Learning and Teaching Trends in the 21st Century

Many changes have occurred in education over the past 25 years. Entering the world of education in the 21st Century is vastly different than education was even as recently as the 1980s!

The most obvious is the increase in information technology and computer use, but there are other significant changes as well. The student population is changing and the collegiate experience has become more diverse. This is summarized in the following sections.

  • Changing nature of students
  • Changing nature of the collegiate experience
  • Changing understanding of how students learn
  • Changing nature of teaching
  • Changing nature of outcomes assessment

(Acpa – Higher Education Trends for the Next Century)

Changing nature of students

  • Increased diversity in age, SES, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, learning and physical ability
    "Such heterogeneity requires educational communities to be open to difference, as well as new and varied pedagogies and assumptions about levels of preparation, learning styles, and available time for study"

Changing nature of the collegiate experience

  • Varying approaches to higher education
  • More part-time enrollments
  • More transfers among institutions
  • Distance learning
  • Limited economic resources

Educational theories about student learning have promoted more individualized and active participation on the part of students, which are reflected in new teaching methodologies and assessments. Review some of these new methodologies and assessments we have included in our School of Nursing courses.

Changing understanding of how students learn

  • Holistic views of learning
  • Multiple intelligence
  • Learning styles
  • Varied sources of influence on student's learning
  • Students as active participants

Changing nature of teaching

  • Facilitator of student learning
  • New culture of teaching and learning
  • Information technology, long distance education

"Traditional transmission of knowledge from teacher to student is no longer sufficient for an educated citizenry"

Changing nature of outcomes assessment

"Assessing knowledge gains will no longer be sufficient. Outcomes in critical thinking, cultural understanding, empathy, citizenship, and social responsibility will also be important." (Austin, 1996)

These changes in teaching and learning have made the teaching/learning experience both more dynamic and more complex. That is a part of what you help us with by providing your preceptor skills to help the students participate in more active participative learning.