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Reflecting on our teaching practice to bring about a more student-centred approach to learning and promote “deeper” learning by the students

Authors: Alan O'Donnell - Niall Delaney


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5 Moving from lecturer-centred to student-centred

When we initially reflected on the current teaching and learning in the theory elements of the Carpentry and Joinery programme, and with compiled student feedback, we found the approach to teaching and learning is lecturer-centred.

5.1 Lecturer-centred

There is an emphasis on specific information and how it can be asked in a question. There is a concentration on cognitive learning outcomes. The studentsí goal is the memorisation of information most likely on the exam. Students expect lecturers to teach them what's required to pass the test and became the passive recipients of information. A summative examination is used to assess students learning. The lessons taught are group-paced, designed for an 'average' student. The information is organised and presented by the lecturer. There is little or no facility for formative feedback within the theory teaching. While this is highlighting the elements of teacher centred learning reference, it by no means suggests that it was the only pedagogy being employed by lecturers. Blended mixes of differing strategies are used; but the curriculum, the timescale and the assessment lean towards this model.

5.2 Moving the focus

From the strategies that were developed, the teaching moved towards a student centred focus. The rationale to change the assessment was to promote a broader range of knowledge and skills. The proposed change was to promote higher order thinking skills like problem-solving, where the student had to demonstrate a greater understanding and application of knowledge than the current prescribed exam format.

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