Learner-Centered Instruction: A Look At Recent Research on Fixing the Learning Gap

As universities look for opportunities to improve learning outcomes for nontraditional students, to personalize learning experiences, and to close the degree attainment gap, it’s necessary that they consider traditional pedagogies. In addition to data-driven instructional design, which we’ve written about from a number of angles on our resources page, one pedagogical adjustment getting a lot of attention is learner-centered instruction. After all, personalized learning for today’s students is unlikely to result from yesterday’s teaching practices.

As Marsha Lovett, director of the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University, has said, “the teacher-centered perspective does little to reveal whether students are learning.” Lovett argues in her essay How to Move from First-Person to Learner-Centered Teaching that teacher-centered learning misses opportunities to “let students be the heroes of their own stories.”

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