Student Centered Ecosystem

Posted on May 9, 2016
By Maryam Rod Szabo

Dr. Lydia Hartunian is a professor of Philosophy & Humanities at Kirkwood Community College. She is also a Professional Development Fellow for KCELT. I asked Lydia how she teaches philosophy and humanities to undergraduates in a way that is interesting and fun. With her sense of humor, Lydia said, “I probably should not say this but I don’t really teach anymore,” and she laughed. As Lydia would explain her classroom: she has a student-centered ecosystem in which she and her students use the available resources to learn together.

Lydia designs and updates the courses she teaches every semester to make sure the content she is providing to students is up to date. She provides the resources and readings that are required for the students but allows some flexibility for elective readings and inquiry. By flipping her classroom, students will read the materials or watch the videos and lectures before they come to the classroom, then they select some related topics and work in groups to present what they have learned through  creative presentations such as games, rap songs, and videos.

Students like to come back to her class. They know they own their learning and they like active learning of the content through different resources. When I asked for volunteers, almost every student volunteered to be interviewed. During the interviews, the students shared how good they feel about their course, their learning, and themselves for being responsible for their own and their classmates’ learning.

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