The greatest sign of success for a teachers is to be able to say, " The children are now working as if I did not exist." Maria Montessori


Self-Directed Learning is no longer offered at TIE.  

Self-Directed Learning is one of the modules for the Customized Learning Guru Series!

Self-Directed Learning is one of the models of personalized learning. We will explore the four stages of self-directed learning and compare those stages to the instructional framework of the gradual release of responsibility model. We will consider how technology supports students in the classroom to own their learning and work collaboratively with others. We might think of self-directed learning as only for a certain age group.  Self-directed learning has a broad spectrum. Let's  consider what self-directed learning looks like for all ages and in a variety of classroom scenarios.  

Books needed

  • ebook- Better Learning Through Structured Teaching 2nd Ed. by Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey
  • ebook- Who Owns the Learning by Alan November
  • Syllabus - Complete requirements are here - please download and save


  • All pages for the course are listed in the left column
  • The Unit pages contain:
    • readings and videos
    • activities to do for the course
    • the assignments to be turned in to the instructor
  • The Activity pages contain:
    • specific activity for the unit it is under
    • can also be found within the Unit page
    • background information for the unit
    • *Note: Sometimes the activities are also your assingment. Sometimes the activities are the background information or additional information that will help you develop a deeper understanding of the assignment. 

Unit Outcomes

Participants will:

  • define self-directed learning and the principles and stages of self-directed learning
  • understand the instructional framework of the gradual release of responsibility model and the similarities to self-directed learning
  • consider characteristics of the self-directed learner and evaluate the readiness of the teacher and students in the classroom
  • incorporate the phases of the gradual release of responsibility in the classroom 
  • expand the repertoire  online tools to support students working collaboratively and individually and incorporate one or more tools in the classroom

In this unit, Self-Directed Learning, you will be asked to create an online journal and you will also be given discussion questions that will be turned into your instructor. The online journal is your thinking, your messy work, the journal where you have an "aha" moment or have a question to ask me. Keep it that way. We won't answer all your questions about Self- Directed Learning but we can begin the journey to support students in that direction. 

Module Scoring

Much of your work will be reflections and answering questions based on your readings and watching videos. Please take the time to write a well-thought out reflection. You will be given a 3.0 to show mastery of each activity. If, at any time, you need to re-do something, I will send it back and give you an opportunity to revise your work. If at anytime your work is less than a letter grade of an A, you will be given time to re-do. 


These online professional learning workshops are paid for by districts who join TIE Membership. We intentionally do not put it behind a firewall so anyone can peruse the materials. If you are using this for professional purposes, please contact TIE to join Membership.