might encounter in your future career. Studying abroad, working with nonprofits in the community, learning newly developed lab techniques, and even archival research can all be Applied Learning experiences and they can all help you transform the theories you know into the skills you need.

What's different about an ETEAL course?

All ETEAL courses are applied learning courses, which means that you'll often be involved in more hands-on applications of classroom concepts and theories than in other sections. You'll spend less time sitting all class for a lecture and more time applying what you've been studying and learning throughout the course. Applied Learning takes place all across the UNCW Campus though and there are many courses that let you take part in applied learning that aren't ETEAL Courses. Here's what makes an ETEAL course different from other sections:

  1. ETEAL Courses are all Applied Learning Courses: Every ETEAL course is an Applied Learning course and you'll be actively engaged in your learning.
  2. ETEAL Support: ETEAL Courses receive additional resources and other forms of support, allowing both instructors and students to take part in activities they might not otherwise be able to.
  3. New and Innovative Techniques: ETEAL seeks out and provides its support to new, innovative teaching techniques and course designs, making every ETEAL course an experience unlike any course you've ever had before. You might be doing things like measuring geological data in the field with iPads, taking samples and examining water quality first-hand, consulting for international businesses, or mapping poverty and residential needs in Eastern NC.
  4. ETEAL's Impact: Critical Reflection is a part of every ETEAL course. When students and instructors critically examine what they've learned, how they've applied it, what it means for their field, and where it can take them in the future, they understand the information better and it sticks with them for far longer than if they had just gone through a traditional lecture-style course section. This doesn't just help your academic career, it also strengthens your professional skills and your resume.

PED 101 Expo Fencing

How can I get involved in Applied Learning at UNCW?

Every semester, there are dozens of Applied Learning courses available to students at all stages of their academic careers. Whether you're just coming into UNCW in your first year or you're planning to graduate at the end of this semester, there are Applied Learning opportunities for you all across the university. To get you started, here's a list of all the ETEAL Courses and Experiences coming up in the next semester:

ETEAL Courses and Experiences in Fall 2016 (PDF)

Explorations beyond the classroom

Beyond ETEAL courses, there are also Explorations Beyond the Classroom courses that serve as Applied Learning Experiences. The Explorations Beyond the Classroom components of the University Studies program were designed, with best practices in mind, to require students to engage in experiential or applied learning options that take place beyond the traditional classroom. Many of these types of experiences have long been hallmarks of a UNCW education and they are increasingly being recognized as powerful facilitators of student learning. Common components include: Discovery, Application, Regional Engagement, and Explorations Abroad.

If you'd like more information about Explorations beyond the Classroom, read the EBC entry in our undergraduate catalog

Resources for Current and Prospective Students:

What is Applied Learning? What does it mean for me?
How can I get involved in Applied Learning?
Awards, Grants, and Funding for Students
What can Applied Learning do for me?