Learning, progress of studies and the competence defined by the learning outcomes require guidance for continuous learning. Feedback given during the learning process is an integral part of this guidance, and one of its purposes is to direct the student towards the learning outcomes. When planning the learning process, it is important to identify the guidance situations and phases during which the student or the learning community require guidance. These phases are critical to learning and developing required competence, and they need to be identified and planned and students´ guidance must be scheduled.

When planning the guidance, various processes for it can be separated out and also combined in meaningful ways:

  • learning the necessary informative material (cognitive process)
  • work process and learning skills (operational process)
  • developing growth (social process)
  • self-reflection (reflective process)

The guidance can be designed to support group, pair or individual working and, at the same time, it can be considered to whom the guidance is targeted at, who provides it and in which environment.
In practice, other experts should also be utilised to support the guidance process. The different stages that are vital to the forming of group dynamics should also be taken into account when designing and executing the guidance operations of a student community.

One objective of the guidance is to develop the students’ own thinking, self-direction and reflection skills. Reflection helps students openly process their own actions, participation, experiences and observations and learn from them further. The compiled assessment criteria against which a student can reflect on their own learning process and competence development are a good way to support the development of reflection skills.

The term ‘scaffolding’ is closely related to guidance. It emphasises the role of the instructor or teacher as a supporter of the student’s own thinking and learning processes. The term ‘scaffolding’ can be understood as timely support for learning that is closely related to Vygotsky’s notion of zone of proximal development (ZPD).

Links checked 11.1.2022