With support from RECODE, the Ideas Congress (ICON) class at the University of Guelph offers students a transdisciplinary learning environment designed on the principles of community engaged learning, knowledge translation/transfer, and social innovation. It is a highly unique and impactful course. Read Gabe's perspective on his transformative experience in the class last autumn.
I am one of the lucky students who somehow found themselves in the outrageous, awesome, Ideas Congress (ICON) class last fall at the University of Guelph. This was a rollercoaster of an experience—and I call it that in only the best of ways. The class began with a warning that it would challenge and reward us, and this proved to be more than a little bit true.
The ICON classroom is unique because it brings together senior students from various disciplines…but this introduces a surprising language barrier between students. We underestimated how much our degree specializations had encouraged us to speak our own "disciplinary language" over the past three years. As a result, the first few weeks of class were a bit bumpy, as we learned how to eliminate jargon and communicate with each other. Our professors taught us "knowledge translation and transfer" (KTT) strategies and, coupled with the group-work format of our class, we had an environment to apply these skills.