6th July 2016 at 11:43 am #373dkernohanParticipant
I’m a terrible online learner -at least when it comes to structured learning – as the stack of guiltily-unopened emails from Coursera and FutureLearn in my email inbox would tell you.
I am the living embodiment of the downside of what Tressie McMillan Cottom called the “roaming autodidact” – I digest swathes of information daily, drawing on multiple specialisms and discourses and translating freely between them. What I do badly is complete/finish – I want to understand enough economic theory to grasp a parallel I am struggling to see, I don’t necessarily want to understand economic theory per se.
My knowledge is wide and (mostly) shallow, I collect connections and concepts to inform my own mental models, but my enthusiasm is focused on building those models rather than on any external metric of mastery.
So what helps me in learning online is the ability to set my own projects and goals, to have access to a wide range of resources and a group of peers to support me. What doesn’t help me is a course structure or timed-delimited focus, or “faux” problem-based learning (I like to cause my own problems 🙂 )
6th July 2016 at 1:07 pm #376Lou McGillKeymaster
To me it sounds like you are not an awful online learner at all – It sounds very much like you know your strengths and limitations and that this helps you to be effective.
Maybe people who do not have this level of self-knowledge benefit more from structured learning events. So thinking here of younger (no offence;)) people who have not developed an in depth understanding of how they learn best. Not saying that a self-aware learner may not still prefer a structured course though.
An interesting question is ‘what does it take to become an independent and confident learner’ – is it just something that comes with age and experience, or positive experiences or success (however you define that. And if you are a ‘self aware learner’ does it help when people learn online.
Not expecting you to answer these questions – just throwing thoughts into the pot.
7th July 2016 at 10:26 am #380SarahKnightModerator
I need deadlines to motivate me to complete activities otherwise I find my learning goes to the bottom of my to do list!
Supportive tutors are also key to keeping me engaged and focused. Regular catch ups with tutors, or emails to check on progress really help me to keep my motivation.
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