I’ve just been reading through Ruth Clark & Richard Meyer’s excellent book e-Learning and the Science of Instruction (First edition – I notice that there’s a 2nd edition out now). This book primarily concentrates on the creation of content and learning resources rather than focussing on building community.

In one of the early chapters they discuss the need for online students to have what they call metacognitive skills. These are the ability to set learning goals, to determine how to reach their goals, and to make adjustments where necessary. Students with poor metacognitive skills need more direction where as students with good metacognitive skills tend to be more self-sufficient learners.

As discussed in a previous post, a lack of commitment to learning goals can be disasterous in online learning as in a flexible learning environment there may be many distractions competing for the student’s time. Poor metacognitive skills are likely to contribute to student drop-off in online courses.

Many massage students have not been particularly successful in the school system due to their kinesthetic learning preferences, and may have fairly poor metacognitive skills as a result. It’s important that our Study Skills module helps to provide our students with a base of metacognitive skills. Emphasis and reinforcement of these skills needs to be embedded within the programme.

In future posts I’ll go on to discuss some of the principles that Clark & Mayer describe in their book, but for now I’m going to go to bed. 🙂

Principles of Design for e-Learning 

Practice Principles for e-Learning