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The move to student-centric learning: Progress and pitfalls

The move to student-centric learning: Progress and pitfalls

MacKinnon, Lachlan and Bacon, Liz (2015) The move to student-centric learning: Progress and pitfalls. In: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on e-Learning (ICEL 2015). ACPIL (Academic Conferences and Publishing International Ltd), Reading, UK, pp. 188-195. ISBN 9781910810255 ISSN 2048-8882 (Print), 2048-8890 (Online)

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At ICEL 2014 in Valparaiso the authors presented a paper on the importance of developing metacognition in students, to support changes and developments in pedagogy and learning models. Following on from that paper, we now consider and present outcomes from three projects reflecting different stages of the learning continuum, with which we are engaged.

Firstly, the Computing at Schools project in the UK has been running for over five years, and has been successful in gaining the support of the UK government for the introduction of Computer Science teaching in schools at both primary and secondary levels. Critical to the success of this project is a change in the pedagogic model adopted by the schools, moving from fairly standard instructivist models for teaching in the primary schools and in teaching coding and factual information to more constructivist approaches, using flip classrooms and other TEL (technology enhanced learning) tools and techniques to help pupils develop Computational Thinking skills.

Within our own University, we have been working on a project called Greenwich Connect, which aims to provide our students with a comprehensive set of online services and facilities supporting all aspects of the student experience. As part of this project staff are encouraged to develop learning materials using TEL tools, and to adopt more constructivist and student-centric teaching approaches. Within the UK University context, we already have an excellent example of a strong constructivist, student centric teaching model in the PhD studentship. A PhD student is encouraged to investigate the body of knowledge, with appropriate advice and guidance from experienced and knowledgeable supervisors, and then to take control of their own learning process by identifying their research question, experimental model and analytical methodology. They then carry out and write up their research, with their supervisors now available as experts to be consulted at need, and produce an outcome, which, at the point of viva, proves them to be the current world expert in their field. The issues are in applying this model to large numbers of students at an earlier stage in their learning and the resourcing of the facilities required to support this.

One potential approach to deal with the issues of resourcing a student-centric approach to online learning is being investigated in the dCCD-FLITE project, an EU funded project with 7 partners from 6 European countries. The project is developing learning materials on the subject of Entrepreneurship in the IT Industry, and aims to deliver these materials to students in online courses that offer a constructivist, student-centric learning approach, with limited tutor resources and engagement. To achieve this, it allows students to self-select groups to work in, and then introduces two key learning frameworks to be used by the groups to organise and develop their learning - Concurrent Design Method, designed by NASA, and the Osterwalder Canvas.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Title of Proceedings: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on e-Learning (ICEL 2015)
Additional Information: Paper presented at the 10th International Conference on e-Learning, ICEL 2015, College of the Bahamas, Nassau, Bahamas, 25-26 June 2015
Uncontrolled Keywords: Student-centric learning, Computing at schools, MOOCs, Concurrent design, Osterwalder Canvas
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > eCentre
Faculty of Engineering & Science > School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences (CMS)
Faculty of Engineering & Science
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2022 13:07

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