Self‐Direc*on Indicators for Evalua*ng
the Design‐Based eLearning Course with
Kai Pata, Sonja Merisalo
Tallinn University, Ins*tute of Informa*cs, Center for Educa*onal Technology,
Narva road 25, 10120, Tallinn, Estonia.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
CELDA 2009, ROME, November, 20‐22th
New learning context
• In the context of life‐long learning it makes sense
for learners to target the Instruc*onal Designs
towards their own needs.
• Maintaining Personal Learning Environments
(PLE) can oﬀer learners the opportunity to plan
their own learning trajectory and enter to
diﬀerent collabora*ve learning ac*vi*es.
• The design process enables the development of
self‐direc*on and self‐reﬂec*on habits as part of
the design process.
Outline of an eLearning course
55 students from
Personal learning universi*es
PLANNING THE contract reﬂected weekly
GROUPWORK through a
E‐LEARNING the 14 weeks
GROUPWORK INDIVIDUAL WORK
• It is important to ﬁnd methods of evalua*ng
learning process with personal learning
environments using unobtrusive methods.
• The development of self‐direc*on indicators
for evalua*ng the e‐learning course using
students‘ self reﬂec*ons in blogs.
Weekly reﬂec*on templates
– What was the most important thing you learned this
– What was par*cularly interes*ng/boring in this week?
– Was there something you did not quite understand and
want to know more about it?
– What kind of ques*ons/ideas/experiences this week's
ac*vi*es raised for you?
– Which tools did you use this week? Explain what was the
purpose of using these tools (e.g. social talk, to regulate
my team ac*vi*es, to work on my documents)?
– With whom did you communicate during this week, how
many *mes, with which tools, and for what purposes?
• Which are the indicators of the self‐direc*on
in students’ self‐reﬂec*on blogs‐posts?
• What is their applica*on during the Design‐
based learning course?
• Which are the interrela*ons between the
indicators of self‐direc*on?
Three types of ‘tools’
• For iden*fying self‐reﬂec*on indicators we can
elaborate ac*vity theory (Engeström, 1987) that
uses the ‚tool‘ concept (eg. material tools,
language, and the organiza;on of group‐work )
as central for signifying various mediators that
enable learners and teams to fulﬁll objec*ves.
• Self‐direc;ng competence becomes a cogni;ve
tool, and may serve as another mediator of
Three types of compe*ng ‘tools’
• Three types of compe*ng ‚tools‘ are available
for individuals who design and maintain their
Personal Learning Environments in learning
– a) material tools (eg. social so<ware);
– b) team as the tool to reach personal and group
goals during the ac*vity; and
– c) the person itself with its aresenal of self‐
Diﬀerences Diﬀerent Clear
between me voices of Expect Unclear
the group the Self others to Organize
work the team Clarity of
situa*ons Team course
Set goals Start new
Self‐direc*ng strategies using
Diagnose Create Social
The voice new tools Drop
of the tools
I as part
of the In In Indicators
group others Self
Strategies for self‐direc*on
Self‐direc*ng strategies are
not frequently reﬂected in
Tool usage in PLEs
Integra*ng PLEs for
dropping some Group work was a trigger to
personal tools and persuade students to keep using
trying new tools certain team tools and start using
again some ini*ally used tools.
Clarity of the course
Un‐clarity of the course
increases when PLEs are
integrated and team tries to
ﬁnd common teamwork habits
The voice of the writer
Student gradually becomes
from individual learner
towards considering himself
as part of the group
Compe*ng ‘tool’ systems
When students perceived that
‘course was not clear’, they
started ‘organizing the team’
Students who par*cipated ac*vely in team
stopped self‐direc*on in reﬂec*ons
Indicators of self‐direc*on were
not mutually correlated
indica*ng to the serious
problems in using self‐direc*on
components systema*cally in
self‐reﬂec*on blog posts.
• Indicators of self‐direc*on can be systema*cally
collected from self‐reﬂec*ons and could be used
for evalua*ng the progress and constraints in e‐
learning courses that involve parallel individual
and group assignments with social so<ware.
• However, there exists a tension and compe**on
between simultaneous individual and group
assignments, and reﬂec*ng evidences of self‐
direc*on in both ac*vi*es.
This study was funded by:
iCamp project (027168) under the IST 6th framework programme of
the EU hpp://www.icamp.eu/
Targeted research project of Estonian Ministry of Educa*on and
Research: "E‐learning systems with distributed
architecture, their interoperability and models of applica*on"
Estonian Science Founda*on project: "The framework for suppor*ng
and analysing self‐directed learning in augmented learning