CELT seminar primes teachers on the motivation factor

Joeve Poon

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If you think that teaching is the only thing teachers do these days, think again. Because one of the hottest and most challenging issues facing educators, particularly university professors and lecturers, is the task of motivating students to explore lifelong learning.



At the Centre for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT) seminar, "Improving Environments for Learning: The role of assessment", Professor Janet Donald, of McGill University, Canada, pointed out that students often acquire only a "surface" learning style.



Professor Donald, a Full Professor in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology and the Centre for University Teaching and Learning at McGill, said that basic skills for analysis and communication, academic knowledge and commitment to lifelong learning are the criteria for measuring student quality. These skills, she added, cannot be obtained by using surface learning strategies. Both institutions and teachers, she explained, must work together to increase students' motivation in lifelong learning.



The seminar, on 7 March, attracted professionals from a variety of disciplines who all shared the difficulties they have experienced in attempting to improve the learning environment. A more detailed discussion of this topic can be found in Professor Donald's book, Improving the Environment for Learning: Academic Leaders Talk about What Works.





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