Traditional teaching usually keeps all students at the same learning position. This is unnatural.
As self-paced courses “mature,” they continue to improve; resources get fine-tuned and teachers become comfortable and confident with the new methods of learning. This makes the courses feel complete and ‘natural’ to students.
If teachers don’t tell them, students don’t realize what pace of learning is “normal” or expected, and thus they learn at a pace appropriate to each individual… and in these courses the pace is accelerating.
The graph below shows the “distribution of learning” in a middle school technology class. As Semester 1 draws to a close, some students have almost completed the learning for Semester 2. (There are three topics in Semester 2 of this course. The graph shows those students who are currently studying a particular topic and those who have almost completed the topic.)
(Next page: Addressing self-paced learning concerns)