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In this exploratory study, we examined how undergraduate students experience learning in a learner-centered teaching environment and their perceptions of motivation towards learning material in an introductory public speaking communications course. Six faculty members participated in a semester-long study where their teaching strategies were observed. Three faculty members participated in a cognitive apprenticeship where they were taught how to implement learner-centered instructional strategies into their coursework. Participants were 109 students who were enrolled in an introductory public speaking course. Data was collected by means of classroom observations, interviews, and the administration of a survey. Our findings indicated that students who were engaged in learner-centered activities within the communications course demonstrate higher levels of motivation towards the course and are more actively engaged in their learning.


Education | Educational Administration and Supervision