Listening to Student Voices

The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) recently called for student-centered teaching through High Impact Practices (HIPs) (2008). Accordingly, more empirical research is occurring regarding the positioning of faculty in post-secondary classrooms. For example, Miller and Pearson (2013) studied teaching style, communication with instructors outside of class, and teacher evaluations. Their research supported that there were differences in student perception and willingness to meet outside the classroom which were based on teaching style. Similarly, another study showed an increase in student satisfaction and learning when transitioned from lecture to a more student-focused approach (Jones et al, 2018). Extending the findings of such studies, the research for this presentation was situated within a framework valuing constructivist theories of education especially in regards to Freire’s (1972) appeal to combat the “banking concept of education” and Dewey’s (1938) invitation for a more experiential and democratic pedagogy. An on-line survey of three open-ended questions was answered by 89 junior and senior level students at a public university in a Midwestern city of the United States. The questions prompted students to describe what a “excellent” college teacher does in and outside of class. One key finding regarding student perception of teaching excellence is that of responsiveness. Students desired a personalized classroom experience where professors acknowledged individual experience and readiness, as well as offered time outside of class for discussion and other forms of aid. This and other findings can assist faculty and faculty developers connect scholarship in effective post-secondary teaching with current student expectations.

Post-secondary Education, Engaged Teaching, College Students, Qualitative Research

Learning in Higher Education

Virtual Lightning Talk

  • Tracy Routsong
    • Professor, Washburn University, United States United States
    • I am so fortunate to be at a student-centered university where our primary focus in on student learning. My time is spent in the classroom or advising and while I conduct research, even that focus has shifted in order to understand and help our students. When I am not at the university, I enjoy spending time with my family and traveling.
  • Melanie Burdick
    • Director and Associate Professor, Center for Teaching Excellence and Learning, Washburn University, United States Kansas, United States