Teaching Commons > Events > Fall Forum on Teaching & Learning > Idea-Based Learning (2016)

Idea-Based Learning: What's the Big Idea?

Idea-based learning is a process for developing college instruction that has a clear purpose, is systematically-situated in the curriculum, and improves student learning in measurable ways. This framework requires faculty to develop a transparent blueprint of their course, one that is focused on several key ideas and meaningful tasks, detailed performance criteria, lots of practice opportunities, and identification of potential learning barriers.

Participants in this Fall Forum were able to:

  • Describe idea-based learning to their colleagues.
  • Identify methods to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of idea-based learning as a framework for course design.
  • Apply elements of idea-based learning to course design and/or their coursework.
  • Identify how idea-based learning could be utilized to ensure consistency across programs and multi-section courses.


9:30 - 10:00 am Registration, light refreshments, and poster gallery
10:00 - 10:10 am Welcoming remarks
10:10 - 12:00 pm Interactive keynote
12:00 - 1:00 pm Catered lunch
1:00 pm - 1:50 pm Panel presentation
1:50 pm - 2:00 pm Closing remarks and raffle

Keynote Presentation

About the Keynote Speaker

Edward Hansen

Edmund Hansen, author of Idea-Based Learning: A Course Design Proccess to Promote Conceptual Understanding, will give the keynote address. Hansen is the immediate past director of Northeastern Illinois University’s Center for Teaching and Learning. He has also worked in faculty development at Emporia State University and Indiana University, Bloomington. Hansen has served as president of the Chicago Area Faculty Development Network (CAFDN), a consortium of faculty development offices at both two and four-year institutions in the region. He received a PhD in Educational Psychology from Indiana University, and master’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and from the University of Aachen, Germany.


Poster Gallery

Student and Alumni Panelists

Student panelists
Student panelists (from L to R) Deena Kishawi, Jessie Bosshard, Robert Daniels, and Emily Power.

Jessie Bosshard is a senior at DePaul studying Business Economics (major) and Public Health (minor). Jessie is fascinated by the concept of aging in place and continuing care, as well as public policy and how opportunities are viewed and approached.  She has been a Chicago Quarter Mentor for two quarters, and a Supplemental Instruction Leader (ECO106) for one quarter, both of which have allowed her to coordinate with outside entities, collaborate with faculty members, encourage student success, and promote lifelong learning. These student positions have given Jessie the opportunity to focus and understand the importance of idea-based learning, which has continued to help her through her college career. Jessie will graduate this upcoming June, and is still on the lookout for a position that would increase her knowledge of today’s health care system, with an economic twist. 

Robert Daniels is an English Literary Studies Graduate student. He graduated from DePaul in 2015 with a major in English Literary Studies. He is currently the Scrawl Radio Team Graduate Assistant for the University Center for Writing based Learning. Throughout his college career has studied the complexities of interpretation and discerning authorial intent when seeking to understand fiction and poetry.

Deena Kishawi is a first year medical student at Stritch School of Medicine Loyola University Chicago. She was a supplemental instruction leader for two years and a mentor for a year and a half. She participated in developing learning processes and material for supplemental instruction while also conducting research for best practices in teaching developmental math.

Emily Power graduated in June with her BA from DePaul’s Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse (WRD) program. This year, she continues her studies in WRD as a first year graduate student. Emily started working at DePaul's University Center for Writing-based Learning (UCWbL) in the fall of 2014. In addition to her position as a peer-writing tutor, she participated on one of the UCWbL’s teams, the Collaborative for Multilingual Writing and Research, to pursue her interests in language and learning in multilingual communities. As of this year, she is the Social Media Graduate Assistant and works on the UCWbL’s social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well as maintains their wordpress blog UCWbLing. Reflecting on her experience in WRD, two big ideas stick with her: 1.) genre as a patterned response to specific rhetorical situations and 2.) rhetorical situations themselves have many moving parts. 

Be Social bubbles

Join Us on Social Media

Read participants' takeaways and connect with colleagues on Twitter using the hashtag #FFTLDePaul.

View photos from the event on our Facebook Page.

Event Details

Friday, October 7th, 2016
Cortelyou Commons (Lincoln Park Campus)