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Learner centered teaching and active learning strategies

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  • Written by: H.O.D. Noura Al-Bedaiwi


    Learner-Centered Teaching and Active Learning Strategies

  • Learner-centered teaching focuses on learners acquisition of knowledge

    and practices. It emphasizes the processes learners practice to analyze data

    and facts within themselves and within social contexts, which is sometimes

    controlled by the teacher in class.

    Active learning indulges learners to be responsible for their own learning.

    They are no longer empty bowls to be filled with content; they are thinkers

    and even instructors sometimes to their self and peers. Active learning as

    James states acknowledges that a course leader has certain knowledge and that they give thought as to how to present that knowledge in a meaningful

    manner that guides the learner without necessarily providing the actual


    Metacognitive, cooperative, and collaborative learning approaches are

    used in a learner centered teaching. Such approaches use active learning

    strategies, such as:

    Think-Pair-Share: learners sit in pairs and discuss a question/a problem

    raised by the teacher, then share their answer with their class.

    Carousel: learners make projects in groups about the topic discussed during

    class, such as colours and numbers, providing clear instructions and

    materials to use and guiding them through the process when needed. The

    teacher can prompt questions while working on the projects or when

    learners share their project with their class mates.

    K-W-L Chart: the task can be assigned at the beginning of a lesson where

    learners should write what they know about the current topic, what they

    would like to know and at the end of it, they can write what they have

    learned that day.

    OneNote Microsoft Program: using OneNote to work individually, in pairs

    or in groups to complete a task, such as discussing pictures to deliver

    findings to class or answering a multiple-choice question where they match

    letters or words to pictures.

    Technology in class endorses active learning in a learner-centered teaching;

    some teachers might use applications, like I Can Write to encourage

    learners to participate in class. It is a vital tool to involve learners in their

  • own learning in class and can also be used to assess students development

    and needs.

    Even though using technology might help teachers to engage learners, it

    might not be enough to encourage them to participate equally in class.

    Center of Excellence in Teaching department in the university of California


    Learner-centered education requires a focus on student learning, but we

    also know that not all learners are equally invested. Regardless of how we

    teach and what technology we bring into the classroom or outside the

    classroom, we need to be proactive in our quest to assess through various

    forms of feedback the extent to which our investment is working and

    meeting our goals.2

    Active learning strategies is part of the learner-center teaching approach.

    They conjoin in context to facilitate the learning process. Teachers can

    design tasks using different approaches and strategies where learners be

    the vital factor where discussions, experiments and finding solutions and

    concrete results are the paved path to learning.

  • References

    1. The Differences Between Active and Passive Learning. James Tweed

    2014: http://www.mycoracle.com/news/opinions/differences-between-


    2. Center for Excellence in Teaching. Learner-Centered Teaching. University

    of Southern California Module 1.3. P.3.

    3. http://timgauntley.blogspot.com/