Transformative experiences are highlighted by the IBL community. Those of us who have used IBL methods in our classes have seen students flourish in ways that changes the trajectories of their lives. It sounds like we are exaggerating, as if we are making promises of rainbows and unicorns. But there are many instances, when things go right, the students buy-in, and the entire class (including the instructor) comes together like a championship team. It doesn't always happen, it's not easy to pull off, but it's why we work so hard to try and get to that special place.
In this particular instance, Dr. Esselstein taught a proof-based course for math majors, where the opportunities to build Math from first principles, parallel to how research mathematicians do Math. Authentic success, the greatest confidence booster there is, did it's work. This experience left a lasting impression on these students, who proceeded to earn their undergraduate degrees and then go to on to graduate programs.
Yes, you can make a real difference!
1. Diana and Alfred