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Encourage Students to Regulate Their Own Learning

Module by: Larry Ragan. E-mail the author

Summary: This module focuses on finding ways to motivate students to take control of their own learning in an online teaching environment. This module is part of the Best Practices in Online Teaching Course created by Penn State University World Campus as a guide for faculty who are new to teaching in an online environment.

What to Do?

Figure 1: Photo, Write 2 by Steve Woods, Photo #840308, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/840308
Figure 1 (graphics1.jpg)
Effective online instructors provide support and guidance to encourage students to become self-regulated learners.

How to Do It?

  • Encourage students to become “process managers” in the online course by giving up some traditional power role as teachers (Palloff & Pratt, 2001)
  • Include an introductory survey with questions on student expectations for the course. (See Example 1)
  • Direct students to take turns leading/moderating online discussions.
  • Demonstrate support for student learning by engaging them to reflect on their online learning experiences.
  • Encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning as well as their peers’ by completing readings and posting meaningful course-related discussions.
  • Ask students to self-assess their learning and progress and to post questions to discussion forums or seek help when necessary.
  • Provide an opportunity for peer review.

Example 1: Example Student Survey Questions - Student Expectations

Part of "About You" introductory student survey for UKR 100.

9. Are you apprehensive about the class material being online?

  • Yes very much
  • Yes
  • Maybe
  • No
  • Not at all

10. I expect to put in the effort to achieve at least a(n)__ grade.

  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D

11. How much control over the pace of the course would you like?

  • I would like total control
  • I would like some control
  • No opinion
  • I need deadlines to ensure my compliance
  • I would like you (Ms. Shchur) to control my learning

12. How many hours a week do you expect to spend on this class?

  • 1 hour
  • 2 hours
  • 3 hours
  • 4 hours
  • 5 hours
  • 6 hours
  • 7 hours

13. Will you have a part time job during the semester?

  • Yes
  • Don't Know
  • No

Voice of Experience

To hear insights from experienced online instructors about preparing for online teaching, access any or all of the following interviews. Please make sure your audio is enabled.

Alfred Turgeon

Figure 2
Figure 2 (altugeon.jpg)
Figure 3
Alfred Turgeon - Encouraging Student Involvement (Interviewed by Larry Ragan) (mp3)
Media File: TurgeonStudentInvolvement.mp3

Why Do It?

Online learners should be self-regulated learners, who know how to learn and who actively explore learning strategies and resources (Vonderwell & Turner, 2005).

"Social actions might include instructor empathy, interpersonal outreach (welcoming statements, invitations, and apologies), discussion of one’s own online experiences and humor” (Bonk et al., 2001, p. 80).

References

Bonk, C.J., Kirkley, J., Hara, N., & Dennen, V.P. (2001). Finding the instructor in post-secondary online learning: Pedagogical, social, managerial and technological locations. In Stephenson, J. (Ed.), Teaching and Learning Online: Pedagogies for New Technologies (pp.76-97). London: Routledge/Falmer.

Pallott, R.M., & Pratt, K. (2001). Lessons from the cyberspace classroom: The realities of online teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Vonderwell, S. & Turner, S. (2005). Active learning and preservice teachers’ experiences in an online course: A case study. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 13(1), 65-84

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A lens is a custom view of the content in the repository. You can think of it as a fancy kind of list that will let you see content through the eyes of organizations and people you trust.

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