Intentionally incorporating voice and choice into adult learning experiences is critical for making learning meaningful and relevant. When learners are able to choose how they demonstrate their learning, drive their own learning, and self-assess their work against a set of criteria, they are engaged in deeper thinking, have more intrinsic Motivation to learn, and build the Learner Mindset necessary for lifelong learning.
Use It In Your Learning Environment
When instructors see themselves as facilitators of learning, they can provide options for learners to support their decision-making and autonomy. Offering choice in reading material, sequence of activities, research projects, group members, ways to demonstrate mastery, and ways to justify a response are all ways to embed more learner-driven learning and foster Metacognition. Instructors can also offer more autonomy support to learners by listening to the learners, allowing them to engage with the instructional materials, asking about learner needs, responding to learner-generated questions, using perspective-taking statements to show empathy, offering less directives and direct solutions, and intentionally promoting intrinsic Motivation. Ways to promote Motivation could include encouraging learner initiative, nurturing competence, and providing all the information necessary to allow learners to make effective choices.
Products can offer learners choice from an array of activities as well as personalization options within the interface. When they are able to take charge of aspects of their digital learning experiences, students are more likely to sustain Attention on the tasks and, over time, learn the value of making choices that are optimally challenging.