Big Ideas (BI) Courses are general education courses centered on themes rather than individual disciplines. These courses are team-taught across an array of disciplines, departments, and even colleges. The current set of courses are taught as active-learning, team-based, peer-learning courses in active-learning (TILE) classrooms.

The impact of these interdisciplinary, team-taught, active-learning courses include:

  • Students work closely with several experts in a variety of fields.  
  • Faculty identify and overcome disciplinary “bottlenecks” --aspects of a discipline that are particularly difficult for novices.
  • Students develop an intrinsic interest in new fields and seek out additional courses in disciplines they first encountered in a Big Ideas course.
  • Faculty members share teaching strategies and assessments through peer mentoring.  
Origins of Life and the Universe students visit the Field Museum to see Sue the dinosaur.