Student Centred Learning

I particularly like this diagram, found in one of Malcolm Murray’s presentations for Durham University:

student-centred-learning

 

See full presentation, and a useful definition of ‘Student Centred Learning’ here:

The term student-centered learning refers to a wide variety of educational programs,learning experiences, instructional approaches, and academic-support strategies that are intended to address the distinct learning needs, interests, aspirations, or cultural backgrounds of individual students and groups of students. To accomplish this goal, schools, teachers, guidance counselors, and other educational specialists may employ a wide variety of educational methods, from modifying assignments and instructional strategies in the classroom to entirely redesigning the ways in which students are grouped and taught in a school.

An important piece of thinking “Students experience of the institutional technology they are asked  to use should match the usability of the technology they choose to use.” Although we turned this on its head with Manipulating Media module, and used the technology the students used, and encouraged them to use it from a more academic perspective.

Students typically find that their HE tech provision is a step down from what they have had at previous levels, and the BODGIT project highlighted both poor practices within HE institutions (buy the software and scarper, leaving staff to learn how to use it, as it slips down their list of priorities), and a resistance amongst staff – which can be overcome by ensuring that staff understand what the software can do for them (in terms of time/money, typically), or for their learners. Much more complex than those few sentences would indicate!

See the associated Project Blog.

Generational Reactions to Technology?

I’m no great believer in the idea that people are limited/automatically skilled by age… but it is about age/learning/what you are exposed to. CODEC have purchased a set of Google Glass, so I was interested to see this video, as I’ll suspect I’ll react quite similarly as I try and get used to it (as Pete did in #MediaLit14) – and these guys raise some great questions about the why/how:

and for a bit of balance, they provided a range of old technology to teenagers (some of who adapted better than others to playing these games):

Postgraduates: All about employability?

girl-on-trampoline-1399294-m

Interesting… I studied what I studied (although it was by research, rather than taught) because I was interested, and when following interest – more interesting opportunities open up:

“I feel guilty for finding it all so interesting,” a student on a taught master’s in history told me recently. My surprise must have been palpable because she went on to explain: “It’s just with the expense of it all, you have to tell people you’re doing it to get a job; otherwise it seems like an indulgence, really.”

Read full article.

Teaching of Value?

Education

Teaching is the lifeblood/energy so far as I’m concerned in universities (hence why I was promoted to Senior Fellow in Learning and Teaching in my last job), so this is quite disappointing:

Amid concerns that promotion in the sector is too heavily based on research excellence, the report, commissioned by the Higher Education Academy, found that just 28.4 per cent of academics have been rewarded by their institutions for their commitment to teaching or student support.

Read the full article, or the report.

More hands-on learning please?

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1330423

Calling for more action-based learning, including app-creation?:

Universities have failed to react to changes in the labour market that render some traditional business teaching methods defunct, according to an expert in entrepreneurship.

That is the view of Colin Mason, professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Strathclyde, who said that a more hands-on approach to teaching entrepreneurship was required to prepare students for “the new world of work”, which is increasingly reliant on the self-employed and agency staff.

“Many universities have not cottoned on to the fact that the labour market is changing, and changing very rapidly. Blue-chip companies are not picking up as many graduate students as they used to,” he said.

“Currently, entrepreneurship is taught from far too academic a point of view. A lot of what is masquerading as entrepreneurship [education] is actually just teaching about what it is. It is often taught from a managerial [perspective] and is too focused on what big companies do.”

Read full story.

#LoveHE Award

Encouraging to see recognition of good teaching & learning (rather than just research):

Colleagues laud devotion to duty in our #loveHE competition to find sector stars. John Elmes writes

A tutor technician with an “outstanding” work ethic who has successfully bridged the gap between two key university roles has been named the winner of the Times Higher Education #loveHE Unsung Hero Twitter competition.

Jonathan Hunt, who works on the University for the Creative Arts’ BA in animation, was described as a “can-do guy” whose “strength lies in his empathy for students and their learning. Nothing is too much trouble for [him].”

Read full story.

The History Boys and Girls #timeshighered

An interesting article here. I definitely think that students are not all fully appreciative of the opportunities they get, and many could do more, but is there too much of a glut of universal education?

o one expects anything comparable to happen now. Most schoolchildren in the UK and the US show – if we admit the facts frankly and interpret the exam results objectively – little appreciation of their opportunities. Typically, they emerge from school with lamentably low standards of literacy and numeracy, and no taste for prolonging intellectually strenuous forms of leisure. If they go on to further educational experiences, they are more likely to choose vocational training than lectures unrewarded, except for the sheer thrill of learning, on the Salian and Hohenstaufen emperors. How did this collapse of educational ambition happen? Why did ordinary people’s appetite for learning ebb? Why did excellent autodidacts disappear?

I’m sure readers will tell me that these changes are the effects of easier, cheaper access to competitive forms of pabulum, drivel, belly-laughs and mundane amusements; or that the fault lies with bad schools; or with a system that denies teachers resources and freedom; or with prevailing consumerism and materialism, which condemn children to share their parents’ and rulers’ dreary values and narrow aspirations. I suspect, however, that the real problem is deeper and more secret – so shocking that we barely dare think it, let alone mention it out loud: maybe the entire project of creating universal, compulsory, free education was misguided. And maybe the destruction of real, heartfelt demand for learning has been one of its consequences.

Read full story.