1 Hadassah Academic College (ISRAEL)
2 Kinneret Academic College (ISRAEL)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN19 Proceedings
Publication year: 2019
Pages: 311-316
ISBN: 978-84-09-12031-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2019.0115
Conference name: 11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2019
Location: Palma, Spain
The demands of the Western business and academic world and the way it proceeds are changing incessantly. Adapting learning to the changing and unknown needs of the future requires implementation of changes in the learning objectives, methods, and assessment. Adapting students to a changing world includes developing new skills. Introducing these changes into academic studies often requires adapting courses and assignments. Students often express initial opposition to the introduction of these paradigms as part of their discomfort with accepting personal responsibility for their learning process and the need to invest more intensive effort. These negative attitudes often influence students’ willingness to cooperate and become involved and comprise a disincentive to adopt changes. This is liable to impede their training and even pose obstacles for adopting these changes in additional courses.

This study examines and compares changes in attitudes towards student-centered learning among students who received student-guided learning (SGL) instruction, which is a novel method emphasizing the student’s primary role and self-expression.

The methodology was assimilated in a 3-unit course in Health-Care Provider - Patient Relationship in the Department of Service Organization Administration in the Interdisciplinary School for Society and Community at Hadassah Academic College. The data in the research was collected from 120 students within the framework of four courses over a period of two academic years. Questionnaires and self-reflections were filled out by the students at the beginning and end of the course and were analyzed qualitatively.

The application of SGL methods resulted in changes in students’ attitudes towards adopting new teaching methodologies. Their initial attitudes constituted opposition to adopting new learning methods. During the course and at its completion the students succeeded in changing their attitudes and their experience regarding the process of active cooperative learning and independent learning to directions of adopting innovative methods, willingness to learn, and greater involvement. At the beginning of the semester the mapping of perceptions and attitudes regarding the adoption of new teaching methods led to opposition to adopting change. This opposition was expressed in low motivation, lack of cooperation, negative attitudes towards assignments in the course, and lack of motivation towards adopting changes. At the end of the course there was an improvement in students’ openness to changes, and they showed a greater desire and higher motivation to adopt new paradigms and innovative methodologies. They assumed a more positive attitude towards assignments and the learning process within this context. The SGL methods rationale and details of the stages involved, as well as reasons for the changes in attitudes, will be discussed.

The effect of this change - which is characterized by the elimination of students’ opposition - enables future openness and adoption of these paradigms in other academic courses as well as changing their attitudes towards their ability regarding cooperative learning, independent learning, and presenting the material. These traits will transform them into better students as well as graduates who are better adapted to the needs of the 21st century. These changes will render the academia more relevant in training students who are suited to the ceaselessly changing environment.
Student centered learning (SCL), Life Long Learner, Innovative teaching methods.