Educator spotlight: Jennifer Donovan, Associate Teaching Professor, Arizona State University.

A chemistry professor shares how an experiential learning platform is helping her teach students career readiness skills.
July 5, 2024
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Jennifer Donovan, a professor at the School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences at ASU (enrollment 145,665), has been using Riipen’s work-based learning platform in her online Introductory Chemistry courses since 2020. She recently shared her journey and student outcomes with us.

Why did you partner with Riipen? 

I started working with Riipen during the shutdown in 2020 as a way to help my students from around the world connect with one another and employers for experiential learning projects. That year, I connected with five employers and I’m still working with one of them today.

What projects did your students work on?

In my online Introductory Chemistry class, I teach up to 250 students each term. They work on projects with employers doing research, making infographics, and creating videos. 

What did your students learn from this experience?

At ASU, experiential learning is really our focus. With these projects, I strive to teach my students the skills they need to be successful that are beyond academia. 

For example, work-based learning projects taught my students how to work with less parameters. They learned how to navigate projects where they aren’t given a checklist or rubric. 

They also learned how to use technology to communicate with others and collaborate on content virtually. In this day and age of hybrid work, that’s a critical skill and students need to be familiar with a variety of technology tools and programs.

And some of my students worked with an international organization that has a goal of advancing women in business, so they learned how organizations can promote diversity and inclusivity. 

What do your students say about Riipen?

Over the years many students have said they’ve learned a lot from this experience. Some were fortunate to work with an organization that published their work and gave them awards which they could put on their resumes. Those students really appreciated that because it will help them beyond college.

What would you tell a colleague about Riipen?

Take a risk and try something new, even if it’s with a smaller group of students. 

Riipen gives students the ability to collaborate with other students, communicate directly with employers, and share resources and content in a central location. It’s been a very positive experience for me and my students.

Book a chat with our team to discover how Riipen can help you integrate experiential learning projects into your classrooms today.

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Discover how Riipen can help you integrate experiential learning projects into your classrooms.

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