Engaging Learners: The Use of Pop Culture in the College Classroom

Session Description
Increasingly, university and college classrooms are comprised of students who have “come of age” during the digital era, and are often quite literate in popular culture. While popular culture has been a topic of discussion in university classrooms for decades, it is also an invaluable tool to encourage connections to course content. Including pop culture connections relevant to the course content encourages critical thinking skills and empowers students. This presentation seeks to consider the significance of including pop culture in the college classroom, using examples from recent television programs, advertisements, film, and music, and how these can be applied in our classrooms. Using academic research and specific examples from one Purdue University Global course, American Women, this presentation will address successful application of pop culture selections in the Purdue Global classroom, and provide suggestions for how to incorporate pop culture as part of seminars and discussions.
Jennifer Harrison
Jennifer Harrison, Purdue University Global
Jennifer Harrison is a faculty member in the Department of Humanities & Social Sciences at Purdue University Global, and course lead for the University’s courses on American women’s history, the early American republic, and the 1960s. With a graduate degree in American history, she specializes in nineteenth-century American women’s history, Art and Humanities, and pop culture. She serves as chair of Purdue University Global’s Arts and Humanities GEL Committee, and has presented and / or published on the topics of general education literacies and course level assessments, digital literacy, American women’s education, and the presentation of women in the media.
Session Type
20-Minute Session
All Audiences

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