Getting Learner Choice into Learning Programs, Part 2

This post is the second in a series on how and why an instructional program could emphasize and benefit from learner self-direction, or the practice of planning instruction to include opportunities for learners to discover, collate, or create content as an integral part of that instructional event.  

For a solution or implementation to support the kind of self-direction endorsed on this blog, it needs to meet the criteria below.  As we discuss solutions and implementations, we’ll use these as a lens:

  • Purpose:  Educators need to be able to contextualize learner self-direction.  “Context” is the instructional intent, the reasons why a learner should act and guidelines on what learners should do.
  • Feedback:  The learner must get feedback on the utility, relevancy, or general value of one’s choices in relation to planned instruction.  Feedback could come from a person, an algorithm, the crowd, or all of the above.  Especially useful are deliveries of immediate feedback that can impact instruction in real time.
  • Review:  The learner must be able to view the relationships between their choices and the contexts they were given.  Ideally, learners can interact with these associations: revise associations, create new contexts for self study, suggest new contexts for educators to use going forward, etc. 
  • Analysis:  When the learner is self-directed, the technology environment must be able to capture meaningful usage and performance data so that it can report on the utility of learner choice in relation to the program (its administration and/or design), not just the learner.   

Stay tuned.  Next week, you’ll see the first of several product reviews.  I take requests, by the way.  I’m hoping that readers will identify programs and solutions to ponder.

Thanks for reading.