Distance education supported student-centered education

Saying that distance education experienced with the coronavirus epidemic supports the student-centered education model, Asst. Prof. Dr. Derya Kavgaoğlu said: "The student-centered education philosophy raises autonomous, self-directed and self-sufficient students that the 21st century needs.”

Distance education supported student-centered education

The educational digital transformation, experienced with the coronavirus epidemic and affecting the whole world, necessarily introduced the masses to distance education and hybrid education forms. Stating that transition to these forms of education would take years in normal time, Asst. Prof. Dr. Derya Kavgaoğlu said: “The pandemic period quickly turned a transformation that could take a long time to be put into effect with discussions on educational, technological, economic and political grounds, into our social reality. Education Management Systems (LMS), synchronous and asynchronous training contexts, webinars, management of virtual classrooms, learning environments enriched with web 2.0 tools soon became an educational terminology that we adapt to globally.”


Stating that the situation reached with a pandemic in education should be evaluated as a process to be managed by turning it into an opportunity rather than a process to be feared or worried about, Kavgaoğlu said: “As a matter of fact, distance or hybrid education forms can be much more convenient than traditional education in serving the nature of student-centered education. As world-renowned universities draw attention, taking measures to prevent possible learning losses, strengthening technology infrastructure, prioritizing equality of opportunity, redesigning education, minimizing transactional distance for healthy educational communication, ensuring student engagement are still and constantly need to be improved.”


Providing information about student-centered education, Kavgaoğlu said: “Student-centered education is a form of education in which students actively form their own knowledge, establish and test their own hypotheses, through individual and collaborative group work, rather than passively receiving the information conveyed to them from classroom teachers and textbooks. This educational philosophy raises autonomous, self-directed and self-sufficient students that the 21st century needs.”

Speaking about distance education, which enables student-centered education to be implemented effectively, Asst. Prof. Dr Derya Kavgaoğlu said: “Teacher and student should work well in their changing roles. The teacher should encourage learning by facilitating the acquisition of knowledge. Learning work that is difficult and messy can only be done by students.”


Stating that the teaching that encourages learning is not a teaching dictating what students should do and know, Kavgaoğlu said: “Even though its intellectual acceptance is simple, both teachers and students should work well in their changing roles. Learning responsibility must be triggered. Traditional education made students highly dependent on extrinsic motivation with a behavioral approach. In such an understanding, students do something to pass the class or get high marks, without carrots, learning activities can come to a halt. However, it is essential to create a learning climate in student-centered education. The student should be made to breathe this climate. Students should be helped to experience the social consequences of their decisions regarding learning, such as being prepared for the lesson, studying for the exam, contributing to group work, etc. In this way, an understanding and love of lifelong learning can also be gained.”


Stating that the balance of power in the classroom should change, Kavgaoğlu said: “In traditional classrooms, teachers decide what, how, how, at what speed, and how they will learn in communication and confirm how well they can learn. This situation causes students to feel enormous pressure and control over their learning processes. Changing this balance of power will be possible by giving students some control over their own learning processes. In this way, students' motivation to learn will be positively affected.”


Kavgaoğlu continued as follows:

“The function of the lecture topics should change. Equipping students with learning skills enables them to learn content on their own. Instead of exposing the student to a large number of content to be covered, this content should be used to develop the learning skills students will need throughout life. In this sense, applied courses are much more effective than pure theoretical courses.”


Stating that all the measures to be taken regarding distance education impose responsibility on educational institutions as well as teachers and students, Abdülkadir Gayretli, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Istanbul Gelisim University, said: “Establishing learning and teaching development offices in order to closely follow and develop and disseminate innovative learning-teaching approaches, organizing in-service trainings that will provide teachers with a student-centered teaching formation, creating digital libraries suitable for learning needs, to include the participation and support of families in the process, thus ensuring the continuity of education, supporting students with online courses and seminars that will increase their self-awareness, nurture their self-efficacy, and enable them to organize digital social activities appropriate to their interests and competencies, discovering their own learning styles and enabling them to use their learning potential effectively will increase student engagement in distance education, thus enabling student-centered teaching.”

Edited date: 15.12.2020
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