Assigment 7: self directed learning project


Assigment 7:  Self Directed Learning Project

Read through these instructions and begin this project at the beginning of the course to give yourself time to complete it.  The project is a process of learning over a period of weeks.  Select a topic, design your plan, and begin your learning process.


After reading Chapter 5 of the textbook, viewing Susan Wagner’s (2009) self directed learning project video and completing the Self Directed Learning Project (SDL),  you should be able to:

·         Describe and articulate a personal understanding of your own learning or development in tandem with the theoretical knowledge you have accumulated over the span of the course.

·         Explain and demonstrate the goals, processes and attributes that have contributed to the completion of your SDL project.

·         Describe how you planned, scheduled, and carried out an SDL project within the framework of adult learning and development theory.


The concept of self directed learning is so entrenched in contemporary Canadian society that it seems self evident and natural. Who isn’t taking courses online, training for a marathon, or repairing their car using Youtube videos? However, a number of assumptions underlie this apparently natural state of being. As you will read in Chapter 5 of Merriam, Caffarella and Baumgartner (2007) Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide (3rd. Edition), self-directed learning can occur in formal and informal settings, and be envisioned as simply a strategic increase in skills, or more broadly as a search for life’s meaning.

An aspect of self-directed learning that is underemphasized in the chapter is the notion of readiness to learn. You may wish to return to Chapter 4 as you carry out Assignment 7, the Self Directed Learning Project, in order to consider what motivates and limits adult learners.

Components of Assignment 7:

This project should help you to develop a personal understanding of your own learning and development within the framework of adult learning and development theory. You decide what and how you want to learn and how you will evaluate your learning. You are evaluated on this assignment for your ability to start and finish a SDL project within the duration of the course. You are also responsible for reflecting on and reporting on various aspects of your self-directed process. You may use articles, websites, books, workshops, experiential learning, resource people and other methods or activities of self-directed learning. In addition, refer to the readings and learning tools you have been exposed to throughout the course overall. Use both the authors and the subject indices found at the end of the textbook to relocate this information efficiently. Focus on the process of the project not the product. For example, do not submit a 40 page guide on how to grow organic vegetables. Instead, present a report on the self-directed learning process that will enable you to produce the vegetables. Past students have reported on learning to lay laminate floors, learning to cook a meal based on traditional family dishes, and learning a new sport. Here are some questions you may wish to address:

·         What is something I want to learn? Why?

·         How will I use this learning?

·         What resources (books, websites, people, things) will I use?

·         What methods or activities will I use to accomplish this learning?

·         How will I demonstrate this learning?

·         How will I know what I’ve learned?

·         What is my schedule for the project?

·         What is a self directed learning project?

·         How do my overall goals compare to the theorists covered in chapter 5? For instance my goals reflect Mezirow’s perspective? Perhaps they are more in sympathy with Collins?

·         Which of the 3 models of process described in chapter 5 most applies to my project?

·         What variables affected my sense of autonomy throughout the project?

·         How has my self directed learning project enhanced my overall understanding of various aspects of adult learning and development such as participation, models of learning, experiential learning or the impact of context?

·         What did I do well as a self-directed learner?

·         How has self-directed learning changed me?

Write a substantive (1500-2000 words, double spaced, 12 font, 1 margins) document. Images and charts are welcome, but are not considered part of the word count. Create your document in a word processing program (eg. Word), and use the word count tool to calculate how long your assignment is. Include a brief introduction and conclusion in your report. Provide citations in the text and reference list at the end of your posting using APA (5th or 6th ed.) style. Upload your paper to the Assignment 7 Drop Box.


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