Coaching for Self-Directed Learning


This toolkit provides strategies for students to become more self-directed in three key areas: self-managing (e.g., time management), self-monitoring (e.g., self-assessment), and self-modifying (e.g., improving from feedback). Teachers have been painfully aware of how important these skills are since the onset of pandemic and recognize the need to provide direct instruction and strategies for students in developing an academic mindset. Students become more responsible for their learning, especially helpful for those struggling to develop self-regulation skills and managing their time. 

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What helps learners become more self-directed and responsible for their own learning? This toolkit provides strategies that develop the learners’ capacity for managing, monitoring, and modifying their workflow — fundamental to self-direction.

Tool 1: Organizing and Planning for Learning

Organizing learning experiences requires knowing more about what conditions affect your behavior. This document walks the reader through two processes: the first provides pathways for learners to discover planning and organizational habits. The second guides learners to apply what they uncover as they plan their day or week.

Tool 2: Managing Projects

Project is a broad term that also can represent a range of assessments such as performances, inquiry tasks, or prototype development. This practice provides learners with a set of questions and a related graphic organizer to help manage workflow.

Tool 3: Strategies for Learners to Monitor and Examine Work in Progress

Four self-monitoring strategies for the ongoing examination of work in progress. Each strategy is designed for learners to be accountable to themselves for taking responsibility for their work in progress.

Tool 4: Strategies for Learners to Engage in Feedback Conferences

Four strategies– each organized around the learner’s questions, challenges, and perspectives– designed to function as checkpoints during the ongoing work for a project. Using these practices grows the learner’s voice and helps deepen thinking as learners develop a project.

Tool 5: Reflecting on Learning

This practice uses questioning strategies to prompt reflection on practices from two perspectives: during the process of learning and upon completion of the project.

Tool 6: Documenting Instructional Moves You Make with the Three Selfies: Self-Managing, Self-Monitoring, Self-Modifying

Self-Managing, Self-Monitoring, and Self-Modifying serve as three categories in pursuit of growing self-direction. This practice encourages the collection and documentation of ideas around these three “selfies” that you may find online, learn about in professional study, design with colleagues, and/or co-create with your learners.


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