All educators agree that motivation is one of the most important components in learning. While the current studies in distance education support student-centered teaching methods, in the 1980s90s, countless studies were conducted proving the effectiveness of Computer-Based Training (CBT) that for the most part followed the teacher-centered model but replaced the teacher with text and multimedia presentations. (See Links to Pedagogy Resources for citations of studies.) So, we can see that if the motivation exists, teacher-centered techniques can, in-fact, be powerful and effective.
Some of the enthusiasm for online learning is based on the fact that the computer automates many of the mundane teaching tasks associated with teacher-centered techniques such as grading multiple-choice or true/false tests and disseminating factual information.
Many effective online courses involve some combination of both; teacher-centered techniques involving the transfer of knowledge (lecture, texts, video) and student-centered techniques (write, discuss, draw, conduct experiments, conduct research, analyze, plan, collaborate, etc.).
Example of an course integrating teacher-centered and student-centered
© Valerie Landau, 2001. All Rights Reserved.