Student-Centered Approaches

“Students at the Center explores the roles that Student-Centered approach can play to deepen learning and prepare young students to meet the demands and engage with variety of opportunities”.

In Advanced Instruction method Course, I read a lot about Student Centered learning and the benefits of applying student centered approach.

I came to the conclusion that it’s super beneficial to use Student Centered learning approach.

I teach Semiconductor; Power Electronics Course. These courses need a lot of hands on and the exposure from Industry. To some extent, I do use student centered approach but I can definitely change a lot.

Before I start any unit, I let students find the application of that particular unit. Then I provide them lecture in my second class. They do Simulation/Lab at the end and they demonstrate to me what they’ve learnt in that particular course. Most of them get a good understanding of that particular unit. They do peer learning to some extent as well.

At the end of the term they undertake a small project where they encounter all the challenges and limitations of problem solving that they may encounter in their future careers and expose their level of knowledge and experience. By using Project based approach, students are encouraged to become independent learners, critical thinkers and lifelong learners.

Here is the list which I can apply/increase activity in future to use more of Student Centered Learning approach:

  • Simulation Based Learning
  • Collaborative Learning
  • Inquiry–Based Learning
  • Problem-based Learning
  • Peer Learning
  • Project Based Learning
  • Case studies

Student –centered approach will be more enjoyable if it’s used wisely. Students will be more engaged with their courses and also develop good relationship with the instructor.

Webquests

Here is a link to a webquest that I’m still developing http://zunal.com/webquest.php?w=273678 and here is link which I can used as my platform: http://zunal.com/webquest.php?w=157443.

After my research on the topic, I do know more now about webquests. I would definitely like to create one for my students. A webquest is an Internet based inquiry – oriented learning activity to engage students more efficiently and effectively.

I teach Power Electronics and this is an advanced level course. It will be very beneficial to create a webquest for this type of course where the resources are very limited.

I came to know that Webquest can be the best approach to apply student centered learning. The webquest generally six components:

  1. Introduction;
  2. Task;
  3. Sources;
  4. Description;
  5. Evaluation and
  6. Conclusion.

If these six categories are well defined than an Instructor can successfully apply student centered learning approach to a topic. A Webquest would help students to develop transversal competencies, such as working in teams, completing oral and written presentations, and analyzing and synthesizing information.

There are three websites that I’ve identified, which can help me in developing my webquest:

http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/

http://ecee.colorado.edu/~bart/book/book/title.htm

http://www.rapidtables.com/electric/electrical_basic.htm

Power Electronics is a rapidly growing field.  By creating a Webquest for this course, it will help students to work more independently without “waiting for an Instructor led information to arrive”.

I would say that Instructor can improve student’s retention, assimilation and understanding through a Webquest. In conclusion, I would say that the transmitted knowledge is much more likely to be retained than through traditional methods because the students have made a personal effort to read, understand and develop a concept.

Flipping the classroom

Flipping the classroom is a great concept. A flipped classroom experience has the potential to engage students where they are and with what they are interested in through a good classroom model.

Effective classroom flipping is not as simple as the name implies. It actually puts more responsibility on both the teacher and the students. In my teaching, I used some of the flipping technique.

Here are some of the opportunities/benefits using flipping the classroom techniques for students and teacher:

Students:

  • Students will take more responsibility for their own learning.
  • The teacher is not the centre of attention, but instead, serves as a guide or facilitator of learning.
  • Students who will be absent due to illness or some other reasons, they don’t get left behind.
  • Students will be engaged in their learning.
  • Students will not struggle with completing homework because they “forgot” how.
  • Students will be actively working with their peers.

Teachers:

  • Teacher will spend more time supporting students with practice.
  • Teacher will spend class time focusing on challenging issues rather than feeling the need to cover all    the basics.
  • Teacher will spend less time on classroom management of student behaviours.
  • Teachers will not spend extra hours tutoring and re-explaining to students who didn’t understand the class lesson.
  • Teacher may find it more engaging and enjoyable to spend class time interacting with students, rather than giving a lecture.
  • Teacher and student relationship will get strong.

I can definitely use flipping classroom techniques in all of my courses because all of courses need more real world experience rather than remembering all of the techniques. They need more hand-ons and in this way they can apply different techniques rather than just doing whatever is provided to them by their teacher.

Student-Centered Approach

http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/10/why-student-centered-learning-can-change-the-world/

I had an opportunity to read a very interesting and informative article.The article describes a typical resource crunched learning environment where the instructors are disenchanted with the ways of teaching. The students are restricted to learn by old methodology and outdated technology. The educational system described, tests kids on their ability to recall information and demonstrate mastery of a narrow set of skills-double downed on the view that students are material to be processed, programmed and quality-tested.

The article becomes interesting when it describes a new teaching method applied by Correa, who is tired of same old style of teaching. He wanted to apply a new way of teaching. He started to read books and searching ideas online. Soon he stumbled upon a video describing the work of Sugata Mitra, a professor of educational technology at Newcastle University in the UK. After researching and reading, he applied this new approach to the kids living in this slum area of Mexico. With his new way of teaching, the kids from slum area not only improved grades in most subjects but some students also topped in the country.

After reading this article, it made me think that:

  • The children have a lot of potential. If we give responsibility to the children, they can get better understanding of a topic instead of just listening in the class and learning from the old ways (lecture, memorization).
  • Students  can construct by their own meaning by talking, listening, writing, reading and reflecting on content, ideas, issues and concerns.
  • Students can  build strong relationships.
  • Students will be confident about their learning. They will be able to take more challenges in their future.

We as a teacher can do the following to help our students:

  • The teacher has to act as facilitator.
  • The teacher has to work with students to determine the learning strategies.
  • The student is given direct access to multiple sources of information and helped to solve a problem/task by making principled and informed use of these resources.
  • Organize and present information to students.