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Evaluating Learner Autonomy: A Dynamic Model with Descriptors

Keywords: learner autonomy , self-assessment , evaluation , awareness raising , advising , self-access

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Abstract:

Every autonomous learning process should entail an evaluation of the learner’s competencies for autonomy. The dynamic model of learner autonomy described in this paper is a tool designed in order to support the self-assessment and evaluation of learning competencies and to help both learners and advisors to focus on relevant aspects of the learning process. The dynamic model accounts for cognitive, metacognitive, action-oriented and affective components of learner autonomy and provides descriptors of learners’ attitudes, competencies and behaviors. It is dynamic in order to allow learners to focus on their own needs and goals.The model (http://www.sprachenzentrum.fuberlin.de/v/autonomiemodell/index.html) has been validated in several workshops with experts at the Université Nancy 2, France and at the Freie Universit t Berlin, Germany and tested by students, advisors and teachers. It is currently used at the Centre for Independent Language Learning at the Freie Universit t Berlin for language advising. Learners can freely choose the components they would like to assess themselves in. Their assessment is then discussed in an advising session, where the learner and the advisor can compare their perspectives, focus on single aspects of the leaning process and set goals for further learning. The students’ feedback gathered in my PhD investigation shows that they are able to benefit from this evaluation; their awareness, self-reflection and decision-making in the autonomous learning process improved.

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