All we really need is us (on Self-Directed Learning)


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Presentation of a workshop on Self Directed Learning (Brussels, June 2014, Corporate Universities Summit). What would our workplace look like if we could increase Self-Directed Learning?

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All we really need is us (on Self-Directed Learning)

  1. 1. All we really need is us… How to increase the number of self-directed learners (SDL) in our organizations? Bert De Coutere Corporate Universities Summit Brussels – June 2014
  2. 2. Nice to meet you! Bert De Coutere lives in Belgium, works for the Center for Creative Leadership, blogs on and is a fan of competent people.
  3. 3. I discovered that all my professional interests over the years had one common theme… self-directed learning
  4. 4. The plan for today (from structured to …) • Bert will share 5 things about self-directed learning • We’ll introduce ourselves at our tables and reflect on our own learning ability • Then we’ll go over the increased importance of SDL and look at some definitions and models • We’ll imagine what it would be like to have more SDL in our organizations • Case 1: the Quantified Self movement • Then we’ll list the ‘ingredients’ of successful learning • Case 2: MOOCs and the LeaderMOOC experience • Let’s experience SDL at our table groups • What is the one action we will take after this workshop to increase the level of SDL in our organization?
  5. 5. You’re not alone.
  6. 6. It’s probably not for everyone.
  7. 7. Can you really set your own learning goals up front?
  8. 8. It is all in our heads. (well, a lot of it…)
  9. 9. What would stop SDL from happening?
  10. 10. Envelope 1 – Let’s connect • Take envelop 1 on your table • The envelopes have a key question • The instructions are on the cover
  11. 11. Let’s try a poll –What is the most recent you learned to do?
  12. 12. So what is the big furry deal?
  13. 13. Haven’t we been saying for years we wanted to put learners in the driver’s seat?
  14. 14. What’s in a word? Do you need one definition? Let’s give you several! • Autodidact • Self-Directed Learning • Self-Regulated Learning • Self-Organized Learning • DIY Learning • Learning Agility • Heutagogy
  15. 15. Definitions.
  16. 16. Knowles (1975) Self-Directed Learning (SDL) is “a process in which individuals take the initiative, with or without the help of others, to diagnose their learning needs, formulate learning goals, identify resources for learning, select and implement learning strategies, and evaluate learning outcomes”. Knowles also provided the following characteristics for SDL: (a) self-directed learning assumes that humans grow in capacity and need to be self-directing; (b) learners' experiences are rich resources for learning; (c) Individuals learn what is required to perform their evolving life tasks; (d) an adult's natural orientation is task or problem-centered learning; (e) self-directed learners are motivated by various internal incentives, such as need for self-esteem, curiosity, desire to achieve, and satisfaction of accomplishment
  17. 17. “the degree of choice that learners have within an instructional situation.” “open-ended opposite of “dependent” learning.” (Grow, 1991: 128) Self-regulation abilities include goal setting, self-monitoring, self-instruction and self- reinforcement.
  18. 18. Models.
  19. 19. Poll – What do you estimate is the % of people in your organisation that is currently capable of SDL?
  20. 20. Poll – What might that % become in the future? (eg in two years time)
  21. 21. Envelope 2 – Imagine all the people… How would your organization look like when it had more SDL learners? 1. Spread out the Visual Explorer ™ cards on your table. 2. Individually, pick a card that for you best anwers the question “How would your organization look like when it had more SDL learners?” (Hint: It helps to do this in silence. Sometimes people say that the ‘card picked them’. 3. Individually, take a minute to write down what you see in the picture, why you selected it. What are the benefits you see of an environment with more SDL learners? 4. Now with your neighbour, discuss why you picked the card and what you see in the picture. Let your neighbour also comment on what he or she sees additionally in your card. 5. Swap roles – now your neighbour shows their card and explains and you add comments what you see in their card. 6. If time permits, repeat for other people on the table.
  22. 22. Poll – So, what were some of the benefits of SDL you could imagine?
  23. 23. Case 1: The Quantified Self movement • What did you do? • Why did you do it? • What did you learn?
  24. 24. Case 1: The Quantified Self movement • So where is the learning?
  25. 25. Envelope 3 – The ingredients of learning… What do we need to be able to learn? What does it take to drive our own learning? 1. This envelop contains models of learning and various hints to explore. You may or may not find it useful to discuss some of the material. 2. Have a discussion with the entire table on the questions above. Take note of the ‘ingredients of learning’.
  26. 26. Poll – What does it take to drive your own learning?
  27. 27. Motivation (although important) might be overrated… it is not enough
  28. 28. It is really about building and executing our own process for learning.
  29. 29. Case 2: MOOCs • Massive • Open • Online • Courses
  30. 30. What did we learn from our LeaderMOOC experience?
  31. 31. What we learned from our pilot. Nothing really new, just more of it. Rather New
  32. 32. What we learned from our pilot. So what? (Warning: limited audience interaction ahead.) The answer to life, the universe and everything. The raw data M for massive dropouts Educational Darwinism How far can we go? Learning outcomes Show me the money In search of a business model It’s what you do with it. Technology matters. Maybe this will work. Three experiments. M for massive work No traffic jams on the extra mile. The after-MOOC The cult of the wicker-man. <insert incredibly insightful question here> Anything else
  33. 33. Envelopes 4– Experience SDL • How do other people do it? What are best practices? • Identify actions YOU can take to grow SDL in yourself or your organisation
  34. 34. Poll – What is one action you will take to increase SDL in your organization?
  35. 35. Let’s end this session by adapting a Chinese proverb… Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Make a man a better learner and he’ll have a varied menu for the rest of his life..