Student centred learning and teaching in higher education

Klemenčič has investigated European policies and practices on SCLT both analyzing the theoretical underpinnings of policies and offering prescriptive advice.


Student centered learning and teaching ecosystems

Klemenčič introduced the concept of student centered learning and teaching ecosystems at the keynote at the 20th Anniversary Conference of the Bologna Process (in June 2019). With Sabine Hoidn, Klemenčič further developed the student centred ecosystem framework and presented it in the conclusion to their co-edited Routledge International Handbook of Student Centered Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (Routledge, July 2020). Klemenčič and Hoidn (2020) argue that 'SCLT processes are embedded in and enabled by broader institutional (and national and supranational) environments that consist of a variety of components and related elements – both human and material. These components and elements, [...], constitute student-centered ecosystems (SCEs). SCEs are defined as culturally sensitive, flexible and interactive systems of SCLT in higher education which exist both within higher education institutions and in higher education systems'. So the change from the teacher-centered to student-centered paradigm does not involve only a change in classroom practices, but rather working simultaneously on the number of elements that constitute the institutional (or system) student-centered ecosystem. The student centred ecosystems framework is also the backbone to the analytical report commissioned by the European Commission and co-authored by Klemenčič with Mantis Pupinis and Greta Kirdulytė. 

SCLT ecosystem

Relevant publications

Klemenčič, M. & S. Hoidn (2020). Beyond Student-Centered Classrooms: A Comprehensive Approach to Student-Centered Learning and Teaching Through Student-Centered Ecosystems Framework. In Sabine Hoidn and Manja Klemenčič (eds.) Routledge International Handbook on Student-Centred Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (Routledge) 

Klemenčič, M. (2020) Successful Design of Student-Centered Learning and Teaching (SCLT) Ecosystems in the European Higher Education Area. In Bologna Process Beyond 2020: Fundamental Values of the EHEA - Proceedings of the 1999-2019 Bologna Process Anniversary Conference, Bologna, June 24-25 2019, edited by Sijbolt Noorda, Peter Scott and Martina Vukasovic. Bologna, Italy: Banonia University Press. pp. 43-60

Klemenčič, M., M. Pupinis and G. Kirdulytė (2020). Mapping and analysis of student-centred learning and teaching practices: usable knowledge to support a more inclusive high-quality higher education. NESET Report. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union

Student agency and actorhood in student centred learning and teaching

Klemenčič argues that shift to student centred learning and teaching (SCLT) in higher education has to be conceived around student agency as student capabilities to take responsibility for their learning and to influence their learning environments and learning pathways, and not student engagment which informs the existing SCLT policies in higher education (see article in Higher Education Policy, 2017).

Klemenčič advances the conceptions of student agency and actorhood in SCLT in the chapter Students as Actors and Agents in Student-Centred Higher Education in the Routledge Handbook (2020). The conception of students as actors presupposes student agency which refers to students’ capabilities to actively participate in the learning-teaching processes and the design and implementation of the learning environments. In line with this definition, this chapter analyses student agency in SCLT in two distinct, yet interrelated domains. First, in line with constructivist education theories, the chapter explores issues of students’ autonomy, power relations between teachers and students and students’ responsibilities in learning and teaching processes in classroom environments. Second, drawing on perspectives from neo-institutional theories and HE politics, the chapter analyses student agency in institutional governance and administration of SCLT by exploring the concepts of power relations between students and institutional decision-makers/administrators, students’ sense of agency in and student impact on SCLT. The chapter also introduces a novel perspective on students as agents to bring about change in institutional strategies and culture toward more student-centeredness, a view that has so far been neglected in scholarship.

Relevant publications

Klemenčič, M. (2020) Students as Actors and Agents in Student-Centred Higher Education. In Sabine Hoidn and Manja Klemenčič (eds.) Routledge International Handbook on Student-Centred Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (Routledge)

Klemenčič, M. (2017) From student engagement to student agency: conceptual considerations of European policies on student-centered learning in higher education. Higher Education Policy 30(1) 2017: 69–85

Klemenčič, M., Ashwin, P. (2015) New directions for teaching, learning, and student engagement in the European Higher Education Area. In Remus Pricopie, Peter Scott, Jamil Salmi and Adrian Curaj (eds.) Future of Higher Education. Volume I and Volume II. Dordrecht: Springer