Professor Michael Prosser’s (University of Hong Kong) seminar on ‘research on student learning in higher education’ described key variations in the way students approach their studies in higher education, how those approaches relate to teaching and learning contexts and perception of those contexts, and to student learning outcomes. His viewpoint of student centered learning is based on understanding the student perspective and their perception of context of the learning.
Michael spoke about the innate differences between students culturally; these factors influence motivations at higher education. As educators we need to be aware of the diversity of our students. Also the surface and deep approaches taken by students towards their learning is situationally related. Michael gave the example of teaching physics to engineers, if the student engineers can see a direct application of the need for physics in engineering then their motivation is increased.
The importance of reflection within teaching is vital; he stated that “The search for the best way of teaching is a wasteful task”. Teaching and learning strategies that work well should be constantly reflected upon, and continuous enhancements made for the future. His method for developing learning outcomes is based on the following questions:
1. What do I want the student to learn?
2. What activities should the student do in order to learn?
3. Have the students learned (did this strategy/activity work?)
4. To what standard did the students learn from the activity?
This triggered me to reflect on the module Instructional Design and eAuthoring again. What do I want the students to learn – (how to design and develop learning objects). What activities they will undertake to achieve this (group work, team building exercises, design and planning workshops, development [HTML, rapid elearning development etc]). To find out if students are learning will require constant feedback and communication from and with the students to gauge if the learning strategies and activities are working.
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