Negotiating with Learners
It is important at the start of any learning experience for learners to have a clear understanding of their prior knowledge, skills and current learning needs. To assist learners in taking ownership of their learning experiences, teachers can initiate negotiations with learners through the prior use of discussions and assessments to enable negotiations to take place through reflective discussions, resulting in establishing personalised learning agreements.
As highlighted by many research documents including that by Nancy Appleyard and Keith Appleyard (2003), at the start of any given course of study, educator’s use initial diagnostic assessments to determine factors that may influence and affect desired learning outcomes. This enables negotiations to take place on the basis of these assessment results. In turn this helps teachers to direct learners into an appropriate learning programme to suit their individual needs best.
As highlighted by Recce and Walker (2007) discussing and negotiating individual learning plans increases the quality of the learner’s learning experiences and their learning outcomes. They argue that the advantages of negotiating with learners can help to create a more personalised relationship with the tutor and therefore helps to build increased opportunities for pastorial care of each student, enabling them to get the approriate support throughtout their course of study.
Research evidenced by Breen and Littlejohn (2000) point towards ‘teacher feedback’ which indicates a strong belief that negotiated approaches with learners achieve a wider scope of learning outcomes, which include quality and richness of learning, quality of students work, abilities to work independently and responsibly, greater confidence, and motivation. Later research evidence by Breen and LittleJohn (2005) also suggest that negotiation provides a richer context in which opportunities exist for learners to articulate their own...
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