What is a PLE? • A Personal Learning Environment (PLE) is a facility for an individual to aggregate, manipulate and share digital artefacts of their ongoing learning experiences. • The European project ROLE (Responsive Open Learning Environments) is aiming at empowering learners for lifelong and personalised learning within a responsive open learning http://www.flickr.com/photos/hanspoldoja/4098840001 http://www.flickr.com/photos/petahopkins/2157928982 environment.
Self-Regulated Learning• Self-regulated learning (SRL) is a term that describes an individual’s ability to learn how to learn. In other words, each of us can develop a wide-ranging skill set that enables us to learn in a number of different ways.• In some university settings the term SRL is more commonly described as “independent learning” or “auto-didactic learning”.• Some examples of how SRL might be assessed: • Having the ability to set learning goals and plan appropriate study strategies • Finding suitable learning materials • Seeking help from peers and collaborating to gain feedback or assurance • Being able to reflect on their learning progress and adjust their study strategies accordingly
Survey• In order to acquire a better understanding of the teacher’s perception of SRL in higher education, we conducted a survey among 17 educators.• The survey was circulated online (see http://bit.ly/wqozuC).• Participants were first provided with a short introduction to SRL, which included some SRL assessment examples.• They were then asked to answer a number of questions about the SRL levels of their students and report their teaching experiences with them.
Survey results• 64% face-to-face classes - 35% distance-based classes• Number of students / year: 100-300• Estimated SRL levels of students: • High: 10-20% • Medium: 20-40% • Low: 50-60%
Survey results• “It is more intellectually stimulating and less routine”• “It is more enjoyable teaching”• “[The students] are more involved on learning, they ask me more serious questions and thus it is also a challenge for me”• “I particularly like teaching students with originality and critical skills. They do not always have to agree with me!”
Survey resultsCould you give an example from your teaching experience of thesegroups? (Students with high & low SRL levels) • “The first group are more „mature‟ and more interested on learning than the second group which is more childish and less prepared to assume a responsibility and put on some effort on their education.” • “High: self-motivated, keep up-to-date themselves and ask challenging, forward-looking/advanced questions in labs & lectures.” • “Low: unmotivated, poor attendance, ask simple questions about material theyre falling-behind with.” • “Mixed SRL groups have different challenges. The low SRL levels require encouragement, guidance, instruction to become more independent. The high SRL groups engage with more complex materials and have challenging higher order questions.”
Survey resultsHow do you motivate SRL among your students? • “We have plenty of material on our website that students can use to enhance their SRL. Problem is they dont always use it - sometimes because they are so out of their depth that they have no time to do anything else but study the course material.” • “[I] direct them to our academic skills centre which runs personal sessions and workshops on study skills.” • “I usually give a question or context for projects and then organize with them an agenda and goals. [...] From this point they are free to find the best direction and we work together all time revising the project goals and agenda.” • “In the context of what I teach, I would encourage them to try and design their own problems and then apply their learning to them, or take a new approach to an already solved problem. The aim being to reinforce the idea that solutions are not discovered but are created.”
An introductory course to PLEs http://tinyurl.com/role-course • Introduces the core ROLE concepts and demonstrates a selection of ROLE learning tools. • Learning outcomes: • Understand how widgets can be used to carry out specific tasks • Outline how a Personal Learning Environment can be enabled • Build your own Personal Learning Environment
An introductory course to SRL http://tinyurl.com/role-srl-course • Learning outcomes: • Understand the fundamental aspects of SRL • Outline a series of SRL examples • Assess your own SRL skills • Understand how you can use the ROLE tools to apply SRL to your learning
SRL in ROLE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTa1vOH6JjA
Conclusions & next steps• Preliminary survey results indicate that SRL is not a foreign concept among higher education teachers.• Our respondents acknowledge its usefulness and are trying to motivate and support their students towards achieving a high level of independence in their learning.• Next steps: • Reach out to educators in various European countries and beyond. • Provide teachers with learning resources and tools for motivating and supporting SRL.