After reading the chart Grow’s Staged Self-Directed Learning Model, I view myself as between the “involved learner” and “self-directed learner,” though I truly believe it depends on the content. In the beginning of my master’s program at BSU, I started in the dependent/interested learner when I took the website development course. I had no prior experience in building a website in Dreamweaver and relied on the instructor to get me through the course. I was motivated to learn it, but had little confidence in completing the assignments. I relied heavily on the instructor videos, which I would watch step by step, trying to gain the confidence with each assignment. I think, in general, when I began the master’s program I was in this mindset because it was all new to me. Back in school after 12 years, and a bit unfamiliar with online courses. Now, after 9 courses, I feel I am more self directed in my learning. Most, if not all, assignments I have some prior skills and knowledge in the subject matter. I am confidently motivated to set my own learning goals and manage my time to complete the tasks set out for me by the instructor. I look to the instructor for support when I need it. I look for the instructor to guide us through the learning process, supplying the resources to begin our modules, but I tend to also go out and research and dig into the content a bit more. The one area I continue to work on is the self evalution of my work and knowledge gained. I tend to be harder on myself than I should be in many instances.
So, what does this imply for me as an online teacher? I need to determine each individual’s needs, in the beginning of the course, to ensure they are successful and continue to pursue their learning. It is critical I have a plan in place for each type of learner and meet the needs as much as I can. I will continue to monitor each individual and offer as much assistance as they will allow me. Just as I continued my master’s program, I became more self-directed in my own learning and they, too, will increase as they gain more experience and confidence.