Evaluating Learning Dynamics within a Landscape of Student Centred Learning

Year: 2012
Editor: Lyndon Buck, Geert Frateur, William Ion, Chris McMahon, Chris Baelus, Guido De Grande, Stijn Verwulgen
Author: Richard Morris, Tim Katz, Derek Covill, Mark Milne
Series: E&PDE
Institution: University of Brighton, United Kingdom
Section: Scientific Methods for Course Evaluation
Page(s): 337-342


One of the problems with any educational model is substantiating claims for effectiveness. Hence whilst a number of studies suggest that student centred learning (or aspects of it) is good practice, these tend towards multilevel model studies based on statistical measurement of outcomes which might be prone to bias. This study therefore aims to provide further evidence for the efficacy of student centred learning through a quantitative and non metricated analysis of the student learning experience.
The vehicle for the study is the final year Product Design degree course at the University of Brighton. The final year is significantly independent and self determined which includes traditional teaching methods as well as a number of student centred learning mechanisms providing a rich pedagogic landscape for analysis. The method of analysis is through student appraisal of their own learning process captured via ‘learning logs’, conceived originally as a method of making feedback more explicit but providing in the process a significant body of evidence showing how students are learning in this type of mixed educational environment.
This paper therefore provides a novel window into student learning and appraises learning logs as a method for pedagogic analysis. It identifies the issues that help to enable good practice in support of student centred approaches to learning and in particular emphasises the need to avoid complacency in the operation of this increasingly important educational philosophy.

Keywords: Student centred learning, pedagogy, learning logs


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