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Ten Steps to Promote a Stronger Emphasis on Student Learning

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Inspired by the AAHE Assessment Forum’s Principles for good practice for assessing students’ learning, the author has generated Ten Steps (1992) to Promote a Stronger Emphasis on Student Learning in a Hydrology–Fluid Mechanics Course. Student-Learning must not be focused only about making the connections initially. Instead it should concentrate more about maintaining those connections in the long run. Student learning is fundamentally about a strong bond between the academic establishment and the student citizens of the entire community. Student-Learning is enhanced by the environment. It should take place in the context of a compelling situation that balances curiosity, challenge and opportunity. Student-Learning should have an active search for meaning by the learner – constructing knowledge rather than passively delivering it or receiving it. In other words one should create a Concept Mapping Model instead of a Structured Content Model. Student-Learning is developmental. In other words, it is a cumulative process involving the whole person, who is capable of integrating the new with the old. The settings, the surroundings, the influences of others contribute to successful accomplishments. Student-Learning should be viewed as an effort promoted by individuals who are intrinsically tied to others as social beings, actually interacting as collaborators. Student-Learning is strongly influenced by the educational climate in which learning achievements takes place. Student-Learning requires Action, Communication, Ownership, Reflection and Nurture (ACORN) as suggested by Hawkins and Winter (1997). Student-Learning in reality aims at an educational experience that takes place informally and incidentally, beyond explicit teaching in the lecture hall. Student-Learning is grounded in particular contexts and individual experiences, requiring effort to transfer specific knowledge and skills to other citizens. Student-Learning involves the ability of individuals not only to monitor their own learning, but also be able to enhance learning through collaboration and cooperation. References: Hawkins, P., & Winter, J. (1997). Mastering change: Learning the lessons of the enterprise in higher education initiative. London: Department for Education and Employment.