EDUC 300 Module 5 Self-directed Learning

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The module 5 for this course was much different when compared to the previous modules that have been completed up to this point. There was not as much structure or resources made available by the instructor. This is because Dr. Gusa was trying to lead us to be self-directed learners. According to the publication What is Self-Directed Learning? it can be explained by the words of Malcolm Knowles “In its broadest meaning, ’self-directed learning’ describes a process by which individuals take the initiative, with our without the assistance of others, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identify human and material resources for learning, choosing and implement appropriate learning strategies, and evaluating learning outcomes.” This publication does continue on to identify some possible concerns with this definition in that the learner is fully responsible to make the first step to start the learning process, and that once this has occurred they are held fully responsible to ensure they complete the learning process.

When I first started this module I became very overwhelmed as I felt I was not given enough instruction that would allow my thought process to make a plan from point A to point B, proceeding in the right direction to complete the course work required for the module.  Christina Boxler also expressed this perception in her post when she says “I do wish this course was more organized like EDUC 210. I find myself more confused in this course than I did with EDUC 210. I understand that technology is always changing, and some of the things we are learning in this class are also so new to Dr. G, so it is a learning experience for all of us and a process of what works and what does not (3/22/14). I feel that when students start to have feelings of being lost or confused, especially in an online course, that it can really inhibit their motivation for the learning process. We are creatures of habit, and when we are taken out of our comfort zones we can react in many different ways; such as such as avoiding the unknown or procrastinating because we don’t even know where we are supposed to start. In the video Why we do what we do Tony Robins discusses many of the aspects that affect our behaviors and actions. One of the variables that he discusses that I feel could apply to education is risk. When I don’t know where to start or what the main goal of the assignment is, I feel that I procrastinate because I am worried from the risk that is presented that I could be not doing something perfectly right.  I feel that this worry about doing something not exactly right stems from previous experiences in education. I cant tell you how many teachers that I have had that would take off a ridiculous amount of points if it wasn’t exactly the way they wanted it to be.

As I continued through this module and saw that many other students also felt overwhelmed at times as I had been. But when I continued on to read about how stressed out, like myself many others were, it really made me ask myself why we are making such a big deal and getting ourselves stressed out over of various aspects presented in this course, as I had not been and didn’t know of any others who had been greatly penalized on assignments from Dr. Gusa. That’s when I came to the possible reason being that from previous strict educational experiences and how it has made us worried to try to even begin something when we cant see exactly what the teacher wants. As many adult learners want to produce quality work, our past experiences have conditioned us to think that it is achieved when we receive good grades.  And to receive good grades, we need to carry on to produce course work that follows the narrow path of requirements instilled by the teacher, as not doing so would result in undesired grading scores, leading us to feel that we have not produced quality schoolwork. From the ways in which Dr. Gusa has directed this course, I think that we should see by now that she is not the type of professor who is going to unreasonably detain a large magnitude of possible credit awarded to students for producing something that may have been slightly different from what she was expecting or did not completely follow a specific format.

While I do not plan on becoming an online educator, I feel that one way to facilitate online students to becoming self directed learners would be to create a learning environment in that students could leave behind many of their past experiences in education that have lead them to act as though doing precisely what is instructed to be rewarded with good grades; allowing them to actualy focus on learning and not be mainly burdened with the focus of pleasing what the professor wants. There are many directions that could be taken to achieve this type of learning environment, none of which would be easy or cut and dry. I feel that for this type of environment to exist students must feel very comfortable to collaborate and not feel the pressure of getting a bad grade for saying the wrong thing in a discussion. In the video Dare to disagree we see how the circumstance of opposing views can be an opportunity to create greater collaboration and participation in online students discussion forums. Its very easy and safe to simply agree, but when students engage in argumentation activities they are lead to greater levels of thinking than what would be achieved if the aspect of conflict was not presented. This concept is similarly expressed in Joshua Gleeson’s post as “if the one of our goals is collaboration, making us interdependent upon each other for success in class is important.  If we design the class so that we need to rely on each other for the assignments we will accomplish the goal of collaboration.  Dr. Gusa has already done this and a connection I made to her pedagogy.  What we lack in my opinion is a conversation.  There is not enough back and forth to facilitate additional learning” (3/29/14).

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I feel that while it may not be applied to all online students, that most of online students are usually motivated adults, and with the right surroundings can be lead to act/think as self-directed learners. This topic is discussed in the publication Productivity and online learning redux when is states “In particular a focus in online courses on ’21st century skills’ development, such as knowledge management and independent learning, would have two benefits. It would improve outputs (turning out graduates with the skills needed). Second, content development and delivery becomes subsidiary to helping students find, analyze, organize and apply content themselves. Thus less time would be spent by instructors on course development and delivery.” I feel that online courses have aspects that sometimes place them at an advantage when compared to traditional classes in education. I feel that online courses may have some type of advantage related to the greater percent of adult learners who exhibit quality attributes such as self-motivation and time management skills. This can allows teachers to focus more on teaching and constructing improved course designs to further benefit the students learning and developing process. While this publication continues on to the idea that online teachers will have more time when they have an online course with an appropriate design, as they will benefit form this as additional time to put toward greater teacher and educational practices. While there is a decrease in the time online teachers need to set aside for presenting and delivering the course information as a traditional teacher would, I don’t think that this measurement of time should really be seen as additional time to which the instructor could completely devote to another area. It would not be accurate to assume that just because professors are not physically teaching in the traditional classroom setting that there are not many other aspects, which require greater amounts of time that is not presented for professors who teach in a face-to-face setting.

To aid in student directed learning I feel that we need to allow students to begin to think for them selves and not be so concerned and distracted by someone telling them what they should be learning. As stated in Tarik Mekic’s post “exotic ideas actually stimulate the best form of critical thinking, in a way the further out-of-the-box you go the more you realize how much is actually out there. By that I mean if you’re used to thinking something in one way you restrict yourself and don’t really tap in to your full potential, but if you approach every assignment or problem with an open mind you’re more likely to finding unique way of doing it that would work better then if you did it textbook style so to speak” (3/24/14).


Boxler, C. (3/22/14). Course assessment, is this really working? Module 5. A more engaging rubric discussion forum.

Gleeson, J. (3/29/14). Mutuality the antidote. Module 5. Applying our text readings to our experiences discussion forum.

Mekic, T. (3/24/14). How experiences shape our understanding. Module 5. A more engaging rubric discussion forum.

SA: A, I have met all requirements.

One thought on “EDUC 300 Module 5 Self-directed Learning

  1. This thoughtful blog needs to be read by others on the world wide web. In order for others to find your blog you need to change your tags (may I suggest) self-directed learners, student stress, and assessment. Google uses your tags in their search engine.

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