X156: College and Life Long Learning
A semester-long, 2 cr. hr., graded course open to all students that emphasizes “self-directed learning” under the guidance of a personal “academic fitness trainer”
Knowing how to learn has become the foundational skill that supports success on all levels and in all situations. Under the guidance of their own “academic fitness trainer”, the student learns how to direct their present learning experiences and achieve the outcomes they desire.
X156 helps to empower the student to take responsibility for the quality of their education by using critical thinking and self-awareness to—
- Clarify personal values and attitudes toward learning
- Understand their strengths and weaknesses as a college learner
- Clarify, set, and achieve realistic goals
- Maintain on-going self-reflection
- Manage procrastination and distractions
- Sustain motivation
- Develop valuable academic habits
- Practice effective learning strategies in real classroom settings
- Learn to manage stress
The X156 student attends two hourly class meetings weekly:
l. A small group meeting where activities provide opportunities for the student to develop an emotional readiness to learn, and to engage in critical thinking exercises to share their perspectives with their peers.
2. An individual meeting with their “academic fitness trainer” where the focus is helping the student to improve their ability to evaluate their individual academic situation and plan and execute appropriate academic actions that will lead to greater academic success.
Each “academic fitness trainer” is an IUB honor student who has achieved academic success and has been trained in the skills of prompting and listening so that they can encourage the X156 student to describe, explain, analyze, articulate, and prioritize—metacognitive processes crucial to self-direction and success. The “academic fitness trainer” gives immediate, precise feedback as the student engages in some academic task applied to their target course (e.g. sets goals; creates a weekly time management schedule; plans a test preparation approach; condenses lecture notes; critically reads a textbook; deals with procrastination).