- Introduction 7
- Demonstration 8
- Literature review 8
- Foreign Research 8
- Domestic Research 8
- Limitations of the Previous Researches 9
- Research Design 9
- Research Questions 9
- Research Subjects 9
- Research Instrument 10
- Data Collection 10
- Analysis of the questionnaire results 10
- Learners’ beliefs in autonomous learning 10
- Their objectives in autonomous learning 13
- Implementing the learning strategies in autonomous learning 14
- Monitoring the process of autonomous learning 15
- Evaluating the efficacy of autonomous learning 16
- Literature review 8
- Conclusion 17
Works Cited 18
A Survey on Learner Autonomy in a Web-based Environment ---Taking the Freshmen of English Major in NJFU as an Example
In the era of knowledge economy, the development of science and technology has led to the popularity of computer networks. It has become the main theme of the 21st century. By December 2016, the size of China's Internet users has reached 731 million, and the penetration rate has reached 53.2%, more than the global average by
- percentage points. The size of Chinese Internet users, accounting for 25%, has been equivalent to the total population of Europe. Students are the largest group in it. Computer network technologies in the field of education applications are more and more in-depth. Network can enable students to obtain knowledge and information. The network has been playing an increasingly important role in students' learning and life. Especially when students carry out autonomous learning, they now can not be separated from the network.
Previous researches have potentially important implications for fostering students’ autonomy competence. They suggest that teachers should raise students’ awareness of autonomous learning, stimulate their inner drive to learn English and instruct them to use various learning strategies. They also imply that both teachers and students should change their roles in English teaching and learning process. Teachers should give students more rights for their learning whereas students should self-manage their learning more voluntarily. Therefore, I believe it is necessary to discuss how freshman could adapt to the new learning style under the context of network effectively for the first year of college life is a crucial period for college students to learn to practice autonomous learning which is totally different from middle school learning.
This paper aims to study the current situation of the English freshmen’s autonomous learning under the network environment and try to provide some
suggestions for improving learners' autonomous learning. And this paper aims at answering the following questions.
- What are the freshmen’s beliefs in autonomous learning?
- What is the freshmen’s present situation of autonomous learning?
- Literature review
- Foreign Research
- Literature review
Holec (1981) first introduced the concept of "autonomy" in the field of language teaching and defined it as "the ability to control oneself." Self-directed learning, individuality and independence, these three concepts in the 80's autonomous learning literature took an important position. The cognitive constructivist school, represented by Flavell (1981), argued that autonomous learning was actually a meta-cognitive monitoring study, and that learners adjusted their learning strategies proactively according to their learning ability and learning tasks. Zimmerman (The social cognitive school, 1997) proposed a systematic framework for autonomous learning. Zimmerman argued that the current student is an active participant in metacognition, motivation, and behavior, and that learning is autonomous. (Skinner, 1960) Behavioralism suggested that self-learning consists of self-monitoring, self-directed, self-evaluation and self-strengthening.
- Domestic Research
The late 1990s is one of the important periods in the study of domestic and foreign language learning. Pang Weiguo advocates the definition of self-learning from eight dimensions: learning motivation, learning content, learning methods, learning time, learning process, learning outcomes, learning environment and learning sociality. It is believed that if students can make their own choice or control, their study is considered to be autonomous. From the name of self-learning, we consider consciousness and initiative as the only standard to define self-learning. Researchers who hold this view argue that autonomous learning uses the different methods independently to get knowledge and skills activities, which is based on their own
knowledge, work, and environment and so on.
- Limitations of the Previous Researches
Autonomy has been defined in more than one way. Various terms are used by different scholars such as “self-access”, “self-regulated learning”, “learner autonomy”, etc. However, these terms refer to the same category and in this thesis the term “autonomy” will be used uniformly. Defining autonomy has always been an ongoing debate because different scholars have defined it in terms of different theoretical standpoints and perspectives.
Although previous researches are quite fruitful, there are still some limitations. Firstly, theoretical researches on autonomy at home and abroad are not so comprehensive. Some are pure theoretical framework without supporting empirical evidences. Secondly, empirical researches at home and abroad are limited in their research subjects and research purposes. Relatively fewer researches have focused on the autonomous learning competence among college English majors. Fewer have aimed to make comprehensive analysis on various factors of English autonomy. Therefore, it is necessary to discuss how freshmen could adapt to the new learning style under the context of network effectively.
- Research Questions
This paper aims at answering the following two questions. On the one hand, what are the freshmen’s beliefs in autonomous learning? On the other hand, what is the freshmen’s present situation of autonomous learning? And question 2 consists of four specific questions: 1) Can they determine their objectives of autonomous learning? 2) Can they implement the strategies of autonomous learning? 3) Can they monitor their process of autonomous learning? 4) Can they evaluate the efficacy of their autonomous learning?
- Research Subjects
Altogether 76 first year English-majors from the School of Foreign Languages of Nanjing Forestry University participated in this investigation. All were chosen
randomly. They were encouraged to express their real thoughts in this investigation. Besides, the participants studied English as their major for more than half a year.
- Research Instrument
To probe into learner autonomy of English major freshmen in this website environment, the questionnaire was made up of five aspects: section 1 is about learners’ beliefs in autonomous learning (Item 1, 2, 3, 7, 10). And this part answers the first question. Section 2 is about the determination of their objectives in autonomous learning (Item 4, 9). And this part answers the first question of question 2. Section 3 is about implementing the learning strategies (Item 5, 6, 11). And this part answers the second question of question 2. Section 4 is concerned with monitoring the process of autonomous learning (Item 8, 12). And this part answers the third question of question 3. Section 5 refers to evaluating the efficacy of autonomous learning (Item 13). And this part answers the forth question of question 2.
- Data Collection
We delivered the questionnaires during class time and we gave the participants enough time to finish them. Firstly, the author gave them some instructions about how to complete the questionnaires. Then they were asked to complete the questionnaires anonymously so that they could tell the truth. They could ask any questions about any item they did not understand. Finally, the questionnaires were collected by the author.
Analysis of the questionnaire results
- Learners’ beliefs in autonomous learning
Table 1 What’s the key factor of autonomous learning? (Question 1)
A. I can learn
B. I want to learn
C. I am able to learn
D. I insist on learning
Table 2 What matters most in autonomous learning? (Question 2)
A. Learning environment
B. Learning facilities
D. Ability to learn independently
E. Autonomous learning plan
F. Day after day
G. Learning method
Table 3 Is it important to learn English? (Question 3)
A. Very important
C. Not very important
D. Can not say it clearly