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Teaching Effectiveness Institute

Meta-Learning: Building Self-Directed Learners

Friday, August 16, 2013
8:30 am to 12:00 pm
Capitol Room, Holmes Student Center

by Stephen Carroll, Ph.D.,
Co-Director of the Professional Writing Program,
Santa Clara University


Student raising hand

In the 21st century, professional and personal success depends on being able to adapt swiftly and effectively to rapidly changing circumstances. The bulk of our students’ learning will take place out of the classroom and after college. Thus, the most important skill college students need to learn is HOW TO LEARN for themselves and by themselves, consciously, and with maximum efficiency.

In this workshop, you’ll learn by doing—experiencing brain-based learning activities and pedagogies you can use to accelerate your students’ learning toward this goal of self-directed learning. You will leave this workshop with concrete strategies to facilitate metalearning in your own courses.

Stephen Carroll, Ph.D.

Stephen Carroll is Co-Director of the Professional Writing Program at Santa Clara University. His current projects focus on intersections of pedagogy, technology, assessment, writing, and learning. He recently served as the Director of Core Writing for SCU and as the Faculty Director for the Alpha Residential Learning Community. He has developed and taught a number of experimental, cross-disciplinary pilot courses to explore new ways to enhance student learning. His recent publications focus on how to use assessment practices to drive innovation in teaching and learning and on leveraging existing technologies to enhance communication and accelerate learning, especially in undergraduate learning communities. His current research focuses on how metalearning and metacognition improve student learning. Stephen is a science writer for the National Science Foundation.

Tentative Agenda

8:30 am
8:55 am
Welcome and introductions
9:00 am
- Introduction: Statement of the problem and outline of a possible solution
- Priming students for self-directed learning
- Aligning definitions of learning to create common purposes
- Understanding how learning works
10:00 am
Refreshment break
10:15 am
- Strategies and tactics for high-performance learning
- Developing a culture of practice
- Maintaining habits of learning
12:00 pm
Conclusion and workshop evaluation

Office of Assessment Services and Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center

Registration Information

This institute is open only to NIU faculty, instructors, and teaching staff (SPS and Civil Service). Registered participants will receive institute materials and a certificate of participation. If you do not wish to receive a certificate, please indicate in the accommodation field on the registration form. Advance registration is required.

Registration Deadline: Friday, August 2, 2013. Due to the expensive nature of the institute and the advance notice needed for arranging materials, please register by the deadline here and plan to attend the entire morning.

After you register, if you are unable to attend, please cancel your registration by Monday, August 12, 2013 at so that those on the waiting list may be given the opportunity to attend the institute or costs can be reduced.

Last Updated: 07/16/2014