Transformational Learning is Personalized and Self-Directed…
Learning is a process powered by the learner and supported and stimulated by collaboration with others. Sparking and feeding the desire to learn ensures that the process repeats itself—the learner wants to learn more. Without the desire to learn, attempts to “teach at” a student are counterproductive.
Additionally, adult learners come to College Unbound already engaged in the rich curriculum of their lives. They are involved in partnering, parenting, and living and working in a diverse, complex, and ever-changing society. At College Unbound, those experiences are considered assets. Students come with diverse ideas, skills, talents, and experiences. Curriculum must begin with the student and build from there. Coursework is not separate from the student’s life—something they get to in the evenings after a full day at work when the kids have gone to bed. Instead, the learning is woven throughout the student’s day and takes advantage of the opportunities in which that provides.
Because their lives are integrated in their coursework, and their coursework is integrated throughout their lives, it is possible for students to continuously develop lifelong learning competencies and reflect on their growth. At CU that means paying attention to integrating and applying knowledge, thinking critically, posing and solving problems, communicating ideas, collaborating, holding themselves accountable, practicing creativity, developing the skills of resilience, becoming reflective individuals, and advocating for themselves and others. Students pay attention to how they know as well as what they know.
Learning at College Unbound is self-directed. The Personal Learning Plan, crafted by the student with input from members of their Personal Learning Network, provides the blueprint for the learning. The students decide:
1) What they want to accomplish.
2) What areas of knowledge and skills they need to gain in order to accomplish it.
3) How they will gain that knowledge and develop those skills—the necessary resources, experiences, and activities.
4) How they (and others) will know they have gained the appropriate knowledge and skills.
College Unbound and its partner universities provide a rich storehouse of experts, resources, learning experiences from which the students can draw. They also provide the means to assess, validate, and credential the learning. Students are not limited to using only those resources. They are encouraged and required to use the world around them.