Back in 2007, I asked myself the following question:
How do you:
- meet the individual learning needs of a diverse bunch of learners, and
- assess individuals in their mix of individual and group learning in a fair, valid, sustainable way,
- all-the-while demonstrating how individuals can themselves set, review and work towards their own learning goals - gradually handing over control of the learning.
Back then in our web programming class we used a combination of individual learning plans and Basecamp accounts, a variety of individual and group problem-based activities, together with the wealth of resources created by industry professionals. While this generally worked well, there were two points of difficulty:
- the process of creating individual learning plans was very time consuming, quite complex for learners, very specific to the web programming course, and as a result, was not something individuals felt they could benefit from generally (for other learning goals outside of the course). This meant that setting learning plans remained a very facilitator-centric task.
- Evaluating progress or assessing all the evidence for a particular goal was difficult for learners and facilitators alike. For facilitators it was hard to make sure you got around to everybody, switching context constantly. For learners the main difficulty was mapping their own aims and goals onto the national competency standards.
I've never stopped thinking about these problems, and am currently playing with some mockups for a life-based learning tool which would aim to make it easy to set my own long-term goals, take small (reviewable) steps towards those goals, review and ask others to review my progress.
If you were involved in classes with me in the past or otherwise have any feedback, or are interested to help with the prototyping or coding, don't hesitate to let me know!