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Forbes Op-Ed: President Quillen Says Courses Designed Around Questions Ignite Imaginations

Carol Quillen
Carol E. Quillen

President Quillen's debut op-ed for Forbes urges colleges to redesign courses around questions to revitalize higher ed.

"Complex questions draw students in, ignite their imaginations and inspire them to learn on their own," Quillen writes.

She points to a course taught by Davidson College math professor Laurie Heyer as an example. Heyer designed a calculus course that taught students the fundamentals through a series of health care-based scenarios.

As Quillen says, "Students learn the math behind modeling techniques as they tackle a real problem, like what you should do if you miss a dose of a medication, or how to proceed when a child arrives in an emergency room with an accidental overdose.

"Because they learn with a purpose, her students, many of whom are pre-med, retain more. Many come to enjoy a subject they had previously avoided."

Quillen will continue to contribute to Forbes on a regular basis.