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Honors Course Information for Faculty
Honors courses are designed to help students develop both oral and written communication skills, gather and synthesize information, approach problems in new and complex ways, and enrich their critical thinking ability. Honors courses tend to be highly interactive, discussion-based classes that engage students in an active and supportive learning environment.
The designation of "honors" at OSU denotes a different kind of learning experience rather than a necessarily more difficult course in terms of grading expectations. Honors courses may cover more sophisticated material than that covered in the regular sections of the same course, more active student participation should be encouraged, and evaluation of the students' work (exams, reports, etc.) may be different. However, the grading standards at the end of the course should not be designed to force a normal or otherwise preconceived distribution of grades.
Honors courses are normally taught only by instructors holding tenured or tenure-track
faculty appointments. Exceptions may be made at the recommendation of the department
head and with approval of the Dean of the Honors College. Except in unusual circumstances
with the advance approval of the dean of a college and notification of the Dean of
the Honors College, honors sections are not taught by faculty members in their first
year on the faculty at OSU.
The National Collegiate Honors Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to honors education, provides reference material for honors professionals and faculty. For common characteristics of honors courses across the country, click the "Honors Course Design" link below.
Honors Course Design