Thoughts on Do-It-Yourself Strategies and Mobile Learning

“… In their pursuit of knowledge by going directly to sources of information that are relevant and of interest. For adults in training, we are moving from the practice of instruction to the practice of ‘do-it-yourself’ (DIY) learning (Jarche, 2007)”, as mentioned in The Mobile Learning Edge by Woodwill ED.D.

With this learning style though, I think it is very important for educators to provide a structure (in a form of syllabus or lesson plan) that is flexible enough to nurture various interests, dependable enough to provide on time guidance/self-assessment, and focused enough to prevent learners from being lost in too much information. Moreover, it highly depends on the level of maturity of the learner. If the learner is not mature enough to learn things by him/herself, then DIY strategy might just cause more frustrations than helpful realizations. Finally, it is very important that if the learner does not voluntarily submits him/herself in a DIY learning strategy, the facilitator should properly prepare the learners by providing them concrete expectations and/or learning outcomes at the start. Proper diagnostics should also be done to assess the level of preparedness of learners and educators must take the responsibility of providing proper intervention for those who need extra push to qualify for the prerequisites of the learning environment.

There are many possible and efficient approaches to this learning strategy. One is to maximize on blended strategies with portions dedicated to mobile learning, so that self-assessment and/or learning materials is readily available anywhere and anytime. Another is to consider PBL or problem based learning strategies to nurture the different strengths, needs, and interests of the learners. Most importantly, a delicate balance of rigor and scaffolding is much needed.

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