The learning environment (fishbowl 1) plays a critical role in creating learner experiences that encourage student autonomy and stimulate self-determined learning that prepares them for lifelong learning (fishbowl 2).
Autonomy is the responsibility to take control of your own learning process. It is the role of the teacher to take on a holistic teaching approach to facilitate students to take responsibility for directing their learning.
The teacher controls the content, focus, flow of information and consequently the learning process. Through differentiation the learning process can be adapted to learners needs (methods used to transfer fish from bowl1-bowl2).
Transfer to fishbowl 2 is inhibited by limited by lack of communication, collaboration and unidirectional knowledge creation. In the school/college/university settings learning ends with each semester.
Virtual learning environments (VLE) support autonomy in learning. Adobe connect meetings, Moodle and e-journals have provided a way for students on RCS courses to create a personal learning environment with flexibility to control what, when and where they learn. This flexibility supports work-life balance and adaptation to different learning styles. This is because students are free to chose learning methods, tools, collaborations based on their preferences in constructing new knowledge.
Students role is the producer and consumer of knowledge.
Scaffolding from peers, teachers and experts meets individual learning needs through discussing, sharing and reading.