Skip to Main Content
Over the past three years, faculty at Binghamton University and Broome Community College had studied the literature on self-directed learning and developed instructional activities to promote this vital skill in entering engineering students. This paper is a final report on this effort. It describes the concept of self-directed learning and the learning tools we have developed for use in our entry level engineering programs. Our interest in self-directed learning arose, in part, from our conviction that distance learning will become more pervasive in the near future. To date, the primary use of distance learning has been with mature learners. As this approach to instruction moves into undergraduate programs, students will need to be more autonomous in order to survive the rigors of introductory courses in math and science without the support of classmates and instructor. The modules developed in this NSF-sponsored project are designed to promote these capabilities in our students. Some are online activities; others are designed for use in the classroom. All are designed to provide feedback to the students, which helps them assess their own skill development as they progress through the activity. This paper describes how to design educational activities that not only teach the material, but also develop SDL capabilities in students.