Otago Polytechnic

Teaching in the 21st century is, or should be, much more engaging and facilitative.

Under the old model of education, a teacher stood up in front of the class and delivered information that the teacher knew but the students didn't. The model presumes that learners should learn exactly the same content at the same time and in the order in which it is presented by the teacher. This model has disadvantages, for example it doesn't take into account the wide range of abilities amongst learners, and also their different learning styles. When it comes to tertiary teaching in Information Technology the old model has another disadvantage. Computing changes so fast and some learners will have in-depth knowledge in some areas already, so the lecturer may not be the classroom expert in everything. 

These disadvantages led Kathiravelu Ganeshan, a Senior Lecturer at our Auckland International Campus, to abandon the traditional teaching model many years ago. Instead he has progressively developed an innovative model in which he is a facilitator of learning. He helps learners to identify what they need to know for where they are at now, and how to find and apply that knowledge when they need it. Each class is a community of learning with learners helping each other too. Instead of sitting exams his students demonstrate their learning in their project outcomes, including a report and a recorded presentation during which they explain, and answer questions on what they have done and how they did it

Employers are looking for socially responsive, self-motivated, people capable of working both alone and in teams with people from other areas of knowledge, who come up with innovative ways of solving the major problems we face as humans. Ganeshan's experience and observation suggests that learner experience, achievement, capability, employability and social responsiveness improve significantly when the teacher becomes learning facilitator.

EDUCATION & EMPLOYABILITY

August 2020