2022-23 Provost Lecture Series
A Look at Effective Experiential Learning Across K-State
Thursday, April 27, 2023
3:30 - 5:30p.m.
Associate Professor and Head of Political Science
2023-2023 Coffman Chair for University Distinguished Teaching Scholars
Nathaniel Birkhead is an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Political Science, which he joined in 2012. His research focuses on the representational relationship between constituents and their elected officials, and American institutions - especially Congress and state legislatures. His 2020 book Congress in Reverse: Repeals from Reconstruction to the Present, published at University of Chicago Press, shows that while Congress often passes laws in a bipartisan way, its repealing behavior is overwhelmingly partisan. His articles have appeared in Legislative Studies Quarterly, Political Research Quarterly, and American Politics Research, among others and his research has been funded by the NSF as part of the Convergence Accelerator program. He teaches a variety of courses on American politics including: Introduction to U.S. Politics, the American Presidency, the Legislative Process, Political Participation, State and Local Government, and Research Methods. His research on the use of experiential learning in the classroom has appeared in PS: Political Science and Politics, He has previously been recognized as one of K-State's top teachers, earning the Commerce Bank and W.T. Kemper Foundation Outstanding Teaching Award in 2016 and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2017. He also received an Open/Alternative Textbook Award in 2018.
Experiential learning is widely regarded as that experiential learning can be an effective technique to help engage a variety of students across learning tendencies. As such, it has been widely applied in a variety of pedagogical settings, here at K-State and elsewhere. What has not kept pace with its implementation has been the assessment of the technique’s effectiveness. While there are many studies that show the students have positive experiences with outside engagement many questions remain regarding how to make experiential learning as effective as possible. This presentation will share information about the variety of experiential learning opportunities across campus, the learning objectives from these various opportunities, and describe plans for a campus-wide set of experiments that will help faculty implement experiential learning as effectively as possible.