CE  Vol.8 No.6 , May 2017
The Future Relevancy of University Institutions’ Teaching in the Digital Era
The paper focuses on the structured and well-planned design and execution of courses in academic studies in general, and in architecture in particular, based on the great relevance of the learning-centered approach for teaching in universities in the digital era, related to the traditional teaching-centered approach applied in the majority of academic institutions today. The design of a course according to the learning-centered approach has unique value, particularly in the information era, with computers virtually and instantaneously transmitting endless knowledge. In the learning-centered approach, unlike frontal transfer of information, a dialogue is formed between academic faculty and students, leading to compatibility between learning outcomes (course goals) and teaching methods. stressing the value of course design according to the learning-centered approach are necessary as a result of social, cultural, and technological changes in the current information highway era and the consequent status of knowledge as possessed by everyone, while noting and emphasizing the special needs involved in the challenges of teaching and learning in this era. The paper also depicts the significance of recording learning outcomes, and the benefits and challenges associated with the formulation of learning goals. To illustrate this topic, development of a course in the “backward design” method, consistent with the learning-centered paradigm, shall be presented. The challenges of this method shall also be portrayed, with the possibility of generalization to varied disciplines. This paper shall emphasize the main potential advantage of physical academic institutions and universities, where students and teachers meet, talk, and hold direct and unmediated discussions, and through the learning-centered approach, versus the virtual knowledge and teaching centers have recently emerged as an alternative to traditional academic institutions and are seemingly threatening to obviate the justification for universities. It is particularly important also, in light of disturbing data indicating a considerable drop in university registration rates, in Israel and elsewhere, with the current young generation finding gradually less interest in universities as capable of shaping their personal and professional future. Therefore, with the gradual increase in accessible knowledge, instructors are required to bring with them added value to the teaching process. This is a complicated requirement that compels instructors to relinquish traditional teaching patterns. Planning a course in this method requires extensive forethought, time, and effort, compared to designing a course following the traditional method. To promote such addedvalue teaching, the academic system needs a model that recognizes, appreciates, and compensates faculty for the efforts they invest in learning-centered teaching, and one that will incentivize instructors to devote time and energy to developing, revising, and improving their teaching practice to develop these aspects in their work. Such a model also serves the existential interests of the institutions of higher education, in their role as entities that also responsible for properly training future generations, in an era when traditional teaching methods being no longer sufficient, attractive, or meeting the needs and wishes of potential students for shaping their personal and professional future, in light of the paradigmatic changes in knowledge acquisition.
Cite this paper
Davidovitch, N. and Levy, B. (2017) The Future Relevancy of University Institutions’ Teaching in the Digital Era. Creative Education, 8, 953-974. doi: 10.4236/ce.2017.86070.
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