“Individuals learn best when they are able to construct a mental framework into which they can incorporate new knowledge. I feel that undergraduates need practice in making connections and constructing these frameworks; otherwise, students tend to view their classes as separate from each other—discrete, semester-long units that can be completed and left behind.” –IE Instructor
“I think it’s great to make connections among classes, across topics and readings; we should be critical of if and how and why what we learn in our university classes applies to our lives in a deeper and larger way.” –IE Student
According to UMass Amherst's General Education Integrative Experience legislation, "The Integrative Experience (IE) requirement at UMass Amherst addresses the challenges associated with educational fragmentation. Positioned in the upper-division, the IE provides students with a structured opportunity to look back on their early college learning experiences, reflect upon and make connections between those earlier experiences and the more advanced work in their major, and use their integrated learning to prepare for the demands of the world beyond the University."