December 3, 2023

Student-centred learning design strives to make learning more captivating and meaningful for the student. This teaching approach places the student at the heart of the learning journey, emphasising their interests, desires and capabilities. Student-centred learning design can boost student motivation in the context of electronic commerce (e-commerce) learning, as the experience at Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST) suggests.

Students at MUST launched their own e-commerce partnerships with limited capital. Leveraging available resources, such as access to media broadcasting and live-stream commerce, they created a viable business model. This included offering low-cost products and services, such as online tutoring, web design and digital marketing. They marketed their product through social media and other online platforms and generated enough sales to cover their costs and make a profit.

The success of their small e-partnerships demonstrated the power of student-centred learning design and its ability to help students succeed in the e-commerce world.

Benefits of student-centred learning design

Student-centred learning design encourages students to become actively involved in the education process. It provides opportunities for students to pose questions, debate topics and investigate concepts – facilitating a heightened level of engagement. When students are granted more autonomy over their learning, they are more likely to remain attentive and inspired. Moreover, student-centred learning design promotes cooperation between students and faculty, which can lead to a deeper comprehension and improved knowledge retention.

It has been demonstrated that student-centred learning design can lead to enhanced educational outcomes, as it encourages students to assume accountability for their learning and interact with the material more profoundly. When learners are actively involved in the learning process (rather than receiving information passively), they are more likely to comprehend and retain concepts, which can result in improved grades and a more complete comprehension of the material.

E-commerce students discuss digital marketing to sell magic wands. Source: MUST


The autonomy to direct their own learning means students are more likely to be engaged and inspired to succeed. Allowing students to collaborate on projects or work together in groups can help to foster a sense of solidarity and affinity with their peers, further motivating them to invest in their learning. The integration of technology into the learning process can help to make the experience more stimulating and pleasurable, thereby increasing student motivation.

Strategies for implementing student-centred learning design

Incorporating technology into e-commerce courses can be an effective way to foster student engagement and interest in the material. Digital tools, such as online quizzes, interactive videos and even business-simulation games can help students to better comprehend the concepts being taught.

Additionally, technology can facilitate group projects, allowing for more efficient collaboration among students. Group projects get students engaged in the learning process. By working together on a project, students can learn from each other and develop their critical-thinking skills. Group projects also allow students to practise communication, collaboration, problem-solving and decision-making skills, which are essential for success in the world of e-commerce or other business.

Active educators, active learners

The implementation of a student-centred learning design in e-commerce education at MUST could prove to be highly advantageous for both instructors and learners alike. This approach has the potential to increase engagement, improve learning outcomes and foster greater motivation among students. Using technology, interactive activities and group projects, students can become more actively involved in the learning process, thus creating a more enjoyable and stimulating environment in which to learn. Such an approach has been demonstrated to be effective in promoting student success, and educators should seriously consider it when designing courses.

Guan Wang is a lecturer in accounting in the School of Liberal Arts at Macau University of Science and Technology.

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