Perfect for classes that have students of varying abilities and who learn at different paces, self-directed learning allows students to build confidence, and sets them up for success as lifelong learners.
With this approach, students typically take 5 steps:
- Figuring out their learning needs
- Setting their own learning goals
- Identifying the learning resources that they need
- Selecting and implementing learning strategies
- Evaluating the outcomes of their learning
TIPS FOR SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING SESSIONS
1. MASTER THE BASICS FIRST
Run through the fundamentals as a class, then let students complete practical challenges on their own computers. That way, more adept students can progress at their own pace, and you can focus on helping the students who need it most.
2. ALLOW STUDENTS TO CHOOSE THEIR OWN PROJECTS
Allowing students to choose their own projects will help to increase student engagement, and to keep motivation levels high.
With a wide range of project-based courses, Zenva Schools lets you provide students with a selection of different projects, so they can choose the one that interests them most.
3. PROVIDE OPTIONS FOR HOW THEY LEARN
Every student learns differently, so certain learning materials may not work for every student.
With Zenva Schools, all courses work on desktop and mobile devices. They also come with video lessons, handouts that summarize the course content, source code, project files, interactive lessons, and quizzes. That way, students can pick and choose the materials that best suit their learning style.
4. HAVE STUDENTS CREATE THEIR OWN UNIQUE PROJECTS
Allow students to modify one of the projects created in class, or to create an entirely new project using the skills that they’ve learned.
Students can set their own goals for the project, figure out what new things they may need to learn, and look for resources that will help them to do so.
SCHOOLS USING A SELF-DIRECTED APPROACH
At Bentley Park College, Lorena took a self-directed learning approach with her class, where students learned at their own pace – either watching Zenva Schools courses with their headphones on, or reading the text-based lesson summaries.
The beauty of it is that students are able to go back and review some things. Some kids will go, “I can’t remember how to do this”. I say, “Well go find this video, go have a look at that,” and they knew how to go back in there. So self-directed learning. So that was really good.
Lorena Goodall, Digital and Design Technology Teacher, HOD of IT at Bentley Park College
At Park Ridge State High School, Daniel allowed students who worked at a faster pace to complete set course materials ahead of time, and also choose additional projects to complete based on their interests.
I had a student who was just leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else in the class. Of course, I can’t run an entire separate unit for one student, so I said, “Okay. Well, I’ve got to differentiate for this kid. He’s obviously ahead of this. He’s getting bored.” So I just made him an account with Zenva, and gave him the introduction to Python early, before everyone else. And then he went through it and came over and said, “Oh, I’ve done that one. Is there any more?” And I’m like, “Mate, come and have a look at the actual list of courses. I’ll give you access to any ones you want.”
Daniel Jones, Digital Technologies Teacher at Park Ridge State High School