Self-directed learning (SDL) was introduced in the year 1984 in academic literature. The literature provided with the description and explanation of self-directed learning. According to the authors, SDL is a procedure in which individuals initiate and diagnose the learning needs with or without the help of someone, they themselves identify their goals, determine the resources that are essential, and finally, implement and evaluate the outcomes with the help of proper strategies. The learning style provides an individual to learn from the environment and to remain known to the things that are recent and necessary for their progress. The interest of individuals plays a vital role in SDL throughout their life. The process requires a significant role to be played by the educators and the students.
The educators are required to support and assist the students in the best possible manner, and therefore, they must have proper knowledge of the concept and must facilitate the students to gain the full benefit of SDL. On the other hand, the students are also responsible for their decisions as they have the freedom to identify and complete their education in an efficient manner.
Why Self-Directed Learning
The most common benefit of adopting self-directed learning is that the students can learn more quickly and can be able to learn more things in the best possible manner. The education system is better than the traditional schooling system in which students are waiting for instructions from the intuition and teachers. The major drawback of traditional schooling is that the education gained can become obsolete in a way that new technologies and techniques can only be learned and adopted by SDL.
Secondly, the processes of self-directed learning are more are more aligned with the natural procedures that are linked to the development of psychology. Learners are more likely to learn and mature quickly since the processes require them to take more responsibility for their decisions and also to be more proactive compared to other learning systems or styles. The depth of these psychological developments helps the learners to be more accurate, responsible, and precise with their decisions. The processes involved in SDL do not put heavy responsibilities to the learners but make them do their best to be responsible with all the learning-related decisions that can be beneficial in the long run.
Benefits of Self-Directed Learning
The prime benefit of self-directed learning is that it can help students to remain known to the latest and most important knowledge. It provides not just growth in knowledge but provides an exponential growth. The knowledge gained by the learners is relevant and up to date since the students build their interest in the most recent and relevant studies. The psychological patterns and developments that are matured by SDL are long lasting and beneficial for students to help them in educational as well as professional lives. The processes are also systematic and provide a lifelong learning experience to the students.
Processes involved in Self-Directed Learning
The self-directed learning is not simple and requires efforts and also the brightest students are considered to face issues. Initially, the students are required to be able to learn, secondly have to set their roles and foals, also requires engagement in the learning processes, and finally evaluating the learning processes. In the initial step, the students are required to gain skills and relevant attitudes that can allow them to initiate the learning process in an effective and efficient manner. The major learning attitudes involve organized nature, self-disciplined nature, autonomy, self-evaluation, and self-reflection.
Setting goals include a collaboration and communication between the faculty and the learner. The main goals should be linked to the goals linked to study, sequence and structure of activities, resource material requirements and finally, to have regular meetings to check the progress. Engagement in the overall learning process is essential for the students and the engagement mainly is associated with instructional methods to be adopted, teacher specifications, and the reasons behind liking a teacher. The students are required to self-assess in the process and must ensure they understand themselves.
Finally, the evaluations for the learning process requires that the students reflect their learning processes. Evaluations can be done with the faculty by consistent appearances in order assess the processes and involvement of the students. The achievements of the students must also be self-validated in order to gain the most out of the self-directed learning. Self-assessment may include the knowledge about;
• The knowledge gained.
• Flexibility and adaptability
• The level of confidence.