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Abstract

The national focus in higher education in shifting from the instructional to the learning paradigm where the emphasis on student-centered learning is of paramount importance. Instructional paradigms focus on “providing instruction” with distinct emphasis on the role of the teacher. Under this structure, students are typically passive listeners and the instructor is the center of teaching and instruction. The learning paradigm, on the other hand, focuses on the outcomes of the educational process thereby “facilitating learning”. The role of the student is one of an active participant who is encouraged to become engaged in the learning process through various interactive activities facilitated by the instructor. The learning paradigm strives to produce an empowered, informed, and responsible student by putting the student at the center of the classroom. This learner-centered process theoretically embraces continued improvement in the quality of learning. The learner-centered syllabus is a productive tool that can facilitate this transformation from teaching to learner-centered classrooms. The purpose of this manuscript is to integrate theory into practice as faculty shift towards more learner-centered practices. Deeply rooted in the literature, this manuscript provides suggestions for the implementation of a learner-centered syllabus from a specialized allied health care perspective – athletic training. A brief overview of student-centered learning theory coupled with a framework for constructing a syllabus that fosters an environment which focuses on learning is presented. Particular emphasis is placed upon successful implementation and integration of the syllabus throughout the entire semester to promote student success.

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