36 min

Interview with Dr. Chantal Levesque-Bristol from Purdue University The Innovating Together Podcast

    • Education

Today we’re talking with Dr. Chantal Levesque-Bristol from Purdue University.  Dr. Levesque-Bristol leads Purdue’s Center for Instructional Excellence.  She has primary interests in teaching and learning, faculty development, and institutional change.  She researches motivation, with most applications being in the domain of education.  Dr. Levesque-Bristol has worked with hundreds of instructors to help create environments that are positive and engaging for students.  Her goal is to create a space where students can be more productive and happier.  She says they use self-determination theory to define student center practices by focusing on three basic psychological needs.  Those three needs are autonomy, competence, and relatedness.  We often focus on competence but forget about the other two.  Relatedness is important as it is your connection with others.  Autonomy is all about choices and options within context.  Dr. Levesque-Bristol says you need all three.  This allows for exploration and experimentation.  Students will feel more engaged and like the instructor is alongside them for their journey of learning.

It can be difficult to be autonomy supportive, as it requires a more time and energy.  Dr. Levesque-Bristol says controlling practices are common in higher education, and we often set up policies based on efficiency, not necessarily what's best for the student.  When a course has students competing for grades, that's a controlling practice.  Especially if grading is done on a curve, you’re pitting students against one another to compete for A’s.  We see this especially in STEM courses. Students can find it difficult to collaborate when they're competing.

Instructors need to ask themselves why they’re teaching the way they are and how they want their students to learn and grow. Dr. Levesque-Bristol says many try to implement student centeredness but do it poorly, using practices like group work.   Dr. Levesque-Bristol says active learning doesn’t necessarily mean activity.  If it’s not student-centered and meeting the three needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness.  Active learning can be found in a large classroom if done correctly.

Student centeredness is a mindset shift and doesn’t just focus on teaching. For example, a strict attendance policy might be thought to be student-centered.  ‘If you’re late, the door will be locked’ isn’t student centered.  What if your car broke down or your sitter showed up late, but you still made an effort to get to class and were penalized and kept from learning that day. This prioritizes students in the room, but doesn’t consider those negatively impacted by the policy’s implementation.


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Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/innovationalliance/message

Today we’re talking with Dr. Chantal Levesque-Bristol from Purdue University.  Dr. Levesque-Bristol leads Purdue’s Center for Instructional Excellence.  She has primary interests in teaching and learning, faculty development, and institutional change.  She researches motivation, with most applications being in the domain of education.  Dr. Levesque-Bristol has worked with hundreds of instructors to help create environments that are positive and engaging for students.  Her goal is to create a space where students can be more productive and happier.  She says they use self-determination theory to define student center practices by focusing on three basic psychological needs.  Those three needs are autonomy, competence, and relatedness.  We often focus on competence but forget about the other two.  Relatedness is important as it is your connection with others.  Autonomy is all about choices and options within context.  Dr. Levesque-Bristol says you need all three.  This allows for exploration and experimentation.  Students will feel more engaged and like the instructor is alongside them for their journey of learning.

It can be difficult to be autonomy supportive, as it requires a more time and energy.  Dr. Levesque-Bristol says controlling practices are common in higher education, and we often set up policies based on efficiency, not necessarily what's best for the student.  When a course has students competing for grades, that's a controlling practice.  Especially if grading is done on a curve, you’re pitting students against one another to compete for A’s.  We see this especially in STEM courses. Students can find it difficult to collaborate when they're competing.

Instructors need to ask themselves why they’re teaching the way they are and how they want their students to learn and grow. Dr. Levesque-Bristol says many try to implement student centeredness but do it poorly, using practices like group work.   Dr. Levesque-Bristol says active learning doesn’t necessarily mean activity.  If it’s not student-centered and meeting the three needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness.  Active learning can be found in a large classroom if done correctly.

Student centeredness is a mindset shift and doesn’t just focus on teaching. For example, a strict attendance policy might be thought to be student-centered.  ‘If you’re late, the door will be locked’ isn’t student centered.  What if your car broke down or your sitter showed up late, but you still made an effort to get to class and were penalized and kept from learning that day. This prioritizes students in the room, but doesn’t consider those negatively impacted by the policy’s implementation.


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Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/innovationalliance/message

36 min

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