Everyone Designs: Learner Autonomy through Creative, Reflective, and Iterative Practice Mindsets

Abstract

Developing learner autonomy—or the ability to take charge of one’s learning—is a crucial element of teaching and learning and of design work. In this article, we argue that developing learner autonomy in students requires instructors to adopt a two-fold approach through a mindset rooted in creativity and reflective practice. We discuss the theoretical grounding for this mindset, and then situate our discussion by examining an award-winning hybrid-blended course about design thinking in an educational psychology and educational technology doctoral program. The course outcomes qualitatively demonstrated the ways in which students developed a perception of learner autonomy through their work in creating and implementing context-specific educational technology design solutions. We present and discuss evidence from our own formative reflective practice as instructors, along with evidence from students’ reflections, on how themes of learner autonomy emerged via our proposed pedagogical mindset.

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Correspondence to Danah Henriksen.

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Henriksen, D., Cain, W. & Mishra, P. Everyone Designs: Learner Autonomy through Creative, Reflective, and Iterative Practice Mindsets. J Form Des Learn 2, 69–81 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41686-018-0024-6

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Keywords

  • Education
  • Teaching
  • Learning
  • Hybrid course designs
  • Design thinking
  • Creativity
  • Reflective practice
  • Educational technology
  • Blended learning