Scaffolding advice on task selection: A safe path toward self-directed learning in on-demand education.

Wendy Kicken, Saskia Brand-Gruwel, Jeroen Van Merriënboer

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    An intuitively appealing approach to flexibilisation of vocational education and training is to delegate choices on instruction, such as the selection of learning tasks, to students. However, empirical evidence shows that students often do not have sufficiently developed self-directed learning skills to select suitable tasks. This article describes the Informed Self-Directed Learning (ISDL) model, which depicts three information resources supporting students’ process of task selection and helping them to develop important self-directed learning skills necessary for effective task selection: (1) a structured development portfolio to support and develop their self-assessment skills, (2) a description of task metadata to help them compare and select suitable tasks, and (3) a protocol for giving advice, which explicitly demonstrates how to use performance results to select suitable tasks. Furthermore, the ISDL model proposes that as students further develop their self-directed learning skills and improve their task selections, the frequency and/or level of detail of given advice gradually diminishes and the number of available tasks to choose from increases.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)223-239
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of Vocational Education & Training
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


    • self-directed learning
    • on-demand educatio
    • development portfolio
    • advice


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