Self-directed learning is an essential part of being an adult learner and is a necessary element for those committed to the process of lifelong learning. Another necessary component of being a self-directed lifelong learner is that of self-assessment. By engaging in self assessment a learner is able to evaluate the effectiveness of their learning and strategize ways to improve their learning and performance in the future. Below is an excerpt from my midway self-assessment of my participation in the discussion forums for PIDP 3250.
I feel that I have made significant contributions to every forum topic that has been opened since I started week two. My postings show evidence of a self-directed learner who is contributing a substantial amount of time to both my own learning as well as the learning of others. In my postings, I have been sure to show breadth and depth of the topics we are discussing in a clear and concise manner. I often provide specific examples of how I have used the various teaching strategies in my own classroom and share my personal insights on what has gone well or what I may try differently in the future. During my contributions to our learning community I have shared my research on the various topics through links to a variety of resources from online articles to videos. I encourage my classmates to share their opinions by asking specific questions of them and to engage in critical thinking by challenging their current views on the discussion topics. I have replied directly to anyone who has asked questions of me or responded to one of my previous posts, to encourage even deeper reflection amongst my peers. I have read every posting in each of the open discussion forums since I started week two, as well as many of the postings from previous discussion forums that are now closed.
Over the next four weeks I plan to continue to contribute as often and as frequently as I have been as it is providing a significant amount to my learning in this course. I will continue to read the forums in their entirety and pose questions to my peers to encourage exploration of all different aspects of the topics we will be discussing. So far, I have tried to respond to each of my classmates who have been participating in the forums. One thing I would like to do going forward, is to try to encourage participation from some of my peers that do not seem to be contributing to the discussion forums.
I really like the approach that one of my classmates is taking with facilitating his discussion forum, which is that he has created three stages to the discussion forum, 1. Creating a body of knowledge, 2. Assessing our own contributions, 3. Reflecting on our learning. This is a unique approach that no other classmates have utilized yet so I may draw some inspiration from that as I will be facilitating a discussion forum on appreciative inquiry in the coming weeks. I look forward to facilitating this forum and hope that it provides significant learning opportunities for myself and my classmates.