What Do Students Expect from Schools?

Schools spend a lot of time discussing and defining what to expect from their students, but what do students expect from their schools? In order to keep students interested in their learning, it is imperative to think about what students want and what will keep them happy with their learning.

Leaving To Learn, a movement dedicated to lowering student dropout rates by keeping students engaged in their learning, has identified 10 components of the learning process that students expect from schools:

  1. Relationships – Do my teachers know about me, my interests, and my talents? Can they help me form relationships with adults and peers who can mentor me throughout my life?
  2. Relevance – Is my learning and schoolwork relevant to my personal interests, passions, and life goals?
  3. Time – Can I learn at my own pace, and do I have opportunities to both deepen and broaden my understanding of the material?
  4. Timing – Does everyone have to learn the material in the same order, or can I learn the material in an order that matches my personal interests?
  5. Play – Do I have opportunities for exploration, speculation, and discovery?
  6. Practice – Do I have enough time to practice what I learned, or am I being pushed to jump too quickly from one topic to the next?
  7. Choice – Can I choose what, when, and how to learn?
  8. Authenticisty – Do experts, peers, and potential employers recognize the value of my schoolwork?
  9. Challenge – Am I being challenged enough?
  10. Application – Is my learning only theoretical or do I have opportunities to apply it to real-world situations?

Watch the eye-opening video below for a more detailed explanation of these points.

Learning that happens in an online setting provides ample room for many of these elements – especially flexible time, timing, choice, and challenges. How do you think online programs can incorporate the rest of these components into their learning structures?

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