Jungle of learning plans

commitment as a map

Susann Schuster

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution

Abstract

In recent years, the learning plan has become an inherent part of academic discussions around identifying ways to foster learner autonomy. In this context, various definitions and terms have surfaced. As a consequence, at their extreme some do not have much more in common with the umbrella term 'learning plan' than a phonetic resemblance. A main reason for the widely differing semantic use of the term 'learning plan' lies within its theoretical conception. In fact, there is no consensus on the components which define the content and the use of 'learning plans'. Deciding upon a learning plan that suits individual educational institutions thus requires educators to sort through a veritable 'jungle' of different terms and theoretical conceptions of learning plans. An additional aspect that particularly schools view critically when considering to include learning plans in the curriculum is the lack of evidence that documents benefits that learning plans may have for the learner. While research has engaged extensively in defining learner autonomy and in establishing an environment which supports the development of the autonomous learner, there are few examples which measure the effectiveness of learning plans. This highlights the necessity of developing instruments which measure the effectiveness of a learning plan as a 'scaffold' supporting learner autonomy. Effectiveness in this sense can refer to a number of outcomes closely related to learner autonomy of which two key factors are higher motivation and engagement in learning. Claiming that the learner's motivation towards and engagement in learning plans support the development into an autonomous learner, the approach of this paper is twofold. Firstly, this paper aims to shed light on the 'jungle' of learning plan concepts by presenting examples of best teaching practices. Secondly, this paper suggests an instrument to measure the learner's commitment towards her/his learning plan as an indicator of effectiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies (EDULEARN11), Barcelona, Spain, 04-06 July 2011
PublisherInternational Association of Technology, Education and Development
Pages1029-1038
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9788461504411
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventInternational Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies (3rd : 2011) - Barcelona
Duration: 4 Jul 20116 Jul 2011

Conference

ConferenceInternational Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies (3rd : 2011)
CityBarcelona
Period4/07/116/07/11

Keywords

  • measuring motivation and engagement
  • learner autonomy
  • learning plans
  • new teaching practices

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