More on the motivating effect of autonomy-supportive education:
APPLICATION: How can I structure the learning environment so my students experience autonomy?
STUDENT-CREATED TESTS (Domains: Feedback & Evaluation and Activities) Invite students to write and contribute questions for an upcoming test, with a promise to include a minimum number of student-written questions on the actual test. The more student-written questions used on the test, the more students will feel self-determining. This strategy also teaches students the life-long learning skill of asking significant questions. Most students have little awareness that each discipline intends to answer certain types of questions.
CONTRACTS (Domains: Activities and Policies & Rules) Have students design their own course contract, including their desired course grade, specific and measurable learning outcomes (e.g., "I can write an essay with no more than 1 grammar error per 100 words), and desired experiences along the way (e.g., "I have some say in what I am learning"). Next ask them to list the behaviors (e.g., "Attend class on time.") that will likely lead to the achievement of their desired outcomes and experiences. All behaviors agreed on unanimously by the class become the class "rules."
--Skip Downing, Facilitator, On Course Workshop Skip@OnCourseWorkshop.com
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