Where Next?

4 Introduction

In Units 2 and 3, you have been thinking about the past and the present. You have also explored the value of other perspectives on your learning. These perspectives have included the views of other people and the ideas in academic theories. This unit continues the exploration of academic ideas. In particular, it picks up on the issue that was first raised in Unit 3 in relation to the theories of learning developed by psychologists. In Unit 4, we encourage you to think about the future—to set yourself some goals for your ongoing learning and development, and to draw up an action plan for achieving them. In addition, you will extend your exploration of the role of other people in the learning process to consider the value of online learning communities

The unit begins with a discussion of “social learning” and online learning communities. You will get the opportunity to join the Learning to Learn online forum and begin using it to support the work you do in Unit 4. The next part of the unit starts by looking briefly at what we mean by an action plan. You will then develop goals for the future and learn how to write them clearly. Having thought about what you are aiming for, you then need to think about what might help and hinder you so that you can start increasing your sources for help and support while reducing the obstacles. And, finally, we encourage you to draft an action plan and collect evidence. Throughout this part of the unit you will have the option of using the Learning to Learn forum to get feedback on your action plan and ideas about how you might achieve your goals.

Unit 4 Learning Outcomes

By the time you have reached the end of Unit 4, you should be able to:

  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of online learning communities and identify good practice in participating in such communities.
  • Choose at least one goal that you would like to work toward and explain why you have chosen that goal.
  • Identify what you can do to help you achieve your goal.
  • Draw up a plan for achieving your goal.
  • Explain how you have used any ideas presented in the unit to identify goals and develop your action plan, and comment on their usefulness to you.

Related Challenges

Studying Unit 4 will prepare you for the following Learning to Learn challenges:

You should familiarize yourself with the requirements of each challenge now (just click on the links above to visit the challenge page).

Unit 4 also contains activities that are elements of:

  • Challenge 7: The Qualities, Knowledge, and Skills Audit Challenge (Part 2).
  • Challenge 8: The Reflection Challenge.

4.1 Introduction to Online Learning Communities