2 The Potentials Better utilize class-contact time Promote active student learningCater for differential student needsHelp students learn how to learnEncourage students to take responsibility for their own learningPrepare students for lifelong learning
3 The dangers Anxiety and worry Potentially de-motivating if students are not supportedNegative experience of learningStudents lose confidence in self learningPoor learning outcomePoor student evaluationetc.
4 What is independent learning? Students taking increasing responsibility for:identifying their own “needs-to-know”searching for relevant information and gaining knowledge on their ownlearning on their own with minimum supervisionactively seeking ways to solve their own problems and difficultiesassessing their own learning to see if their needs-to-know are met
9 Question for discussion Refer to the cartoons about teaching students to swim independentlyIs the teacher promoting independent learning? Why or why not?How may the students react to the learning experience?What conditions are needed to encourage students to learn more independently?
10 Teaching for independent learning Promoting independent learning: Is Notsimply abandoning “lectures” and telling students to learn on their ownplacing the responsibility for learning entirely on the studentsIs Abouta different way of helping students learnfacilitating and supporting students to learn increasingly on their own
11 Lecturer’s roles in convention teaching Lecturer as:A Knowledge-transmitterThe principal source of informationMajor instructional decisions:What content needs to be covered?How should the content be structured?What methods of transmission is most effective?How to assess students’ learning?
12 Lecturer’s roles in promoting independent learning Lecturer asA facilitator of learningA guide to discovery of knowledgeMajor instructional decisionsHow to motivate students to learn more Independently?What support is needed to help students in their independent learning?How to ensure that learning takes place and how to assess it?
13 Barriers: the learners Resistance or negative attitude to independent learning because of:Feeling of threat and insecurityFeeling “cheated” with less “teaching”Lack of confidence of successLack of appropriate prior experienceLack of independent learning skillsHabits and preferred ways to learn
14 Barriers: the environment Constraints of the environment:Lack of a co-operative learning environmentExcessive workloadExtrinsic rather than intrinsic goal structureAvailability of facilities and resources
15 Barriers: instruction Weaknesses in instructional method:Insufficient briefing on purposeInsufficient briefing on what is expected of the learnerEmphasis on “product” rather than “process” of learningLack of feedback on progress / reinforcementInappropriate assessment method
16 Conditions for independent learning GoalsEnthusiasm and interestConfidence of successAdequate pre-existing knowledgeSkillsAvailability of resourcesFeedbackInformation about course requirements, expectations, learning environment, etc.
17 Question for discussion Suggest what we may do to encourage student to engage more in independent learning.
18 Motivating studentsConvince students of their needs for becoming an independent learnerEmphasize purpose and benefitsDesign individual learning tasks that students find meaningful and stimulating:Relating to professional practiceRequiring application and problem-solvingAllowing choice and autonomy
19 Making students feel ‘safe’ Start small, introduce changes gradually and progressivelyClear instructions on tasks;What,How, andWhenEnsure availability of helpRegular feedback on progress
20 Helping students succeed Prepare students adequately:Help student acquire independent learning skillsMatch tasks with preparedness of studentsDevelop students’ confidence of success:Provide positive reinforcementsShow examples of good work by fellow studentsProvide encouragement and support
21 Reducing barriers Give specific instructions Ensure reasonable workloadDevelop a friendly and productive relationship and climateEnsure availability of the needed facilities and resourcesSet assessments that emphasise process as well as outcome
22 Teaching approaches for promoting independent learning Some examples (with varying degree of independent learning):Guided self-studyProblem-solving exercises in lecturesStudent presentations and student-led seminarsPeer teachingStudent-centred assessmentProject workLearning contractsDissertation
23 Planning for moves towards more independent learning Using the form provided, plan changes that you would like to make in your teaching to promote more independent learning among students in:your lectures,your tutorials/seminars,your workshops and practical sessions,your assessments.
24 Useful referencesBaume, D. Developing learner Autonomy. SEDA Paper 84, SEDA. Nov., 1994.Baume, C. & Baume, D. “The art of inspiring independent learning.” New Academic, Autumn 1997: 2-6 & Spring 1998: 2-6.
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