Learner-Centered Teaching: A Checklist

Decorative: "Learned Centered" in backets

 

"Is My Teaching Learner-centered?" (online article) provides a checklist for assessing " characteristics regularly associated with learner-centered teaching."

Characteristics of learner-centered teaching:

  • "Does the course contain activities that put students in positions to learn from and with each other?"
  • "Are students encouraged to discover things for themselves, or does the teacher usually tell them what they should know and do?"
  • "Are there policies and practices in the course that promote the development of autonomous, self-directed learning skills?"
  • "Is student input solicited on course topics, policies, assessment methods, and class activities?"
  • "Is collaboration emphasized more than competition in the course?"
  • "Is what’s being learned, why it’s being learned, and how it can be learned discussed more often than grades?"
  • "Are students voluntarily participating or do they sit silently until called on to answer questions and make comments? Does their nonverbal behavior indicate they’d rather not speak?"
  • "Do students talk more than the teacher during class discussions? Do students respond to each other or only to the teacher?"
  • "Is it a course where questions play a more prominent role than answers?"
  • "Are students being taught how to answer their own questions?"
  • "Are mistakes handled as learning opportunities for the teacher and the students?"
  • "Are skills like critical thinking and problem-solving taught explicitly?"
  • "Is the teacher modeling how expert learners handle problems, find answers, deal with failure, and celebrate success?"
  • "Are students being given the opportunity to develop self- and peer-assessment skills?"
  • "Do students have the chance to practice the principles of constructive feedback (when they provide input about the course and/or about the work of their peers)?"
  • "Do students regularly comment on evaluations that it was a course where they had to think? Or, was a course where they had to teach themselves (meaning the teacher held them responsible for learning)?"
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