Walking the tightrope with an e-portfolio: imbalance between support and autonomy hampers self-directed learning

J. Beckers, Diana Dolmans, Michelle M.H. Knapen, Jeroen Van Merriënboer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Teacher coaching is essential to support self-directed learning, but requires a lot of time and energy. This mixed-methods study investigated the effects of using an e-portfolio with a self-coaching protocol and limited teacher coaching on the development of self-directed learning skills and motivation. With regard to self-directed learning, students’ overestimation of performance on learning tasks grew over time, while their ability to formulate points for improvement did not change significantly. With regard to motivation, students’ controlled (i.e. largely extrinsic) motivation increased while their autonomous (i.e. largely intrinsic) motivation decreased. Thematic analysis of interviews demonstrated students needed more support and feedback from their teacher. The use of suboptimal cues for performance assessment and an imperfect balance between autonomy and support hampered self-directed learning and motivation. We recommend providing just-in-time feedback about performance on learning tasks and giving students some autonomy over the choice of learning tasks, to enhance reflection and motivation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-288
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Vocational Education & Training
Volume71
Issue number2
Early online date2 Aug 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2019

Keywords

  • Learning theory
  • competence
  • curriculum innovation
  • vocational education & training
  • VET and development
  • TASK SELECTION
  • UNDERGRADUATE
  • MOTIVATION
  • EDUCATION
  • STUDENTS
  • WELL
  • FEEDBACK
  • QUALITY
  • SKILLS

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