Fostering Learner Autonomy: Web-based Goal Setting and Self-evaluation in Japanese Higher Education (73423)

Session Information: Online and Mobile Learning
Session Chair: Kalyan Chattopadhyay

Saturday, 11 November 2023 12:45
Session: Session 2
Room: Sri Sachanalai
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 7 (Asia/Bangkok)

Young people today are increasingly called on to be autonomous learners who are capable of setting goals, devising learning strategies, and reflecting on their own performance. This presentation introduces a Moodle plugin that enables students to set their own learning goals online and regularly review their progress toward achieving these goals within a stipulated timeframe. This innovative approach to goal setting and self-evaluation has been designed to enhance learner autonomy and performance in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) courses at a Japanese university. Teachers employing this application can more effectively cultivate learner reflection in their classrooms, thereby facilitating a more student-centered learning environment. Through the use of technology, the process of self-reflection is streamlined, presenting data in an intuitive, web-based format that makes sense to modern learners.

This project’s theoretical underpinnings are in goal-setting theory and self-regulated learning. The plugin adopts a tripartite model of goal setting, conceptualized by the presenter, that seeks a balance between nurturing learner autonomy and managing the practical constraints encountered in compulsory EFL instruction.

The 'Basic/Advanced' goals serve as dyadic, instructor-composed goals designed to guide learners towards successful performance, offering an element of choice to accommodate differentiated learning. 'Challenge' goals comprise optional, instructor-created, learning-oriented goals that steer learners towards immersive language study, engaging them with real-world content across a range of mediums. Lastly, 'My goals' enable students to create personalized learning objectives tailored to their unique learning preferences.

The presentation will share the preliminary findings from a mixed-methods research study. Qualitative data gleaned from reflexive thematic analysis of 88 students' open-ended questionnaire responses will be discussed. Themes include: a place for reflection; guided goal setting scaffolds learning; it’s better to write your own goals; challenge goals extend learning beyond the classroom; and the online medium suits today’s learners. Quantitative results derived from closed-ended questionnaire responses suggest students' preference for the digital goal-setting approach over traditional paper-based methods. Additionally, the analysis of web application usage data reveals a positive correlation between the difficulty level of the goals set and the students' self-assessments.

Abstract Summary
This presentation introduces an innovative Moodle plugin designed to foster learner autonomy in compulsory EFL education at a Japanese university. The plugin, facilitating online goal setting and self-evaluation, incorporates a unique tripartite model of goal setting. The aim is to balance between nurturing learner autonomy and addressing practical considerations of compulsory EFL instruction. This digital platform streamlines regular self-reflection, providing information in an intuitive format that aligns with the technological proficiencies of contemporary learners. Preliminary insights from a mixed-methods research study reveal students' preference for the digital medium of goal setting and a positive correlation between the challenge level of goals set and students' self-assessments. As preparations for wider release within the global Moodle community are underway, the presenter invites attendee feedback to help refine and enhance the tool's effectiveness in supporting autonomous language learners worldwide.

Nicolas Emerson, Kyushu Sangyo University, Japan

About the Presenter(s)
Mr Nicolas Emerson is a University Assistant Professor/Lecturer at Kyushu Sangyo University in Japan

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