Discussion of teaching and learning as an academic, scholarly endeavor has become an acceptable conversation on college campuses. A shift is beginning to take place whereby the scholarship of teaching and learning is now being taken seriously. We are making progress in higher education by making undergraduate education intentional, thus moving toward a learner-centered paradigm.
HIGHER ED TEACHING STRATEGIES FROM MAGNA PUBLICATIONS
It’s not always easy to differentiate between critical pedagogy, active learning, and the learner- or learning-centered approaches. Each is predicated on the notion of student
One of the biggest changes in recent years has been the adoption of student-centered instruction. Here are a few tips for taking this approach to teaching in your online courses:
Of the many lessons learned from the early years of distance education one of the most persistent to remain, and thankfully so, is the fact that you cannot simply pluck an instructor out of the classroom, plug him into an online course, and expect him to be effective in this new and challenging medium.
At its heart, The World is Open: How Web Technology is Revolutionizing Education is based on the premise that “anyone can now learn anything from anyone at anytime.”(p. 7)
Avid golfers and baseball players often talk about the elusive “sweet spot.” Find it, and you can make the ball go exactly where you want it to go, almost effortlessly. There’s a sweet spot to teaching, too. And, just like in sports, it takes a little experimentation to find and is a thing of beauty when you get it right.
Teaching and learning support professionals, particularly those who must perform miracles as a “Department of One,” can have one of the most challenging jobs on campus. They not only support the course design, content delivery strategies, technology integration, and training/orientation for faculty and students in online learning programs (asynchronous and synchronous formats), but they also support all other teaching/learning needs for classroom, blended, and any other teaching environment. This professional may be an instructional designer, an educational technologist, or very often, a designated faculty member with some or all of these skills.
It’s not easy to get unanimous agreement on anything these days, but on this most educators can agree:
- An instructor’s personality impacts student learning;
- More is learned in a class than just course content; and
- It can be difficult to show your personality in an online course.
The current conditions for leadership development in academe are less than optimal. More often than not, academic leaders come from faculty ranks having been asked to assume positions as department heads/chairs or even deans having had no previous administrative experience. The individual has opportunities for development, but not on any long-term or ongoing basis.
During the past 10 years or so, higher education institutions have made strides in transitioning from an instructor-centered approach to a learner-centered approach to teaching. These strides, both large and small, have transformed the college classroom environment to provide students with greater opportunities for active learning, collaboration, and engagement.