Recommended Honors Course Attributes

Honors courses provide a rigorous and creative academic experience for highly motivated students. To foster this experience, honors faculty use clear assessment methodologies and make explicit use of two or more of Lane's Institutional Learning Outcomes: think critically; engage diverse values with civic and ethical awareness; create ideas and solutions; communicate effectively; and apply learning. Honors courses provide a value added experience for the student and that learning is assessed through faculty design of the honors component. They also distinguish their honors courses from non-honors courses by incorporating more frequent and more in-depth use of selected components from at least two of the categories listed below.

Formats and Methodologies

  • Student participation
  • Student ownership of classroom topics, projects, and/or assessment
  • Interdisciplinary approach
  • Creativity

Research and Writing

  • Research opportunities
  • Independent and/or collaborative inquiry: reading, research, conjecture (fewer topics/ in-depth)
  • Conscious engagement with disciplinary methodologies
  • Source sophistication and assessment
  • Writing assignments that expect and practice the above qualities

Critical Thinking

  • In-depth critical thinking
  • Meta-cognition
  • Problem seeking/problem solving
  • Application of learning in novel situations
  • Written or discussion-based student reflection on learning

Professionalization and Leadership

  • Field trips, speakers, consultants
  • Service learning
  • Classroom leadership (individual and distributed)
  • Civic engagement
  • Professional-level presentations