International Journal of Art & Design Education

Expert Panel: A New Strategy for Creating a Student-Centred Learning Environment for Software Applications

Volume 30.1   2011



Education reforms from teacher-centred to student-centred courses usually come with the adoption of new teaching strategies. However, following the growing design and development of student-centred teaching and learning innovations in many fields of study, not many efforts have been found in the field of software application teaching. Therefore, this study aims to develop a new strategy for creating a student-centred learning environment for software applications, in which students learn in a more active, collaborative environment with reduced reliance on teachers. This study puts forward a teaching innovation, called Expert Panel, designed in three stages of activities: exploration, experimentation and reflection. Thirty-eight college students and one teacher participated in the implementation of the innovation. This article describes the design specifications of the innovation, and reports the preliminary findings of the implementation. The findings show that the teacher derived a certain degree of pleasure and surprise at being a true ‘facilitator’ rather than solely an instructor. Students felt engaged in the activities and motivated throughout the learning process. However, the student-centred learning method challenged the students’ understanding of the traditional teacher's role. Therefore, accommodating not only teachers but also students in the acquisition of new concepts of teaching and learning was suggested. Several possible solutions for the drawbacks and pitfalls in the strategy were drawn up at the end for further development of the strategy.