Theory is a crucial part of education, but so is practice before students enter the real-world of potentially life-altering mistakes. Many theories are passed on from instructor to learner, allowing the student to expand upon their usage in a real-life circumstance. But it’s the role of a higher-education professor to change theory to practice as often as possible.
This step is a necessary learning process in academic discourse. To do this, there are often work placement components in a course’s syllabus. The hands-on approach, also called experiential learning, is an integral part of engaging students in practice situations before they are on their own.
The Job of the Professor in Moving From Theory to Practice
For instructors who teach courses where theory and practice are married together, it’s crucial that they institute opportunities for students to incorporate both aspects in their education. This is often done through work-integrated placements, where hands-on roles such as internships or off-campus jobs are used in place of direct classroom instruction. These methods of practicing the knowledge obtained through classroom theories give students the chance to immerse themselves in the objectives they were to learn and then apply those theories in real life, but controlled, instances.
During this time, the instructor has specific requirements, even though they may be off-site. It’s the professor’s job to help the student move from theory to practice by:
● Requiring, encouraging, and maintaining regular contact with the student and the supervisor who is on-site in the work placement
● Ensuring their own educational licenses and clinical practice instruction are up-to-date to provide students with contemporary ideas of work-related practice methods
● Matching practice opportunities with the learning objectives of the course rather than taking a hands-off approach once the student begins their practice immersion
● Providing relevant requirements to ensure students are relating theories to their practice experiences regularly
● Studying and becoming self-educated enough to demonstrate positive role-modeling in the application of theory to practice in their clinical area
Once a student becomes a professor, their job of learning is not over. As the instructor, you must still evolve your coursework based on changing theories and expectations, be open to growth experiences, and continue to individualize your instructional methods as necessary.
Moving Beyond Theory to Practice: The Job of the Student
Most students are ecstatic with the idea of being immersed in a hands-on experience rather than sitting in a traditional classroom setting or doing coursework behind their computer. But the job of the student once they move beyond theory into practice is more complex than simply listening and following instructions.
As a work-placement learner, students must:
● Acknowledge and follow instructions of both the supervisor and the professor
● Communicate regularly with the supervisor and instructor
● Develop their skills along with the job placement and the objectives of the course
● Use critical thinking to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate their work environment and their own actions and behaviors
● Understand and adapt their own attitudes as necessary and evaluate and explore their values in an immersive setting
● Develop new ideas and skills from those around them who are modeling work and theory in action
● Collaborate with other students during reflective and evaluative processes, participate in small-group discussions, and compose and show presentations about their experience
● Reflect and evaluate on their experiences, feelings, responses, and changes
● Use their new knowledge in applications as they are in the field
Moving beyond theory to practice is often the final stage of a student’s education before they enter their career. It’s a crucial time for both the instructor and the student to ensure that the learner has mastered as much information as possible for them to be successful in their future endeavor.
Using Impactio In and Out of the Field
Whether you’re putting together a syllabus, abstract, reflection, or research paper, the program you use can make this an easy task or a frustrating attempt. Expert scholars understand the importance of using the right software to compile all their work, which is why so many scholars around the world turn to Impactio.
Impactio is an all-in-one platform that takes the user from content entry to published research work. Transfer your research accomplishments into easy to use templates, turn your publication and citation data into charts, tables, and graphs, and publish your finished profile as a professional PDF document or web page.
When your working program is as user-friendly as Impactio, you have more time to do the important things, like research and practice your theories, develop lessons, and create experiments. You do the hard work you love, and Impactio does the rest.