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Technical Report HW-MACS-TR-0089

TitlePromoting Self Directed Learning Skills in First Year Students
AuthorsJudy Robertson
AbstractTo be successful university learners, first year students need to develop skills in self directed learning. This encompasses a range of cognitive and meta-cognitive skills including generating one?s own learning goals, planning how to tackle a problem, evaluating whether learning goals have been met, and re-planning based on this evaluation. Based on qualitative analysis of online learning logs written by 113 first and second year computer science students about a creative project, this paper describes in detail the strategies used by these students in terms of planning and managing a project, generating and selecting creative ideas, and monitoring and evaluating their own progress. A summary of the behaviour shown by effective learners and less effective learners in each of these areas is given, as well as suggestions of prompts which educators could use to structure a learning environment intended to develop self directed learning skills.


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