Self Paced Learning through the GRID Method


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Two of the biggest buzz-words in education right now are self-paced learning and problem-based learning. In addition, technology is being integrated into classrooms faster than ever before. Those teachers that undertake self-paced learning can use a variety of resources and tools to assist in learner understanding. Problem-based learning offers students a chance at more real-world type situations where they are given a problem and must use their knowledge to find a solution. The GRID method combines these two strategies, along with the use of technology, to implement units that allow for more student input into their learning.

Who is your Jesse?

Performance Objectives

At the completion of this course, learners will have a GRID unit that they can implement into their classroom. Learners can:

  • describe how the role of the teacher and the student change in a self-paced and problem-based learning classroom setting.
  • explain the benefits and drawbacks of the GRID method.
  • develop a GRID based on a unit of choice.
  • implement the GRID unit and reflect on areas of success and weakness for improvement of the GRID unit.

Course Units

This mini-course includes the following units. Click the title of a unit to go to its page.

Unit 1: Self-Paced Learning and Problem-Based Learning

In this unit of the course, learners will gain a deeper understanding of self-paced learning and problem-based learning as it refers to a primary or secondary classroom setting. The implications of these styles will be explored.

Unit 2: The GRID Method

During this portion of the course, learners will learn about the GRID method - a system of teaching that implores teachers to become facilitators and utilize self-paced and problem-based learning.

Unit 3: How to Develop and Implement a GRID Unit

Finally, learners will create their own GRID unit through models and explanation. The strategies for implementation in a classroom will also be discussed.

References and Resources

GRID Method: Teach Better

Boninger, F., Molnar, A., Saldaña, C. M., & University of Colorado at Boulder, N. E. P. C. (2019). Personalized learning and the digital privatization of curriculum and teaching. In National Education Policy Center. National Education Policy Center.

Casey, K. (2018). Moving toward mastery: Growing, developing and sustaining educators for competency-based education. CompetencyWorks Report. In iNACOL.

Debs, L., Miller, K. D., Ashby, I., & Exter, M. (2019). Students’ perspectives on different teaching methods: comparing innovative and traditional courses in a technology program. In Research in Science & Technological Education, 37(3), 297-323.

Friend, B., Patrick, S., Schneider, C., & Vander Ark, T. (2017). What’s possible with personalized learning: An overview of personalized learning for schools, families, & communities. In iNACOL.

Headden, S. (2013). The promise of personalized learning. Education Next, 13(4), 14–20.

Light, D. & Pierson, E. (2014). Increasing student engagement in math: The use of Khan Academy in Chilean classrooms. International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology, 10(2), 103-119.

Jalali, A., Leddy, J., Gauthier, M., Sun, R., Hincke, M., & Carnegie, J. (2011). Use of podcasting as an innovative asynchronous e-learning tool for students. Online Submission, 741-748.

Patrick, S., Kennedy, K., & Powell, A. (2013). Mean what you say: Defining and integrating personalized, blended, and competency education. In International Association for K-12 Online Learning.