5LDO1 – Supporting Self-Directed and Social Learning


Task One Written response to 7 questions

This task should be presented as a Word document. You will need to provide an explanation of what self-directed and social learning is all about and discuss how they are connected. You will need to include theories and the potential benefits and risks of self-directed and social learning for both individuals and organisations. You should also include some best-practice guidelines, in terms of how organisations could transition towards adopting more self-directed and social learning.

  1. An explanation of the concepts of self-directed and social learning, and at least two connections between them. (AC1.1)
  2. An assessment of the benefits and drawbacks of at least two different theories related to self-directed learning and two different theories of social learning. Include the similarities and differences between these different theories (AC1.2)
  3. An evaluation of at least two benefits and two risks of self-directed and social learning, covering both the individual and the organisation (AC1.3)
  4. An explanation of the steps organisations can take to encourage informal, self-directed, and social learning (AC2.1, AC2.2)
  5. A critical assessment of at least two theories of learner differences related to accessing and undertaking self-directed and social learning (AC2.3)
  6. An assessment of how digital and technological innovation are encouraging and enabling self-directed and social learning (AC2.4)
  7. A discussion of at least two different strategies that can be used to support individuals in reflecting on, and measuring the impact of, self- directed and social learning (AC 2.5)
Your evidence must consist of:
Your written response should be around 3,000 words (+ or – 10%)

Task Two Create a Brief Guide to Content Curationdocument for use within your own organisation

Your “Content Curation Guide” must include:

  • An evaluation of five key principles that underpin the curation of learning resources for self-directed and social learning, either as part of a wider learning and development programme or as a ‘stand-alone’ resource (AC 3.1)
  • An example curation of three potential accessible learning resources in relation to a specific area of learning (of your own choice). You should suggest using an appropriate platform / method to make these resources accessible to others and explain why this may be ‘best practice.’ (AC 3.2)
  • A guidance section which encourages and supports learners on how to curate quality resources for one another (AC 3.3)
Your evidence must consist of:
The “guide” should be around 900 words (+ or – 10%) and should contain some key hints and tips and any policy-type statements that would help colleagues to deliver great, sharable content for learning.


Table of Contents

Task One: Written Response to 7 Questions. 2

1.1 Self-directed and social learning, connections between them.. 2

1.2 Benefits and drawbacks of different theories. 2

1.3 Benefits and risks of self-directed and social learning. 4

2.1, 2.2 Steps organisations can take to encourage informal, self-directed and social learning. 5

2.3 Theories of learner differences. 6

2.4 Digital and technological innovation encourage and enable self-directed and social learning. 8

2.5 Strategies for supporting people to reflect, measure impact of self-directed and social learning. 9

Task 2: Content Curation Guide. 10

3.1 Key principles underpinning curation of learning resources for self-directed and social learning. 10

3.2 Curation of potential accessible learning resources. 11

3.3 Encouraging and supporting learners on curating quality resources for one another. 12

References. 14

Task One: Written Response to 7 Questions

1.1 Self-directed and social learning, connections between them

According to CIPD (2018) podcast, self-directed learning is a transition away from the traditional, classroom-oriented learning, empowerment to all people for taking charge of their own learning needs.

On the other hand, social learning is defined in CIPD (2017) as an informal and self-directed learning which occur as and when need arises in some instances through the application of social media or a similar collaborative technology. The popularity of social learning is informed by the fact that 90% of organisations implement this form of learning. This is as organisations are transitioning away from the controlled, classroom-based learning environment.

In regard to the connection of the two concepts, they include;

Mode of delivery of learning

Both self-directed and social learning are voluntarily implemented without being coerced or directed by the organisation to take part in the process of learning. The learners take their own initiatives with or without assistance from others. According to Bhandari et al. (2020) this is in the process of goals formulation, identification of human and material resources for learning, selecting and implementation of relevant learning approaches. Similarly, social learning entail observation of the behaviours of the rest. These behaviours based on the outcome of the consequence. Hence, for both, their model of delivery is not by force but willingly.

Outcome of the learning process

Also, the outcome of adopting both approaches in learning are identified by Murray (2010) as development of the capacity for thinking in a rational manner, reflecting, analysing, evidencing and making relevant  judgements. Similarly, in the social learning, the observed situational actions, the behaviour manifested is mirrored based on the outcome of the consequence.

1.2 Benefits and drawbacks of different theories

The theories of self-directed learning include;

Garrison’s Theory

 According to Zhu et al. (2020) this theory of self-directed learning inform the process as being integrated external management (contextual control), internal monitoring (cognitive responsibility), and motivational (entering and task) factors linked with learning in an educational context. The outcome of this theory is that learners have the motivation for assuming personal responsibility and collaborative control of the cognitive (self-monitoring) and contextual (self-management) processes to construct and confirm meaningful and worthwhile learning outcomes.

According to Loeng (2020) the benefits of this theory is that it facilitate metacognitive perspective on learning and generalised capacity of learning reflectively. Also, the theory offers a guidance on development of learners with a capacity of self-monitoring themselves in distinct phenomenon. The disadvantage of this theory include challenge accessing to a tutor/guide, language barriers prevalent and immense time wasted.

Cognitive Learning Theory

This theory is identified in Charokar and Dulloo (2022) as guiding the process of learning from the processes in the mind (mental and psychological). It details on their perceptions, processing information and memory in learning strategy pursued. The benefits of this theory is that part of learning include focusing on what a learner know, as opposed to their response to stimuli. Through an adoption of the cognitive learning theory, it is possible to act on thought processes and link them to memories as opposed to mere responses to occurrences and feelings. The main drawback of this theory is that it identify cognitive processes which are not observable. This means it substantially rely on inference. Another drawback include ignoring other factors on behaviours which are noted as impacting behaviours.

Similarities and differences

For similarities,  both theories are informed by the view that people possess mental hardware essential for learning behaviours. Also, the two theories hold that individuals could end up deploying social contexts in different ways.

Considering differences, according to Wittmann and Olivier (2021) the cognitive learning is a learning processes where people acquire and process information. This is with Garroson Theory identifying how the control of their learning is achieved successfully.

Theories of Social Learning

Bandura Theory

According to Deming and Johnson (2019) this theory is informed by the view that it is important to observe, model and imitate behaviours, attitudes and emotional reactions of others. Therefore, success of social learning according to this theory is dependent on how the environmental and cognitive factors interact influencing human learning and behaviours.

For benefits, this theory offers an appropriate framework essential to understand how a person learn through observation and modelling. For drawbacks, this theory fail to put into account of the developmental milestones. This is since development stages could lead to inappropriate behaviours.

Aker Social Learning Theory

This is a theory which is based on the assumption that individuals develop motivation for committing crime and the skills to commit crime through people in their association. According to Archer and Flexon (2021) this means that people acquire new behaviours, values, and attitudes by directly experiencing and observing others through a positive and negative stimuli. The benefits of this theory include its flexible nature in offering an explanation on the differences in a person behaviour/learning. This means that a change in an individual environment lead to changes in behaviours. The drawbacks of this include assumption that passivity in the nature of observer receiving rewards/punishments.

Similarities and differences

Both theories are based on the assumption that people best learn from behaviours which are acquired over time. For differences, with Bandura Theory identifying the practices lead to appropriate behaviour being developed. In regard to the differences, with Aker theory noting that imitation is also part of indispensable factor of learning, Bandura only noted that the learning of a criminal behaviour as impacted by simple mimicry of other people behaviours.

1.3 Benefits and risks of self-directed and social learning

For the benefits, they include;

Comprehensive and focus on content and skills

For an individual, Bulut (2019) argue that self-directed and social learning are holistic and prioritise on both the content and skills. The behaviours which are in an organisation are also critical for aiding the learning and knowledge acquisition by individuals.

Building a culture of lifelong learners

As evidenced in Yoshida (2021) self-directed and social learning develops learners ready to learn by being in a position of asking questions and getting answers. To the organisation, it becomes appropriately positioned in organising information acquired and experiences managed towards workable pieces. For an organisation, social learning entail a naturally occurring learning process occurring through observations, imitation and modelling of behaviours.

Considering the risks, they include;

Less Support– Despite of self-directed and social learning being core for workplace learning, Ferri (2021) argued that coaching is the preference in 92%  of all organisations and shadowing at 88%. Only 10% and 5% of individuals acknowledge engagement in social and self-directed learning within a period of 12 months. The situation has been worsened by the VUCA world stress and COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic downturn.

Transfer of Learning– A successful self-directed and social learning require that the individuals and their organisations are motivated intrinsically for completing their learning. This is while translating to observable behaviours changes in real workplaces. Hence, most of the organisations lack intrinsic motivators and proportionate rewards hence limiting the success of such learning approaches. Also, Karatas et al. (2021) argued that with the existence of other simpler learning strategies, many organisations are hesitant towards encouraging self-directed and social learning.

2.1, 2.2 Steps organisations can take to encourage informal, self-directed and social learning

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