The Franke Honors Academic Experience

Learning Outcomes

The following were developed by W.A. Franke Faculty as programmatic outcomes; we imagine that Honors graduates will be able to say, as a Franke Honors student, I had the opportunity to participate in:

Ethical Reasoning

Exhibit ethical reasoning in academic, professional, and personal contexts as engaged contributors to intersecting cultural worlds and natural environments.

Critical Thinking, Creative Inquiry, and Research

Develop research and critical thinking skills to analyze and evaluate arguments, develop individual understanding, and communicate effectively.

Interdisciplinary Thinking

Integrate learning and knowledge across multiple disciplines to engage with complex questions and vital issues.

Intercultural and Global Understanding

Learn from and develop respect for different identities and perspectives to engage with and serve diverse communities locally and globally.

Collaboration and Leadership

Practice working effectively in collaboration, integrating the talents and experiences of ourselves and others, while including and motivating our community.

Holistic Engagement

Incorporate learning outcomes into our contributions, reflecting upon our experiences and evaluating our roles as scholars and community members.

Pedagogical Approach

If you are designing an Honors course experience—whether that's an honors contract or an honors section of your course—we'd like to offer the following guidance: it's helpful to keep in mind the acronym FIDDLES. This isn't meant to be a checklist of six new things you must add to your class—Honors should be a qualitative difference, not just a quantitative one that calls for an extra lift for the students or the instructor. FIDDLES is meant to be inspiration for ways you might add an Honors dimension to your existing course design.

  • F stands for faculty time. Faculty expand in this area include requiring the Honors students to work with them one-on-one on certain projects or meet with them in office hours for a deeper discussion or more detailed feedback.
  • I stands for interdisciplinarity. Students are asked to apply something to their major or compare the course discipline's approach to another discipline. Projects can also be more involved, depending on the material.
  • DD stands for deeper dive. Some faculty replace an exam with a project; that's one of 100 ways Honors students might go deeper on a project than their peers. This also might overlap significantly with other aspects of FIDDLES.
  • D can also stand for dimension. Professors are often asked if there's literally another dimension they could add to a project, such as a historical, social, or ethical dimension. For example, if they're doing a lit review, could they go a step further and address the ethical concerns raised by the research they reviewed? Creative writing students doing a craft analysis might be asked to discuss why/how the work was effective, but Honors students would add a dimension to that analysis, perhaps by picking an ideology or a theoretical lens to look through, above and beyond the baseline assignment.
  • L stands for leadership. This looks different in every class, but in general Honors students engage in peer instruction and are offered opportunities for leadership in and out of the classroom. 
  • E stands for experiential. Honors courses ask students to apply their knowledge. For example, if everyone is looking for a certain situation in the news in order to analyze it, Honors students might volunteer locally or interview someone and get the additional experience of gathering their own data.
  • S stands for student-centered. Students are given autonomy and the intellectual space to shape their own curriculum.