How to run SOLEs, in-class and online

SOLEs are Self Organized Learning Environments. Whether they are taking place in a local or online environment, the goal for educators is to promote self organization.

In-class SOLEs

The usual method follows this basic process.

  • The facilitator poses a "Big Question" to the students.
  • Students form groups of 3 or 4.
  • Students search the Internet, self organized, to try to solve the question.
  • Students report their findings.

This video from Start SOLE may provide more insight. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIzMssS0nFw

Online SOLEs

Online SOLEs generally follow the same process, modified.

  • The facilitator poses a "Big Question" to the students.
  • The facilitator decides groups.
  • Students search the Internet, self organized, to try to solve the question.
  • Students report their findings, typically using presentation software.

Notes

  • In class SOLEs involve local collaboration with students who generally know each other. Communication is easier.
  • Online SOLEs are more difficult in that students must use a computer interface to communicate. But there are far more oportunities to learn.
  • Students in online SOLEs are more likely to research indvidually. Collaboration is more natural around a shared screen.
  • In either case, self organization should be encouraged during the research phase. It may seem chaotic, but at this time it is essential that educators avoid giving directions and "teaching", and act only as facilitators.
  • The reporting phase does not necessarily need to be self-organized. Educators can set rules and presentation rubrics.
  • For language classes, presentations can be in the target language.