Saturday, June 20, 2009

The role of educators in supporting independent learners

Here's my slidecast (hopefully as I haven't tried to put one inside a blog before). Rather than plan a flexibly delivered course I've taken the student's perspective and outlined the suppotive role educators can take in helping self-directed learners to acheive their formal learning goals:


  1. Hi Dzyanna
    As I listened to your presentation I felt that many of your points applied to the second year nursing students I see in clinical (and possibly all students regardless of age/stage). These students will already have some existing skills and knowledge, applicable for building on in nursing, whatever their age. A different way of looking at teaching in our curriculum (based on the ideas you propose)would be for each student to have an allocated lecturer through the year who assists the student to identify their existing skills and knowledge as a base to add on to and also identify with student their existing ways of learning. This lecturer will continue to work with the student through the year, in partnership, in the ways that you describe later in your presentation: pointing them to key commentators; keeping them on track; and enriching their learning experience.

    Gary,, another participant in the 2009 course, discusses similar ideas when he proposes asking the students at the start of the course about content and ways of learning that the course should involve.

  2. Hi Dzyanna

    I like your thinking. Self-directed learners are out there doing what they enjoy on a daily basis while involved in everyday life. When I think about my own experiences in terms of studying psychology, I’m looking at, listening to, and reading things all the time that sound interesting, and there is a lot! Because, I’m interested! We certainly need to keep this in mind when we are teaching self-directed learners.

    I like the value you place on the student as being thought of as an equal, I think that is really important (I touch on this in my blog). This comment reminds me of a lecturer I had at Varsity once who had a plaque on the wall in his office which said something along those lines, plus, it also mentioned that one should never forget that the student is in essence the one who is paying your salary, so treat them with all the respect in the world.

  3. I really enjoyed your presentation - especially the idea of student already having a PLE and having the 'real life' classroom. This was something I tried to get at on my blog post but I don't think I have put quite so succinctly as you have. Love the idea of student 'showing off' what they know.

  4. At the same time, they have to prove that they have achieved the outcomes of your course , so there has to be an element of proof somewhere along the line.