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College-level Make and Take: Student Ownership of Collective Work

A desired objective for college professors is for their students’ work to be meaningful and applicable to their lives. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Learned information seemingly evaporates at the end of semesters as students shift their focus to vacation, travel, and other endeavors. So how can the learning in classes be more accessible and meaningful? Let the students make it and take it home.

The practice of “Make and Take” has primarily been used in elementary schools where students engage in hands-on craft products such as holiday ornaments, milk carton bird feeders, and decorative pencil holders. At the college level, Make and Take projects are designed to engage students in a deeper level of learning beyond the classroom; specifically, for students to collaborate, create, and take home a product.

Guiding principles

The project must have relevance to class. Some class group activities are organized as icebreakers, bonding activities, or impromptu discussions. Your project can contain any of these elements, but the main focus of the work should be authentic and involve a core component of your class.The project should be a shared experience with contributions by all. It is essential to have the whole class engaged in the project. The instructor should also be on board with contributions, direction, and encouragement.The project should be usable beyond the tenure of the class. The design of the project should be something that incorporates class knowledge that is useful and accessible outside of class.

Originally posted at Faculty Focus