I’ve seen lots of lists that identify the characteristics of good teachers. They’re great reminders of what we should aspire to be as teachers. I haven’t seen many corresponding lists that identify the characteristics of good learners. I decided to put one together and invite your input. This could be a list for our students or anybody who aspires to learn well.
Underachievement in college students is linked to lack of motivation (Balduf, 2009 and references therein). Two major factors that contribute to poor motivation are inability of students to see the relevance of classroom activities to their chosen careers (Glynn et al., 2009) and lack of a sense of autonomy (Reeve and Jang, 2006; Reeve, 2009).
Autonomous learners. What are they? Who are they? And, do we have any of them in our classes? As is often the case with teaching and learning terms, there is not a lot of definitional clarity. In this blog and elsewhere I have tended to used the terms autonomous learner, self-directed learner and independent learner pretty much interchangeably. It seems to me that’s what happens elsewhere in the literature as well.