Self-directed learning and blogging

Medeleine Tsoi and Emil Li
Caritas Francis Hsu College
Hong Kong SAR, China

In recent years, computer-assisted instruction has prompted several paradigm shifts in teaching and learning, including the shift from instructor-centred to student-centred learning. In general, the roles of teachers and students have changed. No longer perceived as the sole experts and information providers, teachers become facilitators and commentators. Conversely, students are no longer passive learners faithfully following what they have been told to do by their teachers. Instead they can become collaborators and creators in the process of knowledge acquisition.

Teachers, education administrators and policy makers need to be aware of the improved technological tools that are available for students to improve their interest in learning. The teachers' goal should be the development of self-motivated learners who are willing to find and internalize information on their own. If designed well, computer applications can be used effectively to facilitate collaboration among students as learners, teachers as facilitators, and experts as resource providers. In fact, they can be effective tools for self-directed learning.

This paper includes a description of a planned research project on computer-assisted language learning, culminating in a thesis that aims to analyse the interactive and multimedia capabilities of the computer, and explore ways of fully utilizing these capabilities in order to make the computer an attractive teaching and learning tool.