The Self-Directed Learning [SDL] Support Model: Training Educators for Online Learning

Since August, I have been on a journey working with some fabulous educators, instructional designers and just all-round wonderful women drafting outlines and creating the content for a chapter that will be published in a book which is being published by the International Association for K-12 Online Learning [also known as iNACOL]. We just completed our draft of our chapter and are so excited.

This chapter will present a student-centered model for online teacher mentoring. The one-to-many online model is designed to be scalable, self-directed, and leverages social learning. The program, Self-Directed Learning [SDL] Support Model: Training Educators for Online Learning, introduces teachers to ideas of self-directed learning, partnering pedagogy, and metacognition while orienting new and prospective virtual teachers to the online learning environment. To maximize impact and sustainability, this program employs the Cognitive Coaching model through a social learning community.

Without giving away all our secrets -you’ll have to wait until the whole book Lessons Learned in Teacher Mentoring: Supporting Educators in K-12 Online Learning Environments is published [due out in the fall of 2012]- we explain ‘how’ we developed and taught an online course which has helped many educators-across Massachusetts- become better learners and in turn better educators.

Our chapter goes into great detail explaining how we used self-directed learning techniques and skills to teach educators how-to understand and use essential self-directed learning skills such as: goal setting, metacognition, motivation, critical thinking and time management.  We also discuss how we designed our online course, how we delivered it and how we improved it.

I can tell you that by implementing the use of social learning, collaboration and ePortfolios we have had a very good success rate with this online course. Here is what a few of our participants said about our course:

“This was a new way to approach teaching.”

“The course really helped me understand how to encourage and coach students not just around content but around linking content to their own goals in life.”

“It’s cool to watch students change over the course of the year. They start talking about what their goals are and what skills they’ve learned. Online learning puts their education in their own hands—it’s wonderful!”


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