E-learning: To maximize learning time and ensure that students and staff spend as little time as possible managing the logistics of the environment, consideration need to be given to the types of learning activities used, the ways learning support can be embedded and the development of a communications protocol. Taking these issues in hand means that time for learners and teachers can be better spent focusing on learning outcomes. Read more Ley (2005).
Tutorials: Designing tutorials to help learners develop effective self-management abilities can be a useful investment for supporting their way to independent learning. This article describes and reviews the material used. The tutorials focus on self-assessment, goal setting, self-monitoring and self-regulation. Specific emphasis is placed helping students develop time management skills. Read more Gerhardt (2007).
Why is it important?
Learners need to be given time to think after hearing instructions or new information particularly if they are to engage in higher cognitive thinking (Tobin, 1987). They also need to be given many opportunities to apply their understanding in new ways in order to enhance their learning. Learners should be able to practice and perform what they have learnt in a range of ways that are appropriate to their discipline, such as writing, debating, explaining, experimenting, creating and critiquing (Gardner, 1999).
What is it and how does it support learning? What does recent research say?
Learning occurs in stages that commence with noticing and eventually move to transformation. Learning in the ‘noticing’ and ‘making sense’ stages of Moon’s (1999) model (see What it looks like) is likely to occur in the presence of the learning material and therefore will generally only involve surface learning outcomes of reproduction and assimilation. The integration and further consideration of meaning that characterizes learning in the last three stages comes about when learners reflect on or reason their new learning with what they already know or have experienced (Moon, 1999).
Deeper learning generally occurs and is more effective when it is not bound to the formal learning environment or physical space and is given space to emerge later. Transformative learning in particular is the result of learners’ persistent work towards enhancing understanding and is often accompanied by strong emotional responses or intellectual excitement (Moon, 1999).
When learners are given a number of opportunities over time to perform and practice what they understand in new ways, they are more likely to review and amend what they know as well as internalize abilities to self-assess and judge their own performance (Gardner, 1999).
Confidence in personal time management skills could be one factor contributing to student retention in first year (Goldfinch & Hughes, 2007). Recent research by Gerhardt (2007) provides a model for helping learners develop effective self-management skills, particularly for the short term where they must balance busy work and personal responsibilities with their study commitments and for the long term when they enter their professional careers.
Procrastination reduces learning time and affects academic performance but teachers may be able to influence such tendencies by paying attention to the design of assignments (Ackerman & Gross, 2005).