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TEL 431: Learning in Workplaces

L2: Assignment

Adult Learners
Constructs: Intrinsic Motivation, Autonomy, and Self-Directed
Learning
Name: Abigail Mattson
Date: March 25, 2017
Your Assigned Facilitator: Carrie McCulloch

NOTE: Please bold all your responses so nothing is missed when your work is assessed.

This activity will help you realize where your innate abilities lie with respect to being
autonomous, so you can make good use of opportunities to be self directed. It will also help you
to realize your weaknesses, and to set goals to be mindful about improving your ability to be
self-directed.

The process is based on research by Tassarini (2012) related to the distinct but interrelated
dimensions the author believes are supportive to autonomous learning.

Before you begin, please read the following article about assessing language learners
autonomy.
Tassinari, M. G. (2012). Evaluating learner autonomy: A dynamic model with descriptors.
Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 3(1), 24-40. Available at
http://sisaljournal.org/archives/march12/tassinari/

Figure 1. The dynamic model of learner autonomy (Tassinari, 2012)


The model accounts for the wide spectrum of competencies, skills, and actions that support
ones ability to be autonomous.

Following this model, the desire to manage my own learning is superordinate to all other
components, and thus is required in order to address any other component. In essence,
learners can decide to address any component at any point in time, and move freely from one
component to another without following a given path, thus improving their abilities to be
autonomous.

For this lessons activity, the Tassinari model will be used, with adjustments made to eliminate
the need for a facilitator.

Building on Discussion Board


Intrinsic motivation was the small group discussion board topic for this lesson. This was meant
to help you situate yourself in adult learning needs. This activity will build on the discussion
board conversations.

YOUR CAPABILITIES
In the following prompts, you are asked to reflect about your capability to perform the functions
of autonomy, as defined by Tassinari (2012).

Recall the factors of the Tassinari model listed below:

Motivating Yourself. It is important to be able to motivate yourself at the beginning of the


learning process. As well, it is important to be able to re-motivate yourself when the initial
motivation wears thin.

Dealing with Your Feelings. It is important to recognize feelings that come up when learning,
and to process your feelings in order to organize learning effectively.

Structuring Knowledge. The ability to structure knowledge, sometimes disparate knowledge


bases, is a component that plays a role in all autonomous learning phases and activities.

Planning. It is important to recognize ones needs, to formulate these into realistic learning
objectives, and to structure these into steps that create a learning plan. In addition, one has to
be flexible enough to change the learning plan if the situation or needs should change.

Choosing Materials and Methods. The ability to choose and work with suitable learning
materials, methods, and strategies is acquired and developed bit by bit.

Completing Tasks. The ability to complete tasks is reliant upon access to any necessary tools
and resources, organizing time to learn, completing individual or multiple tasks, and employing
appropriate methods and strategies.

Monitoring. The ability to reflect on topics, tasks, the learning process, and to observe oneself
helps learners to identify their strengths and weaknesses and to structure or re-structure
learning activities accordingly.

Evaluating. The ability to review what you have learned, how well you have learned, and what
progress has been made toward competencies is the hardest part of autonomous learning. It
requires practice and normally occurs through an exchange with other learners or superiors.

Cooperating. The ability to cooperate extends learning from an isolated and independent activity
to learning in association with others. Cooperation can support learners to complete tasks,
realize a project, negotiate resources, evaluate the outcome, etc.
A METHOD TO REFLECT
Reflection can occur using a variety of different techniques. To comprehensively reflect on your
learning for this activity, you will use this thinking routine in the next phase of this activity.
What?
What do you do, when you are not so mindful (or maybe when you are stressed)?
Describe how you are now. What thoughts and behaviors challenge you? What environmental
factors, personal patterns, beliefs, etc. exacerbate your challenges?

So What?
How do you want to be?
Describe how you would like to be. What thoughts and behaviors would you like to change?
What environmental conditions (that you have influence over) would you like to change?

Now What?
What would you like to learn?
Describe whats in store for the future now that youve learned more about yourself. What you
are going to do to continue your professional development in light of this learning. What future
learning opportunities will help you grow in this area? What new experiences or situations will
help you grow in this area? How will you engage in them differently now? What mistakes do you
want to prepare to avoid?

REFLECTION
Of the factors from the Tassinari model, pick 3 deficit areas that, if strengthened, would create
the most impact in your ability to be an autonomous learner.
Reflect ONLY on those three, using the thinking routine as outlined above. To attain maximum
points, provide relevant details and examples from your life in your reflection.

Factor #1: Motivating Yourself. It is important to be able to motivate yourself at the


beginning of the learning process. As well, it is important to be able to re-motivate
yourself when the initial motivation wears thin.

I choose this factor because: When I wake up in the morning and have a purpose, I am
the most fulfilled and happy I ever am. I want to explore how I can maintain this
motivation and how I lose my inspiration when I am stressed out or overwhelmed.
Reflect about this factor using the thinking routine outlined above. Write a paragraph for each
phase of the routine: what, so what, and now what. (400-500 words) (10 pts.)

What: When I am not mindful of motivating myself, I can lose sight of the life goals I want
to accomplish. When I am stressed out, one of the first things I lose is my inspiration
and creativity to accomplish any task. Life can start to seem dull and routine, and I miss
out on happy memories and experiences. This week, I have lost some of my motivation
to do each task and job I am involved in. I can relate to this part of the Tassinari routine
right now. The thought that challenges me the most is one that says I cant do this, or I
am making too many mistakes in my daily life. Another thought says I wont be able to
sustain my motivation over a long period of time.

So what: I would like to be someone who wakes up every morning and remembers her
reason for starting out the day. I would like to be a person who is so motivated to bring
joy and caring to her corner of the world, that she keeps her focus and goals in sight on
a daily basis. I can change my thought patterns about making mistakes. I can remember
that every time I have ever made a mistake, it has worked for good because I have
learned something new. Some of my biggest mistakes are the times that I grew as a
person the most. I have not always been able to keep my motivation and inspiration, but
it never fails that something will come along to remind me why I am doing what I am
doing.

Now what: Now that I have learned that it is sometimes hard for me to keep my
motivation over a long period of time, I would like to do a few things. First of all, I would
like to create a piece of art for my room that will remind me about the things that I am
working toward. The art will have some of the purposeful areas of my life that I wrote
about on the discussion board for Lesson 2. I will put pictures of the kids and college
students from my non-profit on the artwork, and I make a word collage of things that are
important to me. One of the reasons I wake up every morning is so that other young
people will not have to go through the same hard circumstances I encountered in my life.
I will make a piece of art that reminds me to keep going for those people who are just like
I was. I will also make it a priority to journal about my motivations on a weekly basis. I
will engage in my weekly learning experiences at my jobs by learning what motivates
other people and by learning their stories. I will ask questions about other peoples
experiences so that I can gain knowledge and insight from the things they have learned.

Your word count: 488

Factor #2: Dealing with Your Feelings. It is important to recognize feelings that come up
when learning, and to process your feelings in order to organize learning effectively.

I choose this factor because: In the past, and sometimes in the present, my stressful and
negative feelings can have a large impact on how I live my life. I dont want to have to
live in a way that is determined by my own negativity or by the many hundreds of
feelings that can come my way on a daily basis.
Reflect about this factor using the thinking routine outlined above. Write a paragraph for each
phase of the routine: what, so what, and now what. (400-500 words) (10 pts.)

What: When I am not so mindful of organizing my time or doing my homework effectively,


I can start to feel overwhelmed by the amount of work I need to get done. I can start to
feel like I wont be able to do it all well, or to the best of my ability. I have a personal
pattern for my homework of dividing all of my assignments into time sections. I will plan
to spend a half hour working on an assignment for one day, and then will spend an hour
on an essay for a different class. When I am stressed, I have a hard time making the
most of the time sections I have allotted for my homework. I find it hard to focus and
hard to make the time count. Some of the negative thought patterns I experience come
when I feel overwhelmed, challenged, pushed, or when my environment is out of the
ordinary. It can be hard for me to finish my work when I am distracted in my
environment.

So what: How I want to be is someone who can effectively organize her time and manage
all the things I have going on. I want to be able to take advantage of the small sections of
time I have for homework, and to learn useful coping skills for my schoolwork stress. I
want to be able to stop before I do homework, and refocus on my goal of becoming a
teacher. When I remember that I am going to school so that I can make a difference in
the lives of my students, it is easier for me to complete assignments and to get excited
about them. One thing that helps me control my feelings about schoolwork is to use a
planner and to journal about my thoughts and feelings on a weekly or daily basis. I want
to be the kind of person that can manage my feelings effectively and efficiently.

Now what: Every time I have a new job, I learn more about dealing with my feelings. In
my most recent jobs, I have learned to set aside what I am feeling in order to help the
entire team. I have learned that I am a lot happier when I am not focused on the negative
aspects of a circumstance, but when I can think about what other people may be feeling
and how I can help them. I have three mentors who help me remember to do this as
much as possible. In the future, I want to talk to my mentors weekly and to apply their
suggestions for me about dealing with my feelings when I am at work or when I am doing
schoolwork. I really admire my mentors and find their life lessons to be useful, practical,
and effective for dealing with my feelings.

Your word count: 471

Factor #3: Cooperating. The ability to cooperate extends learning from an isolated and
independent activity to learning in association with others. Cooperation can support
learners to complete tasks, realize a project, negotiate resources, evaluate the outcome,
etc.

I choose this factor because: Cooperating is something I need to work on a lot more in
my professional, academic, and personal life. It is easy for me to live and try to learn
independently from others, but I always learn the most when I am open to suggestions
and feedback from the people around me.
Reflect about this factor using the thinking routine outlined above. Write a paragraph for each
phase of the routine: what, so what, and now what. (400-500 words) (10 pts.)

What: Right now, I am slowly getting better at collaborating. I have spent a lot of my life
in the work environment wanting to avoid group projects or to do things by myself. But I
am learning that my own knowledge and ideas only get me so far. When I can ask for
help, or fully listen to a coworker, I am more able to be productive and effective on the
job. One of the environmental challenges in my life that can exacerbate my feelings
about collaboration is the fact that I am very busy. I have a full schedule, but can often
feel like I have no one else to help me get things done. This is not necessarily a bad
thing, as it causes me to be resourceful and focused on my own personal life goals.
However, when I spend much of my time working by myself, I miss out on the bigger
picture of what is happening in my community.

So what: I want to be someone who other people would get excited about working with. I
want to be someone who shares ideas in a constructive way, and someone who asks
other people what they think when the opportunity calls for it. I would like to change my
independent behaviors to collaborative, team-oriented ones. I would like to think about
the other members of my work team and my school teams more frequently, and to
consider how I could support other people more in the different aspects of my life. One
environmental condition that I have control over is the amount of communication that I
use at my job. I can make an effort to proactively take ownership of communication at
my job, to ensure that everyone understands how our company is doing and what
changes we need to make to be a better store.

Now what: Now that I have seen that it is not my natural response to collaborate with
others, I will make an effort to ask more questions when I am at work and when I am in a
group setting. I will be open to how other people think and feel about projects, and will
make a point to share my own ideas, too. Some of the new experiences that I am going
to have include a new position at my job, new classes at ASU, more hours at my second
job, and various volunteering opportunities at my non-profit. In each of these
opportunities, I will look to be positive, engaged, available, and open. I will ask
questions, meet with my mentors on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, and use what I learn on
the job and in my personal life.

Your word count: 445

PLAN FOR IMPROVEMENT

Write a detailed plan for improvement of the three areas by completing the tables below.

Deficit Area #1 (5 pts): Motivating Yourself


Action Steps Information People/mentors who Supplies, materials, or
sources that would might help or support experiences that are
provide insight to you in this activity. needed for this activity to
your understanding (Explain their related be successful.
of the need, and expertise or
strategies to experience.)
address the need.
Could include
articles, blog posts,
videos, web sites,
discussion boards,
etc.
(Add these to the
Reference list
below)

Journal Weekly Inspiring Teachers Jarah B. Jarah is I will need a journal


Blog. (n.d.). one of my life (preferably with an
Retrieved on March mentors, and has inspirational quote on
24, 2017, from been a teacher for the front), and some
http://inspiringteach several years. She pens.
ers.blogspot.com/ currently works for an
educational support
program and is a
great friend to me.

Create Art Piece Talks from Becca A. Becca is I will need colorful
Inspiring Teachers. the president of the paper, paints, a canvas,
(n.d.). TED. nonprofit that I and other art supplies to
Retrieved on March volunteer with. She make my motivational
24, 2017, from has worked with art collage.
http://www.ted.com/ populations of
playlists/182/talks_f refugees for 15 years,
rom_inspiring_teac and has gained a lot
hers of educational ideas
and expertise from
her work. She has
also been one of my
mentors.

Talk with Mentors Burns, M. (2016). Cynthia G. Cynthia I will need a planner to
about what Reboot: 5 works as an adult ELL schedule time with my
motivates me on resources for teacher, working with mentors to catch up and
a weekly basis teacher inspiration. people who come to talk about life and my job
Edutopia. the United States as a teacher on a weekly
Retrieved from from other countries basis.
https://www.edutopi and who know little or
a.org/blog/reboot- no English. She has
resources-for- been one of my life
teacher-inspiration- mentors for three
monica-burns years, and also knows
a lot about education
and people who are
learning English. She
would be a great
resource.

Deficit Area #2 (5 pts): Dealing With Your Feelings


Action Steps Information People/mentors who Supplies, materials, or
sources that would might help or support experiences that are
provide insight to you in this activity. needed for this activity to
your understanding (Explain their related be successful.
of the need, and expertise or
strategies to experience.)
address the need.
Could include
articles, blog posts,
videos, web sites,
discussion boards,
etc.
(Add these to the
Reference list
below)

Focus on the ProTeacher When I get a job as a I will need experiences


people I work with Community. (n.d.). teacher, I would like to to practice working with
instead of on my Retrieved on March find a mentor in a all kinds of people I will
own 24, 2017, from teacher who has get these experiences at
shortcomings. http://www.proteac worked at the school Starbucks and at the
her.net/ (This is a for a lot longer than preschool where I work.
teacher discussion me. I will
board.) communicate with
them on a weekly
basis and ask for help
when I need it.

Journal about my I will look for Lindsay E. Lindsay I will need to be able to
feelings and ask opportunities to is one of my life talk with my mentors,
for help when I attend teacher mentors and has bosses, and other
need it. professional taught me a lot about professionals, and to
development in my managing my have learning
school district. feelings. She is experiences with them.
always willing to listen
and to help me figure
things out.
Use a planner to Pauwels, D. Karen S. Karen is I will need a planner with
practice effective (2013). Life coach my boss at the enough space for me to
time strategies on preschool where I write check lists and to
management. managing your work. She has been keep track of all of the
emotions. [Video a great support and things I get to do in my
file]. Retrieved on has taught me a lot life.
March 24, 2017, about helping toddlers
from and preschoolers get
https://www.youtub the most out of their
e.com/watch? school experience. I
v=6z_yI8Yo3g0 know I can always
talk with her.

Deficit Area #3 (5 pts): Cooperating


Action Steps Information People/mentors who Supplies, materials, or
sources that would might help or support experiences that are
provide insight to you in this activity. needed for this activity to
your understanding (Explain their related be successful.
of the need, and expertise or
strategies to experience.)
address the need.
Could include
articles, blog posts,
videos, web sites,
discussion boards,
etc.
(Add these to the
Reference list
below)

Ask questions I will look to be a Mark D. Mark is the I will need to learn how
every time I work part of my grade founder of the to use questions and
with different level teacher team nonprofit that I open-ended inquiry in
people. in my new school in volunteer with. He the workplace more
the future, so that I has worked in Human often. I will need
can collaborate Resources for several experiences where I
with the other large corporate dont know what to do,
teachers at the companies, and has so I can learn what to do
school where I effectively used for the future.
work. several leadership
strategies to create
unified teams in all
kinds of diverse work
environments. I have
learned a lot from
listening to him talk
about his experiences
with collaboration in
the work place.

Make a point to Johnson, B. I will talk with the I will need experiences
work in a group (2011). Making the principal and other in diverse groups of
instead of most out of teacher administrative staff at people. This will come
independently. collaboration. the school where I get from my job at Starbucks
Edutopia. a job one day, and will and from the time I
Retrieved on March look to join work spend volunteering with
24, 2017, from groups or my nonprofit.
https://www.edutopi collaborative teams in
a.org/blog/teacher- my school.
collaboration-
strategies-ben-
johnson

Look to share my Jones, L. (2014). Nicole B. Nicole is I will need time to listen
own experiences The power of another one of my to others and to hear
and to listen to teacher bosses at the about their ideas.
other peoples collaboration. preschool where I
ideas. Teaching Channel. work. She has helped
Retrieved on March me learn to work
24, 2017, from together and have a
https://www.teachin team mindset at work,
gchannel.org/blog/ and continues to
2014/07/18/power- share her experience
of-teacher- with me on a weekly
collaboration-nea/ basis.

VISION FOR SELF-DIRECTEDNESS (15 pts)


Review the resources provided for this lesson. Then write a vision for how you will address your
professional learning from a self-directed standpoint. Follow APA guidelines for in-text citations
and references. Include in-text citations to at least 3 of the information sources from this lesson
and 1 (or more) outside resource. Save your sources, as you will be asked to create a
Reference list for these sources below.
(400-500 word count):

According to Lucy Madsen Guglielmino, one adapted definition for self-directed learning
is a method that ranges from a teacher-directed classroom to self-planned and self-
conducted learning projects developed in response to personal or workplace interests or
needs and conducted independently or collaboratively (Guglielmino, 2008, p. 1). I agree
with this definition of self-directed learning, and plan to use each part of this definition in
my future career endeavors. I want to get the most out of each job opportunity that I take
part in after I graduate from college. I hope to work in an elementary school as a literacy
specialist or a special education teacher. I believe that in order to help my students
develop a love for learning and a desire to succeed, I must learn continuously and strive
for my own success. There are three major areas that I would like to focus on in the next
few years of my professional development. First of all, I would like to learn more about
what motivates me and how to maintain my focus and motivation even through busy
school years. One of the ways I plan to work on maintaining my self-motivation to make
a difference in the lives of my students is by journaling on a weekly basis. I will write
down the different ideas and attitudes of my students that inspire me, and will take note
when I see a student succeed or overcome an obstacle in their lives. According to a
study by Maria Giovanna Tassinari, self-assessment and the evaluation of learners
competencies, attitudes, and behaviors in an autonomous learning process are very
useful both for learners and advisors in order to reflect and regulate the learning process
itself (Tassinari, 2012, p. 38). This means that reflection will be a crucial part of my
future professional development and self-directed learning. I want to write down my
goals for the future in my journaling, and then check back later to ensure I have
completed each one. The second major area I would like to work on is managing my
feelings and emotions in a more consistent way. In a video about successfully managing
your emotions, Dieter Pauwels states, we all have the ability to choose: you can focus
on what is working in your life, or you can focus on what is not working in your life. You
have that choice! (Pauwels, 2013). I plan to talk with my mentors and other professional
supporters in my life who will help me focus on the good in my life and on the things that
make me happy and fulfilled. Finally, another major area that I would like to work on in
my life is to cooperate more with the people around me. In order to do this, I plan to
make an effort to listen with respect to the people around me, and to ask people to share
their opinions and ideas. An article about adult learners noted that adult learners resist
learning when they feel others are imposing information, ideas or actions on them (no
author, 2007, p. 2). When I take the time to ask questions of the people around me, it
creates an environment where others can feel safe sharing their ideas. I plan to focus my
learning on including my coworkers in problem-solving and in new, innovative company
projects.

Your word count: 554

References (10 pts)


Burns, M. (2016). Reboot: 5 resources for teacher inspiration. Edutopia. Retrieved from
https://www.edutopia.org/blog/reboot-resources-for-teacher-inspiration-monica-
burns

Guglielmino, L. M. (2008). Why Self-Directed Learning? International Journal of Self-


Directed Learning 5(1), 1-14. Retrieved from
http://media.wix.com/ugd/dfdeaf_d98e41d57bfe4b159fa98e60bcf5c4d2.pdf

Inspiring Teachers Blog. (n.d.). Retrieved on March 24, 2017, from


http://inspiringteachers.blogspot.com/

Johnson, B. (2011). Making the most out of teacher collaboration. Edutopia. Retrieved on
March 24, 2017, from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/teacher-collaboration-
strategies-ben-johnson

Jones, L. (2014). The power of teacher collaboration. Teaching Channel. Retrieved on


March 24, 2017, from https://www.teachingchannel.org/blog/2014/07/18/power-of-
teacher-collaboration-nea/

Pauwels, D. (2013). Life coach strategies on managing your emotions. [Video file].
Retrieved on March 24, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=6z_yI8Yo3g0

ProTeacher Community. (n.d.). Retrieved on March 24, 2017, from


http://www.proteacher.net/

Queensland Occupational Therapy Fieldwork Collaborative. (2007). Adult learning


theories and principles: Become familiar with adult learning theory and the six
principles of adult learning. Available at:
https://brucedwatson.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/adult-learning-theory-and-the-
six-principles-of-adult-learning/

Talks from Inspiring Teachers. (n.d.). TED. Retrieved on March 24, 2017, from
http://www.ted.com/playlists/182/talks_from_inspiring_teachers

Tassinari, M. G. (2012). Evaluating learner autonomy: A dynamic model with descriptors.


Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 3(1), 24-40. Available at
http://sisaljournal.org/archives/march12/tassinari/

____________________________________________________________________________

Professional presentation (professional language, grammar, spelling, word count) (10


pts).
Please proofread your work to be sure it meets university level writing standards. Note that if
your written work does not meet this standard, you will be asked to revise and resubmit within 3
days, and these points will be lost. The Writing Center can provide support. See
https://tutoring.asu.edu/writing-centers for details.