Beyond Learner-Centered: Becoming learner-driven to empower student ownership of the learning experience

Concurrent Session 3
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

Beyond learner-centered, is learner-driven design.

Learner-driven design empowers learners to shape their learning experiences. Because of this, it is challenging to scale learner-driven experiences.

In this presentation, you will learn about: 1) key learner-driven principles; 2) implications for course design; and 3) scaling learner-driven design in online courses.

Extended Abstract

Beyond Learner-Centered: Becoming learner-driven to empower student ownership of the learning experience

Learner-centered design enhances the experiences of students by recognizing individual differences amongst students and attempting to accommodate for those differences to inspire internal motivation.

Despite the focus on the learner as an individual, learner-centered design is nevertheless driven by the teaching and learning aims of the instructor. That is, however much students might be able to shape activities and assignments towards their individual needs, strengths, and preferences, ultimately the learning aims are the same for all students as dictated by the instructor.

Learner-driven design moves beyond mere individual expression and attempts to create learning experiences that are actually shaped by and responsive to the individual needs, strengths, and preferences of learners. In short, learner-driven teaching and learning is divergent, as the learners decide what is interesting, dictate learning goals, and design paths of completion.

In short, learner-driven design requires that students have a say in, control over, and opportunities for meaningful contributions to their learning experiences.

Owing to the necessity of learner-driven design to be responsive to learners, it is particularly challenging to create effective learner-driven environments online. It is even more challenging to scale these environments.

Therefore, the challenge to becoming learner-driven online is understanding how to apply learner-driven principles and practices into the course design process in a scalable way.

This presentation will: 1) highlight key learner-driven principles; 2) discuss how these principles challenge and overturn the traditional roles of students and instructors in the classroom; 3) present examples of simple ways to make traditional learning experiences more learner-driven, and 4) showcase a platform that can help institutions scale learner-driven design.

This presentation will help participants:

  1. Understand the difference between learner-centered design and learner-driven design
  2. Explain the importance of student-ownership in the course design and learning process
  3. Evaluate how learner-driven an institution's courses are currently
  4. Create a plan to include more learner-driven practices into the course design process