What is Self-Directed Learning?
Self-directed learning is where an individual takes responsibility for their own learning, and doesn’t follow a structured approach as set out in a traditional learning environment. The process of self-directed learning is split into the following:
- Assessing the needs and readiness for learning
- Identifying learning goals
- Engaging in the learning process
- Self evaluation
This self-directed learning process is designed to guide those who are taking up distance learning, as it gives structure. Helping to make sure study sessions are productive and keep learners on track for completing their qualification. Let’s have a look at these parts in further detail.
Readiness to Learn
When you are preparing yourself for distance learning, you need to think about how ready you are to learn. What we mean here is if you were to start an online course today, how successful would you be? Do you have the right equipment and technology in place in preparation? Do you have the time around both your work and busy home life?
Now this isn’t an opportunity to talk yourself out of distance learning with lots of excuses! It is just vital to take the time to make sure you know what you are letting yourself in for before you fully commit to a new course. You don’t want to find yourself halfway through and realise that you really haven’t got the time to continue.
Put Together Goals
Of course deciding that you are going to complete a distance learning course is amazing in itself, but if you want to stay motivated throughout you need to set some goals. Online learning can be hard for some people, which is why it is also important to choose the right training provider to support you.
When it comes to goals, we don’t mean finishing specific units at certain times. Think of the bigger picture here. Are you studying for an Assessor qualification so that you can progress your career and earn more money? By regularly reminding yourself why you are studying, this will help keep you on track and motivated.
The Learning Process
The only person who is going to complete this course is you, no matter how much your other half or your tutor nag you! Distance learning provides you with the flexibility that traditional learning can’t offer, so you need to study at times that suit you. There are three forms of study that people fall into, and it is useful to be aware of these so you can adapt your learning approach accordingly.
- The Deep Approach – this is where you like to gain a full understanding of the subject area. By having this knowledge, you can apply it to different situations which shows your understanding.
- The Surface Approach – this is where you learn what is required in order to pass the module, but that is about it. You can repeat the examples you have been given, but are unable to apply your knowledge to certain situations.
- The Strategic Approach – this is where you are driven to get the highest mark possible, and often requires a photographic memory. You memorise keywords and information and look at past papers to enhance your learning.
Whilst we all fit into different categories when it comes to learning, at the end of the day all you can do is apply yourself to the course and do the best you can. That is all anyone asks of you.
One of the hardest things about self-directed learning is taking time at the end of each unit to evaluate your understanding. Have you completed the unit to the best of your ability, and do you fully understand what you have learnt? If the answer is no, then you may need to take some time to go back over the topic again.
If you have been graded on a particular unit and haven’t done so well, why was that? Did you struggle to fit in the studying time during that particular period? Or did you not ask your tutor for support when you needed it? Don’t beat yourself up, just take the time to evaluate what you could have done better and apply it to the next unit.
Once you have decided that you are ready to learn and embark on your next qualification, the team at Brooks and Kirk are here to help you choose the right course. Give us a call on 01205 805 155, or email firstname.lastname@example.org