George Lucas Educational Foundation

Creating Online, Independent Learners

Creating Online, Independent Learners

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Hi all, I'm looking for some advice. As part of the vocational education course that I am running at school, students will be required to complete 1 day a week of online learning - from home! (They get to choose when they do this, as their work placements might happen on different days.) Of course, this means that they will need to be independent learners to do this, as their teachers won't be there overseeing their work, making sure they are doing it. All we will see is the end result. I've got 8 sessions (1 per week for the next 8 weeks) to foster these independent learning skills amongst the students before they start the online learning course. All the students have access to computers and the internet. What I'm looking for is some advice/ suggestions (especially anything concrete and useable right out of the box) to help me encourage them to be online independent learners. Thanks in advance for any suggestions...

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Shannon Cde Baca's picture

Keith, Sorry it took so long for me to see this thread. You have hit on one of the more difficult aspects of online. I get the most mileage out of engaging scenarios the kids have to work to solve. I have one student who will spend days looking for ways to repair a tractor he owns. He was not working very hard in my chemistry course until I did a unit on fuels. His task was to become the class expert in bio disel chemistry. I set him up with a template for recording his findings, a schedule of online chats with me and a few web sites to begin with. I think it works best if there is some structure and clear timelines and a model of how to get started with the work. For mist kids there has to be a reason for gathering the information...a puzzle or situation to resolve.
Keep posting and there are several of us in the group who may have more tricks for the trade. This is a really important issue for most of us teaching online.

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