There are five ways humans learn things: verbal (putting things into a language), visual (making pictures of things in your head), tactile (having to touch things), kinesthetics (needing to manipulate things), and aural (remembering anything ever said or heard). Of these five techniques, Millikin University, in Decatur, Ill., is probably into the tactile or kinesthetic aspects of education, with its hands-on approach to instruction called performance learning.
Performance learning combines theory and practice. Rather than just have students read out of textbooks and memorize facts for a test, Millikin has its students in the field practicing studies in order to live out what they learn, whether through student-run businesses or internships or anything else you can possibly think of!
Performance-based learning also teaches students about working as a team, since many of the endeavors involve coming up with ideas together rather than alone, something many college students miss out on at other institutions where stress is placed more on individual achievement. And it’s not just one department over another—performance-based learning is stressed in each department, from the sciences to the arts. Some specific examples of performance learning in practice can be viewed here, which showcases web students’ near-professional work in areas like graphic design, web publishing, and e-book publishing.
“Millikin does something special to [students] when they arrive,” says one instructor in the below video that covers aspects of PL from professor points of view. The PL program makes student-faculty relationships very strong.
Are you looking for a similar school that practices what it preaches? To learn more about Millikin University, check out the College Prowler guide to the school.