Every kid has an interest. Sometimes he doesn’t know what it is, sometimes he can’t articulate it. But every kid has an interest and that is a fundamental belief. It is not only about helping that kid identifying the interest but progress through that interest, become more advanced.
Diana Rhoten, Director, Digital Media and Learning Program, Social Science Research Council
Students are learning not only at school, but also in a variety of so-called non-formal and informal learning settings outside of school. Such individual learning settings could, for instance, include a young person learning a new skill (like guitar playing) through YouTube videos. Learning takes place when something captures the young person’s interest. “It is something that can influence you, something that brings out emotions and allows you to find answers to certain questions.”
Why should we care about our students’ learning experiences in non-formal and informal settings? Here are several good reasons – and probably you can still think of others yourself.
- The learning taking place in non-formal and informal learning settings can be powerful, as these settings stress the practical value of learning.
- Non-formal education focuses on the process, the emotion that it brings out in you and how you are learning.
- Non-formal and informal learning settings can unlock students’ creative potential.
- Enabling students to create links between the learning in different learning settings can empower them to become the drivers of their own learning (foster students’ autonomy and active participation) and make their learning more enjoyable and fruitful.
- Students that can integrate informal learning experiences (own interests) into their formal learning in the classroom will be more motivated to learn in class.
- Non-formal and informal learning approaches help to focus on the benefit of new learning spaces outside of the classroom, both inside and outside the school.
- Likewise, students learning 21st-century skills such as learning to learn and collaborating with others can also use these new skills in informal learning settings outside of school.
In this course, we want to reflect on how we can empower our students to learn better in different learning settings by creating synergies between learning in different settings. Personalised learning and collaborative learning are both innovative teaching approaches that empower students in their own learning.
In the first module, we will start with students’ voices on how they like to learn. Building on that, we will explore what ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ learning means and discuss how they could be more interlinked.
In the next three modules, teachers will learn about two concrete teaching approaches: “personalised learning” and “collaborative learning”. By implementing these two approaches, teachers can empower their students to become independent learners in different (formal, non-formal and informal) learning settings. For both approaches, we will also explore the role of technology and learning spaces in fostering student learning.
How can teachers empower students to learn? This course will show you:
- how to encourage your students to make links between their formal, non-formal and informal learning experiences;
- how to empower your students by encouraging them to identify their own learning styles and abilities;
- how to make your teaching more relevant and inclusive by personalising it based on your students’ needs and interests;
- how to organise group work with your students that enables you to develop 21st-century skills (such as problem-solving, creativity, etc.) and to explore new learning spaces.
During the course, two live events (webinars) are also planned. These live events can animated by a teacher or expert in the field who presents specific aspects of the topics or discusses questions from course participants. NESTT partners will contact youth workers in the field to organise the webinars.
|Module 1: Building bridges between formal and informal learning||
|Module 2: Empowering students through personalised learning||
|Module 3: Empowering students through collaborative learning||
|Module 4: Strategies to empower students through collaborative learning||
You will receive digital module badges for every completed module of the course as well as a course badge and a course certificate upon completion of the full course. All badges can be exported to the Mozilla Badge Backpack.