Student Responsibility for Learning

Originally posted on May 17, 2011 by Brian Beatty

Who is responsible for student learning?

Teacher? University or School? Student? Parent? Sponsors?

We all know it depends greatly on the situation, and that responsibility for learning is shared among all the stakeholders. In graduate education, those stakeholders are primarily three: student, teacher, and school/program (curriculum control).

One way many instructors fulfill their responsibility is by dictating student behavior in ways that should bring about learning. Read this, write that, do this or that, etc. Students fulfill their responsibilities in part by doing what the instructor tells them to do. In basic schooling, this is expected and may be largely necessary due to the innate naivete of most young learners.

In graduate school, this high level of instructor-control (and the assumption of majority responsibility for student learning) may be misplaced. Students at this level should be more self-directed and more aware of specific learning strategies that work well for themselves. Instructors should be more resource-oriented, directing students as much as needed, but no moreso than needed … acting more as coaches than directors.

HyFlex supports this less-centered role for the instructor by providing multiple ways of particpating in course learning activities. The HyFlex course design says nothing about the way multiple perspectives are represented or supported in the specific content and/or activities used in a course, but does encourage a variety in ways that students can access content and complete course activities. When a variety of technologies are used to participate, it is very likely that alternative presentations of course content and interactions that support learning are used. Variety may be increased because of the nature of delivery. For example, a face to face class discussion is a different experience than a synchronous online discussion, which is a different experience than an asynchronous threaded online discussion.

When alternatives are presented to students, and the students are given control over selecting their alternative, student control of learning is increased. And with increased control goes increased responsibility. HyFlex delivery leads to increased student responsibilty for learning.

Are your students ready for that?

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