Self-determined learning

20 September 2021
Learning is Hanging Out Alan Levine CC BY 2.0

Is traditional degree education broken? How might we fix it?

Both in New Zealand and internationally there is a conversation happening about the purposes of post-secondary education and the best ways to achieve those purposes. Many believe that the traditional campus-bound model of tertiary education delivery is no longer fit for purpose, but delivering the same product online is not the answer either.

Steve Henry, a Principal Lecturer in our College of Work Based Learning, has been looking at international trends such as customisation and flexibility in post-secondary education, and their application to New Zealand. Self-determined learning is guided and facilitated by educators but driven by each learner. This has implications for the place, context, culture and ways in which learning takes place. The learner is not isolated but supported by a relevant community of practice.

Key concepts of self-determined learning are empathy, expansive thinking ("How might we ...?") and experimentation. Post-secondary education should provide a structure that supports learners' self-determined learning by giving them opportunities.


August 2021

Image credit: Alan Levine, sourced from Flickr, used under Creative Commons licence CC BY 2.0