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  • Overcoming the challenges in self-education

    An article by Carlin Flora in Psychology Today.

    Self-directed learners take full responsibility for their education, careers and lives. It's neither intelligence nor technique that holds people back from being successful self-taught learners. In the age of information overload, if we don't connect the dots of what we're learning to our current body of knowledge, we get lost in the sea of data and miss the aha moments of understanding. It's a disadvantage that can be overcome with a little human contact. Peers in an online course or an instructor can provide context and link concepts. Structure, along with external pressure and reinforcement, is also critical for many self-directed learners. Forming a network with like-minded learners and getting help from online teachers also help the learners to organize their learning activities. Self-directed learners know that applying expertise from one domain can translate to success in new and different areas and challenges. Recognition of e-credentials by educational institutions and companies also plays an important role in encouraging autodidacts.

  • Strategies to succeed in a self-paced online course

    A study by Michele Heron published in the Distance Education journal.

    High enrollment rate and low completion rate has become the norm in online courses. This study explores many strategies that will help unskilled students in self-regulated learning, so that they can successfully complete the course. Students reported lack of motivation and low self-efficacy for learning and frequently experienced negative emotions, such as anger, boredom, and frustration, which interrupted their engagement in learning. Such problems, added with the absence of interaction with the instructor, may contribute to a pattern of significantly lower completion rates in online remedial courses than in face-to-face remedial courses. Self-regulated learners set goals, plan ahead, consistently monitor and reflect on their learning process. They effectively manage their time and learning resources and persist in a challenging learning context. Such learning strategies improve student achievement. The study also proposes several suggestions to improve students' motivation, cognition and emotion in the online environment. Motivated self-regulated learners have mastery goal orientation or a tendency to seek to develop competencies by mastering skills or tasks, are confident about their ability to learn, and highly value the learning tasks.

  • Teaching the Foundations for Multicultural Effectiveness

    An article from MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching by Randall Osborne, Paul Kriese and John Davis.

    Education should foster skills in young people that best position them to interact successfully with others in a multicultural world. Identification with the broader group can be enhanced by actually valuing difference. Critical thinking, interpersonal skills and intercultural sensitivity are a precursor to increased multicultural effectiveness. Intercultural sensitivity skills will not develop in isolation, but can be fostered when they are nurtured and practiced in a classroom environment. The authors designed a course to assist students in uncovering, exploring, analyzing, and learning from their personal biases and values, which affect the students' interactions with others. The themes in the course - social justice, environmental hatred, self-reference thinking - assist students in exploring their role in the broader community.

  • 'Open-sourcing' personal learning

    An article from Journal of Interactive Media in Education by Sebastian Fiedler

    Lack of quality content is not the main educational challenge of our times. Proponents of OER must focus on the cultural-historical development of learning activity and its progress in the light of the unfolding digital transformation of our societies. Learning should be a process driven by passion and recognition for socially valuable contributions, like the open learning model of hackers. The digital traces of self-education are easily recorded and made accessible in digitally enabled affinity spaces that capture key aspects of active learning environments. Personal, highly idiosyncratic trajectories of intentional learning display a much deeper biographical and professional contextualization than we could ever hope to gain from standard educational resources, regardless of their delivery with an open license or not. Engaging with and inquiring into this type of record might become more important than collecting de-contextualized educational resources.

  • Self Education: The Process of Lifelong Learning

    An article from Canadian Society for the Study of Education by Maurice Gibbons & Gary Phillips

    Self-education can truly occur only when people are not compelled to learn and others are not obligated to teach them - especially not to teach them a particular subject-matter curriculum. A true self-education occurs when a person chooses to learn out of intrinsic motivation and interest. Energized by individual initiative its purpose arises from the needs, interests and aspirations of the individual. An institutional education in its current structure is generally inappropriate preparation for a life of self-education. An effective program for such teaching must accomplish three major transitions: from teacher-directed to student-directed learning; from student-directed learning to guided-self-education; and from guided self-education to the independent pursuit of excellence.

  • On quality of education realized through technology

    An article from Technology of Education by Jana Burgerová & Martina Adamkovièová- SR

    E-learning is an innovative form of education in which the concept of quality is resonating. Its role is to enhance quality of education process and make it available to a wider group, and to implement a model of continual education. The elements crucial for quality of education are focus on the require teachers to constantly analyse their work and to reflect on what the learners need to arouse their interest; and to create a favourable climate where the student and the teacher could feel at ease and can mutually communicate freely. Quality could be realized in e-learning environment with the enhancement of teaching material, structure of the virtual environment, communication, student's assessment, flexibility and adaptability, support and the vision.

  • The place of game-based learning in an age of austerity

    An article from Education Resources Information Center by Nicola Whitton

    Games employ a variety of techniques for enhancing engagement and keeping players immersed, which could be employed for teaching. The use of alternate reality games (ARGs) is a growing area in formal education and offers great potential for educators to create engaging game-based learning experiences on a budget. ARGs merge the real world and the digital world to create an alternate reality, using a variety of online and real world artefacts such as web tools, social networking sites, as well as physical objects, places and fantasy narrative. Multi-user virtual environments such as Second Life and OpenSim are also used as game environments to develop low-cost games. The easy availability of game development tools makes the development of games by learners a feasible option.

  • Live content fuels informal learning

    An article from Journal of Interactive Media in Education by Terumi Miyazoe & Terry Anderson

    Educational resources in the form of text, audio, video and simulations are easily accessible in online platforms. The availability of content has stimulated informal learning activities such as building wiki pages, which provide a social space for students where they interact through threaded discussions or chat. The informal learning opportunities provided by Open educational resources and MOOC have resulted in high level of student interaction with content and peers. This surplus interaction compensates the absence of the instructor in the asynchronous online environment. But, the learner must be highly skilled in time management and have control to enhance, reduce or prioritize interactions to achieve the desired outcomes of education. Institutions that allow the learner to augment or choose adaptations that meet his/her constraints of time and money can create affordable and individualized courses.

  • Digital Badges - A visual representation of achievement

    An article from Education and Information Technologies by Dr. David Gibson et al.

    Universities have a monopoly on learning credentials and the college degree remains the gold standard of achievement and preparation for employment. Badging system is an alternative credentialing system that is controlled by the learner and personalized to showcase specific competencies. Badges are digital records of achievements, skills, interests, affiliations or role, which contain a link to the evidence for meeting the criteria. Displaying badges on a personal webpage, electronic portfolio or a social website is a great way to establish and share a part of one’s identity and reputation. Students who want to be hired for specific jobs in particular fields can tailor their learning experiences and receive badges that align with what employers are seeking. Badges provide important verifiable information to employers about an individual’s varying skills, backed by evidence. Digital badges are a means to create a transparent system for credentialing and accreditation.

  • Quality in Education

    An article from Journal of Educational Sociology by Spencer Brown

    Education is a process, in which quality means that teachers and learners are happy in their work - that they like and respect each other and that they enjoy learning. An effective education is based upon a thoughtful understanding of each learner’s interests, special needs, the strengths and aptitudes. Relevant curriculum and learner-centered instructional methods should help students build on prior knowledge to develop attitudes, beliefs and cognitive skills and expand their knowledge base. Quality in education - good teaching and good learning - is an art to be valued with the other arts as one of the highest experiences of which man is capable.