ERG SES H 12, Arts and Languages in Education
Contemporary conception of learning as knowledge construction have been as a source for a change in teaching in higher education more towards learning-centred. The lecturer is the key person who designs the learning environment which should support students’ learning. At the same time there are several barriers which can prevent learning-centred approach – traditions, work load, management of work and the number of students.
Postareff and Lindblom-Ylänne (2008) defined approaches to teaching as strategies teachers adopt for their teaching’ (p. 110) and two broad teaching approaches emerged from their data: learning-focused and content-focused approach. They analysed these two categories in detail and found ten aspects of teaching defined as learning- or content-focused after examining the purpose of teaching practice. Gregory and Jones (2009) also analysed university lecturers’ patterns of behaviour and found that lecturers’ main concern was to maintain their professional competence while adapting with environmental conditions. They purposed the typology of strategies (approaches) of teaching: strategy of distancing, adapting, clarifying and relating, which were described by using two continua: people-focused or ideas-focused and structured or flexible.
Trigwell, Prosser and Waterhouse (1999) found that teachers’ approaches to teaching and students’ approaches to learning are linked. However, based on metadata analysis (Beaten et al 2010), it is impossible to state that certain learning environments direct students to employ deep or surface approach. Assessment is considered to be an important aspect of teaching process and it should support student learning. Some authors (Rowantree 1997, Ramsden 2003, Biggs, Tang 2007, Svinicki, McKeachie 2011) who describe teaching and learning in universities consider assessment an important activity, which actually defines, what and how students learn. Assessment can be seen in two different ways - assessment method or task as a part of learning process where the aim is to support students’ learning or assessment method or task as an instrument to measure student learning at the end of teaching process (Gipps 2012). A large amount of research has been conducted on the field of learning environment (included assessment) and student learning (Beaten et al 2010). Joughin (2010) remains critical towards the descriptions of research context of these studies and argues that it is actually uncertain whether the students apply surface approach (e.g. in case of tests) because assessment method requires it, or because the students perceive the test material as fact-based. Joughin (2010) also points out that many studies do not describe research context enough and claims that many of the studies in this area ‘fail to provide important details of their context’ (p. 314).
Based on the aforesaid, it is necessary to study students’ learning environments more deeply.
The aim of this study to analyse learning environment and lecturers’ approach to teaching in one particular course.
1) What aspects of teaching university lecturers’ point out if they talk about teaching in one particular course?
2) Are these aspects of teaching more close to learning- or content-focused approach?
1. Baeten, M., Kyndt, E., Struyven, K., Dochy, F. (2010). Using student-centred learning environments to stimulate deep approaches to learning: Factors encouraging or discouraging their effectiveness. Educational Research Review, 5, 243-260 2. Biggs, J. & Tang, C. (2007). Teaching for Quality Learning at University. Open University Press. 3. Gipps, C. V. (2012). Towards a theory of educational assessment. Routledge. 4. Gregory, J., Jones, R. (2009). ‘Maintaining Competence’: A Grounded Theory Typology of Approaches to Teaching in Higher Education. Higher Education, 57:6 pp. 769-785. 5. Joughin, G. (2010). The hidden curriculum revisited: a critical review of research into the influence of summative assessment on learning. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 35:3, 335-345. 6. Kvale, S. Brinkmann, S. (2009). InterViews: learning the craft of qualitative research interviewing (2nd ed.). Sage Publications. 7. Postareff, L., Lindblom-Ylänne, S. (2008). Variation in teachers’ descriptions of teaching: Broadening the understanding of teaching in higher education. Learning and Instruction 18, 109-120. 8. Ramsden, P. (2003). Learning to Teach in Higher Education (2nd ed.). London: Routledge Falmer. 9. Rowantree, D. (1987). Assessing Students: How Shall We Know Them? London: Kogan Page. 10. Ryan, G., Bernard, H. R. (2003). Techniques to identify themes. Field Methods, 15:1, 85-109. 11. Svinicki, M., McKeachie, W. J. (2011). McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers. 13th ed. Wadsworth Cengage Learning. 12. Trigwell, K., Prosser, M., Waterhouse, F. (1999). Relations between teachers’ approaches to teaching and students’ approaches to learning. Higher Education. 37:57-70.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
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