Registering an activity as a learning activity at Central Records is a way to receive academic credit, such as it exists at Hampshire College, for pretty much any kind of work. A "learning activity" then shows up on your (the student's) transcript alongside your classes, and generally looks pretty impressive to the outside world. Learning activities are a way to engage in and have recognized work that occurs outside of a classroom (and often even a school) setting.
How to get credit for a learning activity:
- Engage in some sort of undertaking that involves learning
- Get someone to evaluate your work and your progress
- Hand that letter in to Central Records
The form of the evaluation is somewhat flexible. Signed letters work great, but alternatively, transcripts from other institutions may be accepted. If the evaluator is not a member of the Hampshire College community, a formal letterhead might be required. Pretty much anyone can write an evaluation. For example, learning activities may be evaluated by other students, Hampshire professors, Five-College professors, staff members, off-campus supervisors or others.
Many things that now count as Community-Engaged Learning can also be counted as Learning Activities, such as EPEC, signing for a student group, and doing a community service project. However, learning activities have even less restriction on the type, duration and format of the learning--they are basically the ultimate expression of the freedom in Hampshire's academic system.
N.B. Don't abuse the freedom that learning activities give you. Try to keep the evaluations similar in length, formality, content and validity to the kind of evaluation you would receive from a professor. You should not try to get academic credit for wiping your ass, unless you're really, really good at it. If people fuck with this wonderful system, it will get closed down fast.
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