Traditionally, most learning environments are instructor centered as they tend to be more convenient. The instructor has more control, making it a disciplined and orderly environment. The instructors choose the topic of learning, without letting students give any inputs. This teaching environment lacks communication and discussions, restricting the student’s learning capacity. Student centered learning facilitates a more collaborative way for students to learn. The students provide feedback, and are constantly involved in the process, aiding them to choose how they want to learn. This type of learning encourages student-instructor and student-student interactions, forming a wholistic learning process suitable for everyone involved.
Synchronous and asynchronous learning both have their advantages and disadvantages. These types of learning are situational. Synchronous learning environments support learning and teaching and offer students and teachers with multiple ways of interacting, sharing, and the ability to collaborate and ask questions in real-time through synchronous learning technologies. In my opinion, if it’s a lecture on Mathematics or Statistics, synchronous learning – a typical classroom setting would be more beneficial as professors are present to answer any queries that students have in the moment.
While synchronous is the more traditional and widely used method, asynchronous learning is mainly beneficial due to its flexibility. It encourages personalized learning, which usually leads to students doing even better than anticipated. Students that have full-time jobs can access class notes at whatever time they prefer to do so, allowing them balance work and school at the same time. It makes it easier for all parties involved as the instructors can post all required materials ahead of time, and then only need be present for any inquiries. Personalized learning is an important concept and does wonders if implemented effectively. The “one size fits all” approach is no longer popular in terms of education as every individual has his own way of learning and cannot be replicated (Morrin, 2019). Having said that, it is almost impossible for educators to customize their way of teaching to suit the needs of every student in a lecture hall of 150 without utilizing external resources. In my opinion, instructors should utilize resources such as social media, to allow students to have a personal learning network. Social media assists educators in creating a personalized learning method for each student. Take online classes for example, without the use of e-mail we wouldn’t be able to successfully communicate our queries with our professors, resulting in poor performance by the student. Having forums allows shy students to put forth their views, which they would originally be hesitant to do in a classroom filled with peers. In some situations, students do not understand the concepts taught in a classroom setting. With access to YouTube videos, they can still learn about these concepts and not feel left behind.
Connectivism explores how different technologies have shaped number of opportunities for learning. Knowledge is constantly changing and expanding. Methods to acquire knowledge are also changing along with time. In my opinion, it connectivism broadens our minds as we are no longer confined to books available at the library. The internet provides us with more knowledge than one can store. The connectivism approach of learning focuses on how an instructor is not our only source of learning. The instructor just creates an environment and starts the learning process for us, but we students have the opportunity to explore different aspects of the topic given to us, and collaboratively construct our own learning environment (Tony & Bates, 2015).
A.w., Tony, & Bates. (2015, April 5). 2.6 Connectivism. Retrieved from https://opentextbc.ca/teachinginadigitalage/chapter/3-6-connectivism/
Morin, A. (2019, October 18). Personalized Learning: What You Need to Know. Retrieved from https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/partnering-with-childs-school/instructional-strategies/personalized-learning-what-you-need-to-know.