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Active Learning

In my opinion, taking ownership of my learning means first to understand myself as a person. I prefer to use the metaphor of ownership as an investment of time and resources. I have the philosophy that I will get out of learning what I put into it. My responsibility of choosing a direction called an active learning component. It is more than choosing electives. It is finding ways to immerse ourselves with as many of the 5 senses as possible in the subject at hand.

Active learning is not just a repetition of memorized information but application and branching into unknown. However, I understand that there may be areas I don’t enjoy that I may need to understand. Overall, if I have ownership, I need to have a commitment and invest in that goal that may take me into both the pleasant and unpleasant areas of the investment.

On the other hand, passively learning will occur when we just follow a course of instruction and listen without challenging what is taught.

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We would forego opportunities of immersing ourselves in the subject. The difference in active and passive learning is that active is involved and immersed, while in passive you are present but not engaged.

Role of Instructor in the learning process.

The role of an Instructor in the learning process is to guide and trigger learning. In my opinion, the instructor should point out weaknesses and when our understanding is out of context or off course. Also, the instructor should shorten the learning curve by bringing material to the student they would otherwise have difficulty retrieving on his own.

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Traditionally, in contrast, instructors were a means to push or pull you along. I admit I miss the element that some instructors inspire excitement in a subject by their enthusiasm.

Role of Peer Assessment in learning process

In my opinion, the role of peer assessment is to compare the level of comprehension and effort of the student to be used as a benchmark for the student and the assessor. This measures the learning to the mainstream of thought. Another part of this role is to offer suggestions, insight or inspire questions from a different perspective. In addition, I think a role of peer assessment could be a supplement for a mentor and advisor in some respects. I hope that in my UoPeople experience that the peer assessment process will be of value.

After reviewing this week’s readings, assess your readiness to be a self-directed learner. In your response, make sure to address the following:

1. What is a self-directed learner? What are the essential aspects of self-directed learning?

2. What are your two biggest strengths as a student? How will these strengths help you become a self-directed learner?

3. What are your two biggest weaknesses as a student? How do these affect your readiness to be a self-directed learner?

4. Describe at least three strategies to become a more self-directed learner. How will you hold yourself accountable for your growth as a learner?

Word count 429

In my opinion, I am already to be a self-directed learner. According to (Knowles, 1975) self-directed learning is “a process in which individuals take the initiative without the help of others in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating goals, identifying human and material resources, and evaluating learning outcomes.” If I use the previous definition, I believe I meet the elements of taking the initiative.

The first reason I believe I am ready is I have attempted to learn some of the major’s courses content on my own over the years. I only partly agree with Knowles’ part of his definition of “not needing help of others to diagnose learning needs.” I would rather want their opinion as assistance, but I will make the final decision. Next, having a goal of earning a living with my skills gives me motivation and gives me a method to “evaluate learning outcomes”. Just attending The University of the People (UoPeople) and earning a B.S. degree is a result of looking for resources to meet my goals. The earned degree is not a measurement by itself.

The essential aspects of self-directed learning begin with responsibility or initiative. The next aspect is “active learning,” engagement and immersion in the subject is important to internalize the subject. Immersion means a multi-dimensional approach to reinforce the material. The next essential aspect is tailoring to the individual needs and goal; therefore, making the learning self-motivated.

Since we were asked for our strengths to determine if we have qualities that would enhance our chances of using a self-directed learning approach. My strengths as a student is that:

1. I understand why a subject is important to the world and decide if it can help me. I try to actively apply it when the benefits seem plausible for the effort or I “park it on the shelf” for future use.

2. I am rarely bored with the new subject matter, thus making it easier for me to learn it.

By having these strengths help me to be a self-directed learner being an active participant and easier to remain motivated.

On the other hand, I realize I will still have challenges in my self-directed learning program. The weaknesses below I have chosen to share, relate mostly to being autonomous. My two weaknesses as a student:

1. Unfocused work tendencies

2. Disorganization

As long a there is a course and instructors with deadlines and grades, these will impact my readiness by getting distracted from an intended goal and by making mistakes (not finding or forgetting something important.)

Finally, there must be a strategy to use my strengths and mitigate my weaknesses. I predict this should be achievable in a B.S. Computer Science. First, I have set study times in my weekly schedule for goals when to complete assignments. Secondly, time outside of study will be for outside research if I want to confirm and practice what I have learned while at my employment. Thirdly, I plan to create something out of what I have learned in computer science. The best way to learn and internalize material is to use it in an application. Hopefully, these strategies and more will guide me toward success.

Word Count: 527

  • M.S. Knowles, “Self-Directed Learning”, A Guide for Learners and Teachers. (N.Y. Cambridge Books 1975) p.18

In this reflection topic sometimes most often equates extrinsic motivation is negative to compel someone to do what they otherwise would not want to do. Thus I would feel manipulation as a motivator. To pick a negative example like that to me would invalidate the comparison. However, it would be easier to write this reflection!

In my experience, satisfaction and pleasure are the most frequent feelings as a result of motivation. I have used this for the two cases requested. I was motivated how to program equations in MS Excel. My motivation was the reward less effort in performing a task for my job. My goal was the satisfaction and pleasure of achievement. I judge this as being extrinsically motivated.

On the other hand, I was intrinsically motivated to understand celestial objects by telescope and read literature like the scientific American magazine and science journal articles. My motivation was the satisfaction and pleasure of understanding of the way creation was made. My goal was open-ended to learn as many objects as I could come across. It was not status then, and it never led me to wanting to be an astrologer as a goal, but I was in awe of creation and the infinitude of space.

What is the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation? Intrinsic has no force to compel the person unless assigned by that person. I believe this is consistent with, “Regarding the intrinsic motivation the researchers apply a very narrow definition. If we do an activity only for the activity itself and we also do it for pleasure, we speak about intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation “refers to doing an activity for the inherent satisfaction of the activity itself” (Ryan & Deci, 2000, p. 71 in Wilkesmann, Fisher, Virgillito, 2012). Please note that even the intangible intrinsic rewards can be volatile. However, extrinsic motivation is grounded in an interest of a third party or outside force who creates a tangible reward that connects to the internal perceived value. [I won’t go into whether that force’s motivation was intrinsic or extrinsic]

I am surprised to admit extrinsic is slightly more effective an intrinsic. This is because there is more of an urgency with extrinsic which leads it to being more effective in accomplishing the intended purpose. Also extrinsic is more effective because intrinsic motivation is most frequently rewarded internally; so when passion dwindles so does the motivation. With extrinsic motivation, the reward and punishments only diminish when they are physically are removed. It is more lasting and certain. Each type of motivation made me feel the same satisfaction and achievement.

I find based on what I have learned, I am an extrinsically motivated learner after I find that I have internalized the motivation. This is similar to “The more external regulation is internalized the more actions are experienced as autonomous, self -determined “(Wilkesmann, Fisher, Virgillito, 2012). What motivates me is internalizing to gain satisfaction and pleasure to achieve because that is the most frequent feeling I have when I learn.

  • Ryan, R.M., & Deci, E.L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development and well-being. American Psychologist. 55 (1), 68-78.
  • (Wilkesmann et al., 2012) U. Wilkesmann, H. Fischer, A. Virgillito, Academic Motivation of Students- The German Case Discussion Papers. Center for Higher Education TU, 2 (2012), pp. 1-19

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Active Learning. (2019, Dec 18). Retrieved from

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