On July 30-31, 2013, 27 faculty and staff members from six campuses (and one from Elizabethtown College) attended a very successful two-day training event, “Helping Students Become Lifelong Learners.” See details of the event. Participants who attended both days of training, would also be prepared to use the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI) in various classroom/campus projects.
Each participant took the ELLI before the workshop began and over the course of two days, we reflected on ourselves as learners, on the instrument itself, as well as effective ways to use it with students in our various contexts. ELLI measures seven dimensions of learning power identified by the researchers who developed the instrument (U. of Bristol, UK). As people explore their own profiles, they enter into dialog with experienced practitioners who help them understand themselves as learners and create an action plan for change. The integration model is one of self-reflection and conversation with an experienced mentor/instructor/adviser, etc. leading towards growth as a lifelong learner along the seven dimensions of learning power.
Participants received a detailed handbook with strategies and background on the research as well as a personal learning profile booklet that accompanies the ELLI profile.
It was really exciting to see the enthusiasm and variety of implementation ideas that came from the various campus groups. From integration into FYE courses, to use in advising conversations, to support for adult learners returning to the classroom, to use in individual classrooms, ELLI as a tool to help students become successful lifelong learners, was very well received.
Negotiations are also on-going with the UK ELLI purveyors to help our campus partners also get access for this first year to pilot their own programs as they secure funding for next year’s access. Fingers crossed we can work something out so they can do something this year.
Thanks to funding from The Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence, Teaching & Learning with Technology Operations Group, and the Penn State Libraries, we were able to hold this event and offer it to our campus and community partners. Funding will also support a fall implementation project at the York Campus. Barbara Eshbach, Jorge Santiago-Blay, and I are working on a project entitled: Using Adaptive Learning Technology (ALT) and Reflective Exercises using the Effective Lifelong Learning Inventory (ELLI) to Improve First-Year Success in a Paired Developmental College Reading/Environmental Science Course. Our goal is to gather data to tell us whether the course pairing is effective and whether the use of ELLI and ALT impacts student success and growth over time.