Home Education The Course Design as a Key to Student Wellbeing 

The Course Design as a Key to Student Wellbeing 

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Reflecting on our approach to course design—particularly with attention to how we build community and cultivate belonging—couldn’t come at a more crucial time. Since the publication of What People Learn It is well documented (Bransford, et. al.,1999) that these dimensions are important in creating a learning environment. As the headlines from since the pandemic remind us, students are feeling more alone and isolated.  

Loneliness has been linked to several serious health issues—from anxiety and depression, to increased stroke risk, suicide and, yes, shorter lifespans. This issue is particularly acute for younger people, who are nearly twice as likely to feel lonely than people older than 65. In May 2023 the U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, sounded the alarm when he declared loneliness a national “epidemic.” 

Supporting student well-being is not about going through the motions of an icebreaker or a “get to know you” exercise. What’s striking is that when grounded in evidence-based teaching practices, effective courses foster a greater sense of belonging, increase student confidence in their ability to graduate, and create more…



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