A general consensus across findings from research on cognition and learning is that the one who does the work, does the learning. Thus in an effective learning environment, students do the bulk of the cognitive work while the instructor functions as facilitator. Learning-Centered Teaching (LCT) practices refer to instructional techniques that seek to enhance student learning by encouraging greater cognitive engagement and participation during the learning process.
Findings from decades of research on memory and cognition have uncovered valuable insights with important and direct implications for teaching and learning. Becoming familiar with some of these findings can help instructors design their course(s) in a way that facilitates and maximizes student learning and motivation.
Brief summaries of important findings from research on learning and their implications for LCT.
LCT relies on instructional methods that are based on documented cognitive research on how learning takes place, including (but not limited to):
Active learning, in which students solve problems, answer questions, formulate questions of their own, discuss, explain, debate, or brainstorm during class with faculty serving as expert when the need arises.
Collaborative learning, in which students engage in group work with peers on assignments and projects that include structures and scaffolds to ensure both positive interdependence and individual accountability.
Inquiry-based learning, in which students are first presented with challenges or questions to which they are expected to solve or seek answers.
These instructional methods provide a framework for pedagogical design and can be tailored to specific domains/topics. Examples of active learning, collaborative learning, and inquiry-based learning.