Friday, November 11, 2011

Week 7: Learner autonomy, the one-computer classroom, and a partner for peer review of projects

Learner autonomy

This week I reflected that in a more learner-centered kind of learning, teachers have to foster learner autonomy. After reading the suggested articles, I think keeping students’ diaries for reflecting on their own learning, not only about what they learned, but how they learned it, is something teachers can do to help them manage their learning more effectively.

I commented in the discussion forum that I always provide my students with the necessary readings in advance for them to read before the lesson. That way, they already know a great deal when they come to class and have the ability to refashion that knowledge with the teacher’s, classmates’, and their own contributions.

I learned that concept is called “flipped instruction” that is being revisited with regards to technology. The flipped classroom is a technique that definitely works well for me. In my teaching context at university, giving materials for students to obtain information prior to coming to class allows me to use the classroom space for problem solving and critical thinking activities.

This, together with the need to continually evolve as a teacher, is what makes me feel the use of one blog for the class is a good way to make information available and to access an endless number of resources.

With a class blog, not only will students feel motivated to learn outside of the regular classroom through a variety of activities but also they will develop their ability for independent learning, feeling that their response to the different tasks is an important aspect of the learning process, thus building confidence and promoting more autonomous learning.

The one-computer classroom

After reading about strategies for the one-computer classroom, I created a sample activity with the following objective: "Given a timeline with the years of colonial settlements in America, Cultural Studies students will be able to identify the nationality of the different settlers while they watch a video at!."

Projecting the computer screen onto a larger screen that the entire class can see, I will do the activity after having checked students’ previous knowledge. They will identify the nationalities of settlers, adding them to the timeline given. They will work with a partner while watching the video once, and then there will be a comprehension check with the whole class.

Using this dynamic and creative technological tool in a one-computer classroom, I am sure students will be more prone to learn about American colonial settlements than if they just have to get the information from books.

Project draft

I will work with Alex in the peer reading of our project drafts. I am working on it.


  1. Hi Myriam,

    You have very well summarized what we have done in week 7- Good Job!

    There are some good points you have note in this post. I also believe keeping students’ diaries will be an excellent idea to reflect on their own learning which will help them to improve their learning strategies.

    Also you have mentioned that you provide the reading materials in advance which is what we also do in my institution. In fact all the materials are given to students as study Guides and readings at the beginning of the semester (as we have online and block mode students) and the materials are also available through our learning management system. This is in fact absolutely necessary for online and block mode study.

    Roza, Maldives

  2. Hi Myriam

    Most of all, thank you for accepting my request of peer reading.
    This is the first time for me to participate in an online training course and make a teaching project plan, and I’m worried about writing a final report. Now I’m working on it and I’m trying to do my best. :)

    From your saying above, I got to know ‘flipped instruction’. I think this is good for applying PBL into the class. In my experience, it takes quite some time for doing PBL. Using flipped instruction, teachers can save the time for group work and critical thinking. Thanks for sharing useful information.


  3. Hi Myriam,

    I have read your post with detail, and I liked it. You have mentioned all the aspects with which we have been working.

    I like the idea of giving students the reading materials in advance so there is more time to clarify doubts, share information, and work on some projects regarding the topic during class time. I do something similar with some activities or homework assignments to be checked or discussed in the classroom, but I feel kind of disappointed when not the 100% of students do the activity. Since I mostly work with adults, I know they work and do not have too much free time to work on all the activities, but I still expect them to do the assigned tasks. I am glad those activities work well with your students.


  4. Hi, Myriam!
    I completely agree with you that using all techniques that Robert suggests us to listen to and learn our students will be more prone to learn more and be involved in historic events than if they just have to get the information from books.
    Like you I also propose in my classroom Youtube on topic related to our theme "Gladiators". Firstly students define the meaning, the role of gladitorial slaves, their equipment and so on. Then listen to video lecture.And make a webquest project task in groups finding info about ancient Rome and Coliseum.
    This WebQuest provide students with the opportunity to learn or increase collaborative techniques by working one-on-one with other team members, implement critical thinking and writing skills, and institute social and behavioral skills - all a variety of learning skills utilized to create learning and have fun while doing so.

    Myriam, you are a creative thinking teacher, and hope your final project will be of great importance.
    Best wishes