Self-Determination Skills to Improve Remote Learning Outcomes

Have you ever thought or wondered, “I just wanted to see a little effort from my students - it doesn't need to be perfect,” “A little participation would be nice,” or “Why didn’t my students reach out to me so I could help?” The truth is, taking academic risks, participating in class, and asking for help all require what are known as “self-determination skills.” Self-determination skills are the skills students need to access content knowledge, yet very few teachers explicitly teach them, for a variety of reasons. Self-determination skills are particularly important as an equity issue for two reasons: first, teachers carry implicit biases, and their own experiences and expectations about how students should engage may not align with those of their students; and second, self-determination skills represent the majority of the top qualities desired of students by their future employers. Therefore, in order to provide all students with access to the content we teach and to prepare our students for desirable post-secondary opportunities, teachers must incorporate explicit instruction to develop self-determination skills in the classroom - especially in virtual settings. In this seminar, we will explore examples of self-determination skills, understand how they relate to the content we teach, and learn and practice tools that will help any teacher strengthen their students’ self-determination skills during virtual instruction.