Summary of Week 1 of Introduction to Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (FutureLearn – UNSW Sydney)
There are many theories on how students learn. The key theories and educational approaches that shape this course are:
- Constructivism. The process where students learn by constructing knowledge and meaning from their experiences.
- Student-centred learning is a basic principle of constructivism where the students’ needs and interests are the starting point. Students have an active role and responsibility for learning while teachers facilitate.
- Deep, surface and strategic approaches. Students who adopt a deep approach to learning will seek to understand meaning, while students who adopt a surface approach see learning as coping with tasks in order to pass assessment. Strategic learners use both approaches to achieve their goals.
- Experiential and work-integrated learning. Experiential learning is an ongoing process where experience is generated through our ongoing engagement with the world. It is one of the foundations of work-integrated learning programs, where theory and practical knowledge is intentionally integrated.
- Reflective practice. There is no agreed definition, but one is deliberately thinking about action with a view to its improvement.