Along with the classroom lecture, traditional notions of teaching also change, primarily those that presume a gatekeeping role for teachers as the authoritative center of the learning process. As relationships between students and faculty shift from a “one-to-many” model of collaboration, power will be increasingly shared on an equal basis between them. Teaching becomes less about conveying information and more about stewarding a set of experiences and collaborations, which become the means by which higher learning occurs. Some models consistent with this shift include the following.
- Collaborative Learning. This model presumes that there is an inherent social nature to learning, and that learning is best facilitated through a set of shared experiences between participants. Types of experiences include group projects, engaging in common tasks, face-to-face conversations, as well as those mediated by technology (including social networks, discussion forums, etc.). Equitable sharing of power among all participants, including those stewarding the collaboration, is critical for this model of learning.
- Service Learning. This model focuses on providing students with a set of applied experiences which complements and extends the consumption of information obtained through regular instruction or self-study. As a form of experiential education, this model presumes that learning requires that content, whether produced or consumed, be reinforced by direct experience.
- Undergraduate Research Programs. By engaging students in the process of research, learning becomes more about the processes of discovery and innovation and less about the mastery of content. By teaching students the processes by which knowledge is created, students are provided a set of experiences that spark creativity and critical thinking, and that prepare students for lifelong learning.