I am reading The Innovative University by Christensen and Eyring and am totally fascinated by the Learning Model example provided in the book. In the Learning Model, students are held responsible for their own learning. They are given some type of assignment prior to class that requires them to learn about a concept. This might be reading an article, researching a topic, reading a textbook section, working some problems, etc. Students also might engage in conversation about the topic prior to class to share what they have learned about the topic with each other. Class time is then devoted to application of the concept to the real world. After the class session, students are asked to reflect on what they have learned.
I’ve been using this type of model for a while now with some level of success. Once students get past the shock of a class that doesn’t conform to “normal”, they tend to enjoy the class and learn the topics more deeply. The trick seems to be in changing student expectations about the classroom. It seems as if BYU-Idaho has done a great job of changing student expectations. They provide both faculty and student orientation and training on the Learning Model and have a culture of accountability, both for students and faculty.
Reading the book and researching the model is causing me to think more carefully about lesson plans. Absent the culture shift like that at BYU-Idaho, how can I move students toward a shift in expectations about my class and then about their future classes? If I can move students toward accepting responsibility for their learning in my class, will they apply this to future classes, even when it’s not a requirement of the class?