Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Teacher vs Learner Centered Learning

I'm typically the person in the room who uses words that end with '-centric', ego-centric & exo-centric are personal faves as well as user-centric. Before coming to UDC, I facilitated a yearlong blended learning fellowship [view their screencasts], I am often caught talking about learner-centric activities.

I often think that most educators 'teach they way they were taught'. When transitioning to an online setting, this is academic suicide. We must take the view of the learner when creating lectures, designing activities, and developing assessments.

Some of the literature uses the word "connectedness" to describe the paradigm shift away from teacher-centered instruction.

Screen shot 2010-04-23 at 12.38.57 PM.png One of the reasons I chose the book "Blended Learning in Higher Education" was to highlight the need for community and connectivity in an online environment.

More than a technology book, it delves into issues of pedagogy in the online classroom and provides a 3 point framework to follow called the "Community of Inquiry". [view PPT]

While not covered in the book, the term 'blended learning' does not embody the 'learner-centric' paradigm...it's teacher-centric:) I won't argue against it, but food for thought.

Taken from the publisher's website, the book has the following main areas:
  • Outlines seven blended learning redesign principles
  • Explains the professional development issues essential to the implementation of blended learning designs
  • Presents six illustrative scenarios of blended learning design
  • Contains practical guidelines to blended learning redesign
  • Describes techniques and tools for engaging students
From all accounts, fellows did find the book helpful. Moreover, they agreed that building a course in a blended manner was a great way to redesign their course; allowing for new ideas to be implemented into an existing curriculum. Here’s another nice article on the paradigm shift from instructional vs. learning paradigm.

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