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Research & Resources

Empowering Students to Think Deeply, Discuss Engagingly, and Write Definitively

Ann Singleton, Ed.D., Associate Dean, School of Education & Professor of Special Education

December 1, 2008 - Abstract A typical college classroom is often pictured with the professor talking for several hours while students frantically try to write down everything that is said. This type of classroom has traditionally produced surface learning and has done little to promote learning that lasts. Do university classrooms have to be professor driven? Can university classrooms become engaging and facilitate student learning? What does a learner-centered classroom look like at the university level? The authors of this paper will explore effective strategies for making this shift to learner-centered university classrooms. Strategies include the use of an essential question for a course, a taxonomy of comprehension for class discussion, and writing activities. Specific university classroom examples are included.

International Society for Exploring Teaching and Learning (ISETL) the IJTLHE is a publication of the International Society for Exploring Teaching and Learning (ISETL). The mission of ISETL is to encourage the study of instruction and principles of learning in order to implement practical, effective methods of teaching and learning; promote the application, development, and evaluation of such methods; and foster the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning among practicing post-secondary educators. Submitted articles are refereed (blind), using a peer-review process of at least two reviewers.


Singleton, A. & Newman, K. (2008). Empowering students to think deeply, discuss engagingly, and write definitively in the university classroom. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 20( 2), 247-250.

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