Beyond the student-centered higher education classroom: The student-centered ecosystems framework


  • Sabine Hoidn



In student-centered classrooms less time is devoted to plain lecturing (“telling”) and more time to meaningful and challenging tasks and activities that increase the level of students’ cognitive engagement with disciplinary content as well as active student participation (Hoidn, 2017, 2019). Hoidn and Klemenčič (2020a) argue, however, that student-centered learning and teaching processes need to be thoughtfully embedded in broader institutional ecosystems – so-called student-centered ecosystems which, in turn, are also connected to and influenced by the wider political, economic, social and cultural contexts in which HEIs operate. This paper introduces student-centered ecosystems consisting of five main components which serve as indicators of the presence of student centered learning and teaching (SCLT) in a given educational institution or study program: (1) Curriculum, pedagogy and assessment; (2) Teaching and learning support; (3) Quality of learning and teaching; (4) Governance and administration; and (5) Policies and finance (Klemenčič & Hoidn, 2020).