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Integrative Learning

Integrative learning supports students as they build connections between their curricular and co-curricular skills, experiences, and knowledge and leverage those connections to address complex, real-world challenges (AAC&U, 2009). 

At the University of Denver, students might encounter Integrative Learning through dedicated programming, such as the Center for Community Engagement to advance Scholarship and Learning, First-Year Seminar, and Living and Learning Communities. Additionally, students often encounter Integrative Learning at the classroom level as faculty implement high-impact practices like collaborative projects, reflective prompts, ePortfolio assignments, community engaged learning, research practices, and experiential learning. 

High-Impact Practices

High-Impact Practices (HIPs) are a collection of strategies for teaching and learning that are proven to increase retention, completion, and satisfaction rates of students. When done well, HIPs provide intentional and integrative approaches for learning that encourage transfer of skills and the creation of meaningful connections between experiences (Watson, Kuh, Rhodes, Penny Light, & Chen, 2016). For definitions of each High-Impact Practice, see this list by AAC&U.  

Writing-intensive courses can be found in nearly every discipline at DU. Faculty can implement writing in their courses through a variety of approaches depending on factors such as course content, class size, and more.  

Collaborative learning varies depending on the course context and goals. Some ideas include informal discussion, in-class tasks, and team-based assignments.  

ePortfolios are personal websites that provide students with a space to reflect on their curricular and co-curricular experiences, curate evidence of skills and learning, and display their knowledge through a variety of media, including presentations, documents, videos, images, and more. At DU, faculty, staff, and students have access to Digication as their ePortfolio platform.

Many departments at DU have a capstone assignment that requires students to integrate and apply what they’ve learned throughout the major. The project might be a research paper, a performance, a portfolio of “best work,” or an exhibit of artwork.  

DU’s focus on the “public good” provides instructors with opportunities to align course concepts to local, national, and global perspectives by challenging students to engage with diverse opinions, experiences, and value systems.  

Below are High-Impact Practices that are supported by specific departments or offices across campus. While the OTL is happy to support HIP implementation, program-specific questions should be directed to the applicable unit.  


All first-year students at DU participate in a First-Year Seminar (FSEM) where faculty teach to their passion by designing a course around a unique theme while still incorporating critical components to support students as they adjust to college. 


The Center for Community Engagement to advance Scholarship and Learning (CCESL) at DU provides extensive support and training for instructors that are interested in community-engaged learning.  


DU fosters shared intellectual experiences through FSEM, 4Dthe common curriculum, and departmental initiatives such as a cohort model curriculum. , and departmental initiatives such as a cohort model curriculum.  


Living and Learning Communities are one way that DU facilitates a learning community model. In addition, housing and residence life fosters community development across the institution.  


Internships are often tied to a student’s major and provide opportunities to put their knowledge into practice in a career setting. Many programs at DU require internships as a capstone experience prior to graduation.  


The Office of Undergraduate Research supports students and faculty in identifying, funding, and completing meaningful research with an emphasis on mutually beneficial experiences for students and faculty. DU also houses many research centers that provide experiences for undergraduate and graduate students based on their current skillset and future goals.