Posted by: lindapemik | February 5, 2014

Who owns the learning?

stepping stones

I connected this week with Judy Smith, director of Community Education Programs at Simon Fraser University.  She was sharing with me details about a community based program she helped develop, the Stepping Stones Community Capacity Building Program.  This program was designed to give learners the skills they need to create the kind of community they want to live in. Each learner lays down stepping stones toward realizing their own personal learning vision, while also inspiring a ripple effect of change in their communities.

Judy mentioned in our chat that her goal was to work with the four communities involved in the project to the extent that the communities developed a sense of ownership for the program.  This idea of ownership of learning resonates and challenges me.  How many of our formal learning programs and courses are designed for learners to take ownership?  Not many I think.  My thinking as an educator has been shaped by an education system that sees education as something you do to people, not something we do with people.

I am beginning to realize that as an educational leader and instructional designer that  helping learners develop a sense of ownership is a critical factor for student success, whether I am designing for delivery of a community –based program in a physical, on the ground community or designing an online course for a  virtual online learning community.

Please share your ideas about how you support students to take ownership of their learning by sending me a comment.

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