Awareness and acceptance of learners’ responsibility for one’s own processExplicitly encourages and enables learners to take responsibility for their own learning process.Identifying learning objectives and pursuing them proactively,Learning to learnSkill to analyze learners’ strengths, weaknesses and learning opportunities

Entangled learning – how to direct your own learning in a community context?

This article presents a new concept co-developed by Laurel Whisler (Assistant Director and Coordinator of Course Support Programs at Clemon’s Westmoreland Academic Success program) and Paul Treuer (retired professor at University of Minnesota Duluth and educational consultant). It invites the learner for an individual learning journey in a context of wider community. It structures a process to organize one’s own learning plan and to apply what we have learnt when working with peers.

Why did I choose this tool? 

Entangled learning is a very good structure for one’s own development, and awareness of learning-to-learn competence. Laurel Whisler in her presentation explains:

Why? To equip people for skillful, agile learning as they attempt to address challenges of utmost importance.”

How does this apply to being a trainer?

This model can support a person’s own learning. By going through its structure, you may be more aware of your own learning and better organize it.

Main content:

Entangled Learning (EL) is a framework for self-directed learning in which individuals collaborate in shared practices to grow, deepen, and document their knowledge. EL is a learner-centered educational pedagogy for the 21st century in which students, and their teachers, leverage and build social networks to deepen knowledge. Learners who are entangled not only find joy in their learning, but also they develop lifelong skills and relationships to direct their own deep learning. 

Entangled Learning is a structure and a process for facilitating self-directed learning in which individuals document their learning to validate it and to share with others.

What this means for the learner:

– Design: Develop a Learning Action Plan with goals for learning, actions to take, and metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of their learning. Revise periodically as often as needed.

– Learn: Use a variety of study resources that match personal learning styles and preferences. Participate in one or more Communities of Practice (CoP) in a learning domain using multiple roles.

– Apply: Apply newly developed knowledge and skills to undertake issues, assignments, problems, or projects of interest by oneself or in a group.

– Know: Contemplates on what they know and what they want to know more about. Engages in practices that support depth, rigor, and validation of learning, documenting these in an ePortfolio to share with others their input.

plan example:
plan example:

Design your own plan, look at the sample:

plan example
plan example

Your learning plan.

Area Section Actions Description Target outcomes M T W Th F Sa So

Use e-portfolio as a good practice to show, share and discuss your learning outcomes.


Develop your own EL Action Plan to shape your self-regulated learning. Invite somebody to join this learning journey, with his/her own EL Action Plan.

  • What resources and collaborative partners are available to you?
  • What actions can you engage in each area?
  • How can you evaluate the quality or effectiveness of your practices?

Make and design your own e-portfolio.

Reflection questions:

  • What have you experienced by using this approach?
  • How would you improve this process?
  • What else would you like to experience in terms of learning to learn competence?

Author of the article: Laurel Whisler

Laurel Whisler is Assistant Director and Coordinator of Course Support Programs in Clemson University’s Westmoreland Academic Success Program.  Previously, she was Coordinator of the Supplemental Instruction Program for five years.  Laurel enjoyed a fifteen-year career as a librarian, serving in such capacities as reference and information literacy instruction, music librarian, and administrative roles in liberal arts colleges.  Laurel’s passion is empowering lifelong learners, supporting self-directed learning, and developing leadership among undergraduate peer educators.  She has given a number of regional, national, and international presentations about using communities of practice to develop leadership, build expertise, and foster reflection in Supplemental Instruction programs.

Editor of the article: Dagna Gmitrowicz

Dagna Gmitrowicz – a senior trainer in the field of nonformal education, conducting international/national training and facilitating conferences since 2001. Creator of innovative educational tools and curriculum – Academy of Nonformal Education (PAJP), TOSCA training cycle, learning cycle in BECC Bridge to Cultural Centres, Colours and Needs cards, and many more. Member of several international trainers’ pools (It’s up to Me, TOSCA, European Solidarity Corp Polish NA pool and other). The member of the International Society for Self-Directed Learning after giving a lecture during SSDL Symposium 2020 in USA/Florida. Dagna Gmitrowicz is also a professional painter, and performer actively participating in a cultural scene in Germany and Poland, actively supporting cultural events and projects.
TOY profile:
Click here to read more about Dagna Gmitrowicz

Read more from this author

Bookmark (0)
ClosePlease login
© Paul Treuer and Laurel Whisler, March 2019.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button