Universities Are Shifting Learning Away From The Traditional Behaviourist Perspective

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Universities are shifting learning away from the traditional behaviourist perspective where students are passive rote-learners (partly due to teacher-centred teaching) to a modern constructivist paradigm where students are actively involved in their learning (Neo, 2005). Explicitly, students learn through learning activities designed by their lecturers and they construct knowledge via experiences gained in the activities. This is in line with Kolb et al. (1984) who argued that “learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience”. Thus, students are encouraged to build on their prior knowledge and experiences in order to attain deeper understanding of the events and to capitalise on peers’ shared experiences. In this perspective, according to Mayer (1998) the role of a student has changed from a recipient of knowledge to a constructor of knowledge; henceforth he/she needs to acquire metacognitive skills for controlling the cognitive processes during learning.

In the initial stages of the change over from teacher centred approach to student centred approach, there are many issues that arise. Among them number of support resources, skills training for lecturers and students on how to navigate information technology and facilitators must be taught to use technology from the user-end, in order to facilitate delivery (Beadle and Scanty, 2008; Harris et al., 2009). Usually, universities handle this predicament by providing trainings to…

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