#SGM15 Developing Student-Centred Learning

Together we can make learning happen! 

Our Learning Outcomes are: Managing the learning environment through a student-centred approach; Effective interaction with different groups of students;· Adapting teaching styles to different learning styles of students;· Prevention and /or management of educational conflicts that may occur in the group of students.  

Rationale for our day: Interactive practice, modelling the engaging, creative and immersive student-centred practice that is argued to produce student engagement and thus better student behaviour.

SGM15 Website and Blog: http://learning.londonmet.ac.uk/epacks/dppm/index.html

Don’t forget to TWEET your blogshttps://twitter.com/hashtag/SGM15

And we can publish: www.aldinhe.ac.uk  


Welcome from Sandra Sinfield in Sibiu and Tom Burns in Buccharest

We hope you enjoy this interactive day that we have designed to model student-centred learning. If you would like to contact us – our details are:

Tom Burns: t.burns@londonmet.ac.uk

Sandra Sinfield: s.sinfield@londonmet.ac.uk  

1: Introductions and scene setting: Re-discovering our passion:

  1. Ice-breaker:
    1. Individually: Re-call: ‘best ever’ learning or teaching experience: what was it? Why was it so successful?
    2. In pairs/groups: introduce yourselves to each other and share your best ever teaching/learning experiences
    3. SHARE your good ideas!!

2: Promoting friendship groups and Communities of Practice within the student group: Role Play and Simulations – because learning is talking, thinking doing.   The Nuclear Bunker:

  3: Seeding discussion: modelling the social-constructivist nature of knowledge: Image Mediated Dialogue: seeding discussion through images.

IMD in action: Participants choose an image that represents:

‘Modern Students and the impact on LTA’:

  • In writing: 1) describe the picture; 2) say why it answers the question for ‘you’
  • In triads: each one explains their reasons for choosing their picture – the others listen – and can make additional comments; the initial speaker does not have to amend their views in the light of the other comments – but may do so if they wish
  • Plenary: de-construct the activity – discuss how it might be utilised in participant’s own practice.

Reflection Point:

  • What have been the highlights?
  • What have been the rough spots?
  • What do we now understand?
  • What do we still not understand?
  • Whose voices didn’t we hear? Why?
  • What next?
  • Extension: getting published: http://www.aldinhe.ac.uk/home.html

  Alternative activity: Topic Mediated Dialogue: Structuring discussion through seeded dialogue. TMD in action: Three controversial statements about HE – discuss in pairs – then values are deduced and discussed:

  • Talk: In twos or threes, talk about the topics below in as free and wide ranging a way as possible for twenty minutes.
  • Reflect: After 20-mins: Each person has to draw a representation of one person in their group.
  • Present: Show and discuss the representations.
  • Whole class plenary: What have we done – why – how might you use in your own practice?

Discussion topic: Cheating – friend – foe – scapegoat: How does the notion of cheating help you think about and understand University Learning, Teaching and Assessment? What does it say about a University’s purpose – the what, the why and the how of Higher Education? 

  • What does it say to you about learning?
  • About teaching?
  • About the relationship between students, teachers and the university?
  • About the wider social and cultural context we’re working in?
  • About the purpose of higher education?
  • About assessment design?

4: Developing Online Learning and Collaboration

At LondonMet we have a focus on ‘blended learning’ – and have developed a staff-facing resource that scaffolds staff development in re LTA in a digital world, the eMatrix:


Please, feel free to search the CELT eMatrix for articles relevant to your interests and practice.

For example, following links to Collaborative Learning would take you to here: http://www.celtelearning.org/expertise/detail/what-is-collaborative-learning.

In-class: this is how we developed ‘digital literacies’ and collaboration both online and off with our students:

4: Optional extra: Write to Learn – your first BLOG POST: Explore writing as a learning process via:

  • In-session Writing activity that de-constructs writing three ways
  • Participants will be set the task of writing an ‘answer’ to a  question in just ten minutes – and simultaneously writing why they are not writing we then reflect:
    • What did that feel like? How might that compare to student feelings about writing? How can we harness positive feelings and diminish the impact of negative feelings?
    • Why did you stop writing? What are common reasons for developing writing blocks? What can we do about that?
    • What did you like either this process and/or the writing that you did? What can we take from that into our own practice?
  • Meta-reflection: what can we do with this in our own practice?
  • Alternative writing resource: Write to Learn: The role of play…

  5: Designing student-centred learning Together: Design an in-class learning activity that models a game Form FIVE or SIX groups:

  • Name: Choose a GROUP NAME 
  • Acquaint: Introduce yourselves – and your favourite GAME
  • Work: In your groups – design a lesson or game that uses the 4 cards (aim of the activity; time-length of activity; nature of student participants; wild card resource to include). THINK GAME: what are the rules? How can people score? How do they win?
  • Write: Use the THINK-PITCH slide to shape your pitch (10 minutes)
  • Pitch: Each group has to explain their GAME/LESSON and how to teach it
  • Meta-reflection: What can we take from this into our own practice?

Draws on: Produce a Learning Game: http://playthinklearn.net/?p=357

Examples from Egypt: http://blog.mahabali.me/blog/pedagogy/games-pedagogy/excited-about-student-prototypes/

For other student-centred approaches: See Part Two of our online programme: https://lmudppum.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/sgm15-blog-2-a-student-centred-approach/  

6: Re-visit initial semester or year plans In the light of the day so far – each group re-visits their initial plan – and revises it – perhaps adding more examples of modern methods of teaching, learning and assessment, gleaned from the day. Each group presents their plan to the class as a whole.

7: End of day: THE ASSIGNMENT:

For online course: for each of the three 4-hour blocks – WRITE one blog post and tweet – READ three blog posts – PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT ALSO.

FINAL assignment: one elegant blog post that demonstrates engagement with the Learning Outcomes and with your peers. (300 words – can be more).-

Reading List #becomingeducational – blog for all Becoming students: https://becomingeducational.wordpress.com/ Buckets and fires – teachers’ blog http://bucketsandfires.blogspot.co.uk/ Burns, T & Sinfield, S (2004) Teaching, Learning and Study Skills: a guide for tutors, London; Sage Burns, T & Sinfield, S (2012) Essential study skills: the complete guide to success at university, London; Sage Buzan, B. & Buzan, T. (1995) The Mind Map Book BBC Creativity – The Curious Creative:  https://flipboard.com/section/the-curious-creative-b5vmw7 Jeffers, S. (1997) Feel the Fear and do it Anyway London; Century Hybrid Pedagogy blog – see especially this post on classroom design: http://www.hybridpedagogy.com/journal/discovering-natural-classrooms-hybrid-collective-learning-spaces/ Isaacs, S, Blundell, D, Foley, A, Ginsburg, N, McDonough, B, Silverstone D & Young, T (2014) Social Problems in the UK: an introduction London; Routledge Last Refuge Blogspot: http://lastrefugelmu.blogspot.co.uk/ Academic blog (and set as essential reading for all Becoming an Educationalist  students). Race, P ‘Making Learning Happen’: http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid750119352001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAAPmbRRLk~,C5G7jhYNtiexS5VyD_Z2uLViSuANsVS0&bctid=3530297533001 Robinson, K. (2006) Ken Robinson says ‘Schools kill creativity’ (speech) ONLINE: http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html accessed 10.12.10 Robinson, K. (2009) ‘Changing Education Paradigms’ (speech) ONLINE: http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_changing_education_paradigms Schmidt, Laurel. Great Teachers Don’t Take No (or Yes) for an Answer: Teaching by Asking Instead of Telling in Classroom Confidential: The 12 Secrets of Great Teachers . Portsmouth: Heinemann, 2004.  #SGM15: http://learning.londonmet.ac.uk/epacks/dppm/index.html Shuh, John Hennigar. Teaching Yourself to Teach With Objects in The Educational Role of the Museum: Second Edition . New York: Routledge, 2001, pgs. 80-91. Study Hub: www.londonmet.ac.uk/studyhub (student-facing support website) Teach Thought blog: http://www.teachthought.com/ Teaching Without Walls: http://www.teachingwithoutwalls.com/ – see especially: The Liquid Syllabus: http://www.teachingwithoutwalls.com/2014/08/the-liquid-syllabus-are-you-ready.html Wheeler, S Educational Theory blog: http://steve-wheeler.blogspot.co.uk/


3 thoughts on “#SGM15 Developing Student-Centred Learning

  1. Well we had the first session today, Tuesday 26th May. The participants were wonderful – warm, clever, funny, engaged – and with so much good practice of their own to share.
    Everyone brought energy. enthusiasm and commitment – and even when the activities were pushing the boundaries – there was trust – and a push to make it work – to connect.
    We all worked really hard today – and I feel that I have made new friends – and hopefully interested more people in ALDinHE we want this perspective at our Conference and in our journal!
    And the extra kindnesses – the interpreters – my guardian angels – making sure that I was okay… The wonderful participant who – worried about her own husband in hospital – brought me plasters because I’d cut my finger – and Donnatella (I may have got the name wrong – sorry!) – who brought me strawberries from her garden for breakfast and sent me home with a food parcel in case I was too nervous to eat.
    So, so glad I came!!

  2. Thank you Sandra for the inspirational time spending at your course. I had some powerful insights about being focused on student and not on information and also about myself.
    Here I stopped writing for a while… 🙂 … because I realize that this course broke some rigid frames of my mind. It will be a challenge for me to re-frame the power of virtual learning and start blogging. Ready or not, here I am!

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