Student Centered Teaching Methods in Natural Resources Curriculum

This is reprint from the Newsletter Engagement Matters  (Volume 3, Issue 1 May/April 2011)
VT students getting ready to start experiencing the forest from zip lines in Fortuna, Costa Rica
In recent years, different methods of delivering education have appeared, especially in higher education institutions. Although face to face delivery continues to be the method of choice, online teaching (asynchronous and synchronous) is gaining more momentum, and lately the introduction of more green and sustainable curricula into Natural Resources programs have put more emphasis on student centered methods rather than teacher centered methods. Student centered course design reinforces the student’s reflection process as a way to increase the grasping of knowledge of the subject at hand and these methods includes active learning, cooperative learning, and inductive teaching and learning. These methods encourage student reflection as a way to integrate knowledge into the students’ learning process. Teaching centered methods are lecturing, designing assignments and tests, and grading given little opportunity to students to learn independently.