Friday, July 29, 2011

Students Want Real-World Application and Relevancy

An article in eSchool News yesterday reports the top five things students say they want out of education. eSchool News gathered the students’ wants by asking its readers—teachers, principals, program directors, and superintendents—the question, “What’s the one thing you hear most often from students about what they want in school?”

Based on the responses it received, the top five things students want out of school are:

1. Real-world Application and Relevancy
2. Choice
3. Innovation
4. Teacher Mentors
5. Interactive Technology

The number one want—real-world application and relevancy—stands out as a need that a good IT curriculum will always meet. Students say they want real-world application and relevancy both as in classes that pertain to the real world, as well as hands-on experience and practice while in class.

For example, a professor at South University, said:
The one complaint I hear from students at South University is that they want more practical, hands-on experience and not just lectures and homework. I have worked hard to provide as much hands-on as possible. . . . My one disappointment is that our network administrators will not allow us to have students set up and experiment with computer networks due to a perceived notion that students will damage the corporate network. I have begun to build my own stand-alone network that does not connect to the campus network and am beginning to offer students the opportunity to experiment. So far, this technique is working well and students have learned a lot. I strongly believe I can produce graduates ready for jobs in the 21st-century workforce.

Students desire a clear connection to the relevance of their learning and how it can be applied in the real world. TestOut's LabSim IT training courses give students the hands-on experience and practice they say they want--and the professor and the network administrators don't need to worry about any equipment or networks being damaged. LabSim connects to the real world as students apply their new IT skills working on physical equipment and certifying to gain industry-recognized credentials.

How else do you think LabSim helps meet what students want out of school?

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