By Hajra Farooqui
Class of 2022
DKU undergraduate program is starting a new series to pilot in Session 4 of Spring 2021. Based on Duke University’s House Courses, the Student Seminar Series aims to be a series of student-led seminars in which students design and teach short courses introducing new topics of academic interest. Apply to the program here.
The formal seminars can range from one to three 75-minute sessions on a topic of student’s choosing under the supervision of a faculty member. Intended to target subjects and themes not covered in the DKU curriculum, the chosen seminar idea needs to lie outside the DKU course syllabi in some way. It is encouraged that the seminars are also interdisciplinary. This approach can include teaching topics that lie between existing disciplines, fields or courses, topics that integrate knowledge from existing disciplines, and topics that apply knowledge from existing disciplines to another domain. Students can participate in this pilot project as either student leaders or as seminar members.
Student Leaders can design a single seminar or a series around a topic of their choosing. This opportunity will allow them to gain useful skills and experiences in leading seminars, conducting discussions, and facilitating learning. It provides an avenue of academic inquiry into a subject of interest and allows students to integrate and apply knowledge from different courses to a specific theme. Through leading these sessions, students can raise awareness regarding topics of personal importance while also getting helpful feedback from others participating in these sessions. The series provides juniors with a chance to work through and present their Signature Work project ideas.
Participating in these seminars as members allows students to learn something outside a traditional classroom setting, facilitated by their peers. Furthermore, it is an opportunity to continue learning a subject of interest through an interdisciplinary focus and see what their peers have been learning in other courses. This process can also provide a good basis to lead their own seminars in the future.
Proposals to lead seminars during Session 4 can be submitted by Friday, March 12th. Once approved, Student Leaders are to attend sessions led by others as well. This group of students will form a student-led working group that will evaluate the pilot series in Session 4 and make recommendations for a formal launch of this series in the next academic year (2021-2022). Tentatively the seminars are scheduled for Friday afternoons during Session 4. They are designed to be small group sessions of approximately twelve participants each. The UG program plans on conducting these seminars in a hybrid model depending on the location of the students. The center will also make these sessions available for asynchronous participation.