I read my students’ reflections on what they had learnt throughout the semester on my subject. One thing that I could relate is, when you are trying to implement student centred learning (SCL) approach, whether the students like it or not what you taught them (with all the activities that you did in the class), it CANNOT be correlated at all to their learning, because mainly their definition of ‘like’ is way too different than what we as the educator perceived. So, if you’re doing SCL, don’t be disheartened that your students pushed and resisted the change, or even mocked you out. Just persevere. If you want your students to have perseverance, we are the one to show our perseverance first.
In my final chapter that I taught my students, I purposely conducted it using conventional lecture (with short activities in between). From their reflections, some of them said they’re glad that they finally have a lecture and happy with my delivered lecture, BUT they could not relate what they’ve learnt and many of them still said that they need to study more and it is a difficult topic for them, when actually the difficulty is almost similar with other chapters.
Meanwhile, despite they didn’t like the activities that I conducted with them using flipped classroom and PBL approach for other previous chapters, surprisingly they managed to highlight all the key important points in the subject in their reflection. I realise that the way how they define ‘like’ probably means they would probably like when they just attending lecture, sit down and listen without contributing anything to their learning experience in the class. If you do anything that push them to think more, and collaborate more, they wouldn’t ‘like’ it and accused you are not teaching them, BUT actually they learnt. (Here, you are facilitating them to become a self-directed learner, and of course initially they’ll claim the glory that if they do good, it is because of themselves, and the lecturers are not helpful! – it is ok, they’ll realise it the semester after or maybe when they start working – or hunting for jobs later)
So my fellow educators, persistent and persevere! Don’t be scared of not being a popular teacher, just because you really want to ensure your students really learn!