Article: “Student-Centered Learning: It starts with the Teacher” – My views

I’ve always supported and believed in student-centered learning and have time and again realized that this approach can never be successful without the teacher giving up the need to control. The article throws light on a very important topic – students needing a voice in whywhat, and how learning experiences take shape.

No learner will have the motivation if they don’t know why they’re learning what they’re learning. I feel it’s very important for the teacher to clarify the relevance of whatever is being taught right at the beginning. I try to incorporate a student-centered approach by asking the students to come up with reasons why my course would be useful or how they can use it at their workplace. Even if only half the class comes up with ideas, they motivate almost the whole class.

Luckily, the courses I teach have some contents that need to be covered and some that are optional. With the optional content, I try to get a general opinion from the class regarding what they feel would be more useful to them. Having a voice in what they learn definitely motivates them.

When it comes to how the course is taught I use different methods including presentations, hands-on training and very little lecture. I find that with short courses, sometimes only 25 hours, it’s really difficult, to determine what teaching method best fits a particular class, or to offer approaches they can pick from. Being able to offer preferred teaching methods would definitely make a huge difference. Another really interesting topic the article talks about is the “Genius hour” wherein a small percentage of class time can be allotted for innovation.

Although I believe student-centered approaches are the best for 21st century learning, I always have doubts about how much control students can have in a class room.

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Article: “Student-Centered Learning: It starts with the Teacher” – My views

5 thoughts on “Article: “Student-Centered Learning: It starts with the Teacher” – My views

  1. I appreciate the way that you help the student to realize the intrinsic value of their learning by clarifying the relevance and importance of your course content and allow choice in optional content. I agree that it would help to boost student motivation. Referring back to the last class and the “introverted student”, do you see a way to poll the class that accounts for the “introvert” in the group?

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  2. Hi Shawntel! That’s a good question. Frankly, since my courses are pretty short and I do not get to spend more time one-on-one with students, I mostly try to find out from other instructors about “introverted students”. I try to approach these students and find out if they need any help or have any questions. I try my best to make it look normal and not make them feel I’m picking on them. This is the most I can do with my short courses as I do not have the luxury of spending individual office hours with students. I liked this article about introverted students http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-and-learning/introverted-students-in-the-classroom-how-to-bring-out-their-best/

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  3. ebrownorama says:

    HI Shawntel and Vijay,
    There are various tools to use if you are looking to poll students to assess informal learning. These include PollEverywhere, Google Forms, SurveyMonkey, iClicker to name a few. Each of these have advantages/challenges so the first step is to define purpose and functionality. Is it free? Does it provide the information needed? Is it anonymous or can it be tracked?
    Eva

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