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Expert Learners

Expert Learners

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Author: Jody Waltman
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In this lesson, you will learn about the concept of "expert learners". This idea is based on the three UDL principles.

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In this tutorial, we'll examine the concept of expert learners, especially as this idea relates to Universal Design for Learning. We'll begin by defining the term expert learner.

And then we'll closely examine some of the characteristics of expert learners. They are resourceful and knowledgeable, strategic and goal-oriented, and purposeful and motivated. Let's get started.

First let's define the term expert learner. Expert learners are students who wants to learn. They're motivated and well-prepared for learning. They want to learn, and they come to us with an understanding of how they learn best. And in more general terms, expert learners seem to simply know how to learn.

We all want all of our students to become expert learners, so let's identify some of the key characteristics of expert learners and how they relate to the UDL principles. Hopefully with this knowledge, we can plan instruction that may help our students to become expert learners.

First, expert learners are resourceful and knowledgeable. They are able to apply their own prior knowledge to new information that's presented in the classroom. They are skilled in making connections between old and new and formation.

Expert learners are able to actively apply the methods, tools, and resources that work well for them in the learning process. And they are able to assimilate, internalize, and effectively apply new knowledge.

This trait of expert learners is closely related to UDL principle one, providing multiple means of representation. So if we want to help develop knowledgeable and resourceful learners, we can focus on UDL principle one as we design our instruction.

A second trait of expert learners is that they are strategic and goal-oriented. These students tend to be the planners in our classrooms. They are able to set learning goals for themselves, create plans for meeting those goals, and self-assess along the way.

These students take responsibility for and ownership of their own learning. They tend to exercise strong metacognitive skills. In other words, they understand their strengths and their weaknesses and are able to use this knowledge to select the learning strategies that are going to work best for them.

These skills are related to UDL principle two, providing multiple means of action and expression. So in order to help develop learners who are strategic and goal-oriented, we can focus on UDL principle two as we design our classroom instruction.

A third trait of expert learners is that they tend to be purposeful and motivated learners. These students are self-regulated, motivated, and disciplined in the classroom environment. They are able to focus on achieving the goals they have set for themselves.

They have a good understanding of the effort, concentration, and focus that are going to be needed to reach those goals. They are able to apply self-regulation skills on their emotions and any other issues that might come up that might otherwise distract from their learning. These learners are also often able to reflect on their own learning without having to be prompted to do so.

These skills are closely related to UDL principle three, providing multiple means of engagement. In order to help develop learners who are purposeful and motivated, we can focus on UDL principle three, as we design our classroom instruction.

In this tutorial, we learned that the term expert learner refers to students who are motivated and well-prepared to learn. We identified several characteristics of these expert learners. They are resourceful and knowledgeable, strategic and goal-oriented, and purposeful and motivated.

We related these characteristics back to the principles of Universal Design for Learning, so that as we design our classroom instruction, we can focus on techniques that will help us to develop expert learners among our students.

Here's a chance for you to stop and reflect. Can you think of some students in your classroom who already display characteristics of expert learners? Can you see how implementing the principles of UDL may help to develop even more expert learners among your students?

For more information on how to apply what you learned in this video, please view the Additional Resources section that accompanies this video presentation. The Additional Resources section includes hyperlinks useful for applications of the course material, including a brief description of each resource. Thanks for watching. Have a great day.

Notes on "Expert Learners"

(00:00 - 00:25) Introduction

(00:26 - 01:01) Definition

(01:02 - 01:42) Characteristic 1

(01:43 - 02:31) Characteristic 2

(02:32 - 03:19) Characteristic 3

(03:20 - 03:49) Review

(03:50 - 04:26) Stop and Reflect

Additional Resources

UDL Journal: expert learners

This entry provides a clear explanation of the three types of expert learners as defined by UDL: strategic, goal-directed learners; resourceful, knowledgeable learners; and purposeful, motivated learners.
http://udljournal.cast.org/glossary;jsessionid=1414B8C984F9AC4AD1D608FD8EA2C61F?0&word=l35


Personalize Learning: The Expert Learner with Voice and Choice

This web entry provides a very clear explanation of how to use expert learners in the classroom and how voice and choice supports the tenets of personalized learning. The post includes easy to follow charts on the types of learners, the stages of application, and the roles of teachers and students.
http://www.personalizelearning.com/2012/10/the-expert-learner-with-voice-and-choice.html