When I think of student-centered I think student-centered vs. teacher-centered and the difference between the two. With student-centered learning, students are actively engaged in creating, understanding, and connecting to knowledge and learning. As said in the critical thinking article, “thinking is driven by questions”. In that article, love the heading, “Dead questions reflect dead minds”! “If we want thinking, we must stimulate it with questions that lead students to further questions”. This is how the students make a “student-centered environment” which in turn lets the students do most of the work.
In much of the research on this topic, it shows that in student-centered environments, there is a higher motivation to learn as students feel they have a real stake in their own learning rather than the teacher being the sole source of information.
The web course design needs to be more “student-centered”. It should be designed as a learning environment and not just a bulletin board of information. Also a more detailed syllabus is necessary for the online course. Faculty development programs geared around transitioning the f2f lectures to the online learning environment must be a priority. Scheduling time for “mental white space” in a course means allowing time for reflection and some down time for students throughout the course. (Alley 2001).
Alley mentions that we need “to rely on great teachers as pioneers and mentors”. These teachers are studying the instructional technology and applying learning science in order to enhance learning quality. Alley states that “these are the teachers we need to rely on to mentor their colleagues”. After taking ETAP687, I’m certain that I met these teachers, not only our instructor, Alex Pickett and the SLN faculty whose courses we observed, but my classmates, who I know all put in a ton of hard work to get through this course! We can’t stop now! Good luck all!
Alley, L. (2001). What makes a good online course? The administrator’s role in quality assurance of online learning. Converge, 4(11), 50, 52+, retrieved from Education Research Complete (EBSCO), November 2007.
Pelz, B (2004). (My) Three principles of effective online pedagogy. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 8.3.
The critical thinking community(2008). The role of questions in teaching, thinking, and learning. Retrieved from www.criticalthinking.org 6/25/2008.
The critical thinking community(2008). The art of redesigning instruction. http://www.criticalthinking.org/page.cfm?PageID=520&CategoryID=63 Retrieved from www.criticalthinking.org 6/29/2008.
— Geralynn (4)