Workshop: The Role of Learner Autonomy in Empowering Learners
Date of Workshop: May 18th, 2015
Time: 8.00am- 4.00pm
Organizer: English Language Department
Location: Sohar College of Applied Sciences

Workshop Goals and Rationale

Fostering learner autonomy inside and outside the classroom has become a major priority for many educationalists and language teachers over the years. Learner autonomy has always been a complex concept to define, but in general terms it could be described as a continuous process that aims at helping learners to acquire a mature approach to their academic pursuits whereby they can become responsible for their own learning and fully independent in making and implementing their own decisions. Fostering learner autonomy marks a departure from some of the more conventional teacher-centred approaches in which the teacher is often seen as an authority figure and a conveyor of information. Therefore, the first goal of this workshop is to explore, among other issues, the best possible strategies and teaching practices which help to place students at the centre of the learning process, and help them to be more autonomous by unleashing their potential and creativity. The second chief goal of the workshop is to examine the validity of some of the current teaching methods and approaches, and the extent to which these methods need to be adapted and reviewed to help to foster more learner autonomy. The third most important goal of the workshop is to explore and discuss how state-of-the-art technologies in the field of education today could motivate students to take more responsibility for their own learning, inside and outside the classroom context, and reach an optimum degree of learning autonomy.


Sohar CAS English Department has the pleasure to conduct a one-day workshop on learner autonomy and its effective role in empowering learners in Oman. It is hoped that this workshop will become a fruitful occasion for teachers and education professionals to engage themselves in a scholarly event to showcase new strategies, share lessons, explore case studies and consider in-depth reports in the field of learner autonomy. The workshop`s Scientific Research Committee welcomes proposals related to any of the following sub-themes:

 - The concept of learning autonomy

 - Learning styles and autonomy

 - Methods and resources to foster autonomy

 - Computer tools and applications that could be applied to improve learner autonomy

 - Developing strategies to encourage learner autonomy

 - Encouraging students to learn autonomously

 - Cultural differences in addressing autonomy

- Peer mediated instruction

- Peer- led team learning

- Alternative assessment

- Student self-reflection

- Technology promoting autonomous learning

- Motivation and independent learning

- New critical approaches to learner autonomy

- Learner autonomy and learner needs

- Learner autonomy as a spectrum

- The role of motivation in learner autonomy

- The role of the academic environment in fostering learner autonomy (teachers, peers, library, administration, curriculum, curricular and extra-curricular activities)

- The role of Study Skills courses in building learner autonomy

- Challenges in learner autonomy

- The role of psychology in learner autonomy

- Learner autonomy inside and outside the classroom

- Limitations of learner autonomy

- Learner autonomy and self-assessment

- The role of peer tutoring in promoting learner autonomy

- Learner autonomy and constructivism

- Learner autonomy across cultures Please note that presenters are free to work on any other topics related to learner autonomy.


- Welcome Package for workshop participants and presenters

- Eminent keynote speaker: Dr. Saleh Al Busaidi, Language Centre Director at Sultan Qaboos University

- Workshop participation certificates

- Presenters: Experts in the field of Higher Education, teachers from all colleges of Applied Sciences and teachers from other higher education institutions in Oman are encouraged to participate and present.

- Participants/Attendees: English Department faculty from all CAS campuses and other colleges and universities in Oman are invited to participate.

- Free online registration. To register, both presenters and participants are kindly requested to use the following e-mail address: Please note that all names and information provided by the presenters and participants should be carefully spelled as they will be printed on the workshop certificates and name badges.

- Refreshments and lunch


Timely submission of the proposals will highly contribute to the success of the event. The procedures and timetable below will apply:


Workshop Date May 18th, 2015
Deadline for Proposals: April 18th, 2015
Acceptance notification for Presenters: On or before April 25th, 2015
Place Sohar College of Applied Sciences
Time   8.00am- 4.00pm



1- Proposal Submission Guidelines

- All proposals should adhere to the aforementioned deadlines.

- For paper presentation and poster proposals presenters should submit a title (7 words maximum), an abstract (75 words maximum), and a paper summary (150 words maximum).

- For workshop proposal presenters should submit a title (7 words maximum), an overview of the workshop (100 words maximum), the workshop objectives (70 words maximum), and the workshop procedure (150 words maximum).

- All presenters should also submit a biography of up to 40 words.

- Originality of ideas is highly appreciated.

2 - Presentation Guidelines:

- It is important that presenters adhere to these three presentation types: workshop sessions, paper presentation or poster.

- Each presentation or workshop session will last for 30 minutes, to be followed by a 10-minute question/discussion session. The total allotted time for each presenter is 40 minutes.

- Clarity of presentation and originality of ideas will certainly help to contribute to the success of the event.