Student Centered Teaching and Learning

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November 17, 2021

By Caitlin Hickcox

How can we make our classrooms more learner-friendly? Many instructors don’t often think of the answer to this question during the course of a busy semester. But sometimes, the way we’ve always done things isn’t working for our learners anymore. How do you make your classroom student-centered? This week, the CTL sat down with Nursing Assistant Instructor, Diane Andersen Sibley, to discuss her ideas on helping students learn through student-centered practices.

How would you define Student-Centered Teaching and Learning? 

Student-centered teaching entails an awareness that:

  • Each student has unique learning needs
  • Social determinants of learning are present that can positively or negatively affect each student's educational success
  • Students can succeed with the right support
  • Each student brings knowledge and experience that the instructor and other students can learn from

Why is Student-Centered Teaching and Learning important to you? 

As a nurse, each patient has unique needs, and we develop an individualized plan of care for each patient to address those needs. It seems logical that students would require similar individualized care.

What changes or differences do you notice through using Student-Centered Teaching techniques? 

Students seem to feel appreciated and supported. 

What are your top 5 Student-Centered Teaching Tips?

  • Get to know students as individuals and look for their strengths
  • Encourage student input surrounding how class time is structured
  • Encourage students to share knowledge from their own experiences
  • Promote team building. Leaving no one behind requires teamwork and students helping one another
  • Encouraging students to access academic and non-academic resources on campus

If a teacher wants to make their classroom more student-centered right away what is something they can do tomorrow? 

Get to know students, find out what their goals are and dream with them about their future.

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