Dennis Kafura’s Computational Thinking course part of the new Pathways to General Education curriculum

The implementation plan for Virginia Tech’s new general education curriculum, Pathways to General Education, was approved after a vote Monday at University Council. The implementation plan maps out how the new curriculum, which was approved in April 2015 to replace the current Curriculum for Liberal Education, will be phased in at the university.

Pathways to General Education will go into effect for new students entering in fall 2018. In the meantime, with the passage of the implementation plan, faculty will soon be able to propose courses, minors, and alternative pathways for approval. An official call for proposals will go out through Virginia Tech News. Reviews will begin in fall 2016, with some courses beginning as pilots in 2017.

Over the past couple of years, faculty have begun piloting courses that will meet the new Pathways to General Education requirements. Dennis Kafura, CS@VT professor, piloted a computational thinking course, which will expose students from a variety of disciplines to this way of solving problems. “Personally, I had little experience teaching a general education course – let alone developing one – and my career-long teaching was strongly oriented toward a traditional lecture model,” Kafura said. “However, the ‘computational thinking’ course came to include active learning, peer learning, problem-based learning, and a dash of flipping the classroom.”


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Dr. Kafura
Dr. Kafura