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Understanding Educational Models

Compare and contrast different approaches to instructing self-directed learners.

What are some recommendations for teaching self-directed learners?

Are there some approaches to teaching self-directed learners that are generalizable across different contexts?

Cunningham, J. (2010). Self-direction: A critical tool in distance education. Common Ground Journal. 7(2), pp. 89-100.

Hains, B. J. & Smith, B. (2012). Student-centered course design: Empowering students to become self-directed learners. Journal of Experiential Education. 35(2), pp. 357-374.

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Compare and contrast different approaches to instructing self-directed learners.

Some of the effective strategies that are capable of instructing students on self-directed learning include scaffolding and learning contracts. Scaffolding entails using support structures that are designed to improve students' knowledge and skills, which can lead students toward a deeper understanding of new materials while creating more and more independence for learners to begin to learn on their own. This approach has been tried and tested with proven results because it takes many of the tenets of teaching and incorporates it into a process that gradually withdraws instructor support enabling more and more learner independence.

The ability to successfully carry out self-directed learning is contingent upon employing five aspects of scaffolding, which include the teacher modeling desired behavior that teachers want students to engage in, providing explanations (e.g., identifying concepts, guidelines, processes, and examples of each) that will facilitate independent thinking on behalf of the learners while also allowing them to engage in learner participation wherein the instructor acts as a collaborator rather than an evaluator ending with the ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses approaches and recommendations for self-directed learners.