A self-directed learner is an individual who learns independently and in most cases, takes control of his or her learning process. He or she is obligated to identify learning goals to be achieved and set plans, the individual is also responsible for self-evaluation of all the implementations applied and results produced or achieved.
A learning pattern that permits learners to take charge of their learning process which includes identification learning needs and goals, strategies and evaluation of performances and outcomes is Self-directed learning.
Essential Aspects of the Self-Directed Learner
- An individual takes initiative and liability for learning.
- The individual is responsible for choosing the best learning skills that work for him/her, responsible for making evaluation and time management application.
- It promotes encouragement, enthusiasm, and decision-making which are responsibilities of the learner
- Instructors provide support, coaching, counseling, and recommendation.
- It also involves peers cooperation and teamwork.
- It requires self-discipline and self-confidence
Self-directed learning enhances an exceptional educational experience, providing the opportunity for an individual to concentrate on his or her determination. Basic strategies for successful self-directed learning includes the readiness to learn, setting up goals, learning engagement activities, and evaluation of knowledge. It also incorporates both active and passive learning skills where the active learning skills involve gathering materials and working on assignments, solving exercises and assignments, carrying out researches and engaging with peers having the same goal to study together and learn from each other; in this case, there’s always feedback for learning. Passive learning, on the other hand, enhances one’s knowledge and horizon, as it engages a form of quiet learning whereby the learner, for example, reads material and information without involvement in any form peer engagement in related studies, passive learning can be very helpful to a self-directed learner when trying to gain more clarification on a subject, it also widens one’s reasoning and adds to knowledge. There are positives outcomes associated with self-directed learning which include motivation, tenacity, liberation, self-discipline, confidence, and goal-oriented.
A self-directed learner is expected to take full control of his/her learning activity which requires taking charge of the learning process. It requires an individual to set up a masterplan to succeed in a learning process which includes setting up goals for achievements, monitoring how well one is doing, setting up a commitment model for learning and keeping a record of progress made so far including difficulties/challenges setbacks, using the evaluation technique.
Strategies to Becoming a Self-Directed Learner
Engaging in collaborative with both peers and instructors: Discussion and interaction with group members can serve as a motivating skill to help one study more, it helps one to know how far he/she is gone with learning achievement. This can serve as a push to making an individual inculcate the spirit of passive learning to gain more knowledge through research and dedicating time to study more.
Creating individual learning Goal: This will require setting up a time-table for studying and daily activities and as well, be disciplined at it.
– application of time management to make sure that deadlines are met.
– Self-discipline and confidence
Employment of self-evaluation model: this involves gauging oneself base on individual performance in all areas of study, with this, the learner will know the areas needed to improve upon and also know when to ask for help or support when the study is not going fine or as expected.
Tips on how to be self-accountable for the growth of one’s learning:
– being self-disciplined towards studies.
– time-consciousness and application of good time management to ensure all task assignments are done and submitted on time.
– Engaging with peers in group discussion
– Asking instructor questions on areas that seem confusing about a task.