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Follow the Learning: A Student-Centered Pedagogy

As colleges and universities continue to seek ways to meet the evolving needs of new learners, how do we prepare faculty to adapt long-standing traditions in instruction to respond to the needs, skill sets, and learning styles of the individual students in our classrooms? At Columbia College Chicago’s Center for Innovation in Teaching Excellence, we’ve found that the best way to teach the form is by doing the form: encouraging faculty to stop leading the class and start following the learning. This hands-on, minds-on workshop will provide engaging, practical, student-centered approaches for faculty and faculty developers to adapt instructional and curricular design to meet the diverse needs and talents of any student.

Learning Objectives

  1. In addition to discipline-specific experience and expertise, there are a multitude of skills necessary for our students to succeed in today’s digital age: critical thinking and critical listening, technological savvy, improvisation, collaboration, and professionalism, to name a few. Is it possible for a college teacher to address all of these? Is it even our responsibility to try?
  2. How do we make course content relevant to our students’ lives while creating a classroom learning environment that allows students to listen to each other and express their diverse points of view, while keeping a difficult conversation focused on the learning goals of the course?
  3. Can this actually be… fun?



Megan Stielstra, Assistant Director, Center for Innovation in Teaching Excellence, Columbia College Chicago

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