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5 Trends in Education: Transformation to 'student-centric' learning

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Student-centric learning is a pedagogical approach in which the student is the focal point of the educational system. The courses are designed to suit each child's intellectual level. In a student-centric environment, the students decide what to learn and what methodologies they would use to learn it. The teacher takes on a role of a facilitator by encouraging students to develop their skills. Some trends which drive the future of our education with respect to student-centric learning are:

Collaborative learning: This is a teaching approach where the students study a particular concept in groups of three or four. They rely on their collective understanding of the problem to arrive at a solution. This promotes communication and teamwork amongst students and helps build-up their social skills. It also trains them to resolve conflicts and accept different viewpoints of their peers. Online collaborative learning systems also exist, where the members of a particular group might be from different countries across the globe.

Flipped classrooms: Here the students view pre-recorded video lectures at home and work on exercises in the classroom. That way, the teachers can provide personalised attention to individual students based on their strengths and weaknesses. The students too, get the opportunity to replay the videos, if they have not understood a particular concept. These lectures may either be posted by instructors or they would be from educational websites. Khan Academy is a popular website which is used by some schools for this purpose.

'Student-centric' Education

Authentic Learning: In this approach, students encounter stimulating real-life problems as part of their learning process. They research and attempt to model their solutions like trained professionals would. This technique would focus on broadening the depth of creativity and innovation among students and would encourage them to think from different perspectives. Some activities that are a part of classrooms which practice authentic learning are case studies, real-life scenarios and problem-based exercises.

BYOD: Bring Your Own Device policy permits the students to bring their own netbooks or smart phones to the classroom to do schoolwork. This enhances the learning environment and increases productivity in both students and teachers. Strict protocols would be followed to ensure that the facilities provided are not being misused by the users.

Open educational resources: Here the course material is openly accessible by the students. The copyrights of the material available are owned by the contributors. It may include video lectures, quizzes and course planners. This facility is especially beneficial to students who are a part of the distance education scheme. These resources are mostly free, though some do charge a nominal fee. In India, the National Council Of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has converted all its textbooks from Class I-XII to digital format and they are freely available online.

To keep up with the present day world, our educational system should undergo many radical changes which would yield effective outcomes. Maintaining a student-centric environment is a great opportunity for educational institutions to improve their quality of education. After all, education does play an important role in imparting the required knowledge and skills to the educatees, which in turn ensures a productive and successful environment for future generations.

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