Self-directed learning can be challenging, even for the most intelligent or motivated learner. Being able to self-assess and self-motivate are not in every person’s repertoire of qualities.
However, it is possible for everyone to cultivate a better learning process. Review the following 5 elements to begin your own self-directed learning process today.
Assign daily goals
Regardless of what type of material you are learning, break the overall goal down into smaller tasks. Set daily goals and stick to them. Even these little steps can be challenging, so remained focused and organized to avoid being overwhelmed.
It’s impossible to master the guitar before you master the scales. The beginning is important, as is every lesson on the way to the finish line. This goes for self-directed learning as well and will help elearners to form better habits that aid their overall productivity and retention.
Look to existing platforms
There is a ton of information available online for elearners. However, many of the material will be useless or ineffective. Instead of wasting hours weeding through what does not work, stick to reputable tools and resources.
You should first identify your own learning style before you begin. “Are you a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner? Learning Styles affect everything you do, how you think, your work, and even your relationships” (howtolearn.com).
Once you know what type of materials best suit your needs, you can find better methods from trusted users. And find a tool that teaches how to learn, not one that simply spouts information.
Chat about what you’ve done, not what you are going to do
They say the more you talk about something, the more real it seems. And this can be true with any type of elearning. If you’re goal is to master the French language, then you should practice what you have already learned. Not only does this help with memory, but it also gives elearners confidence to continue.
You can’t walk around telling everyone you are going to be fluent in French. You may receive kind words of confidence, however until you have something to say in French your statement holds little weight
Get by with a little help from your friends
Self-directed learning is not always best done alone. It may be initiated and managed by you, however looking for support from the people around you, or fellow learners, is essential to your success.
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Find a friend who is working on the same project, or who has successfully completed one. You can create more structure by actively seeking like-minded groups and communities of people as well. Co-workers, online meetups, forums, and social media are all great places to look for added support and ideas.
Monitor your progress
When you are an elearning who is self-directing the process, there is likely no teacher or superior who will be administering tests or quizzes. While this may seem like a good thing, it makes monitoring your progress a bit harder.
Elearners must implement a system to adequately track their work. Measuring results is a necessity of elearning. It may be helpful to track you time spent learning and calibrate accordingly. Some people respond well to timed tests or challenges and others may not handle the anxiety well. Figure out what best suits you and test your knowledge at regular intervals.
There is a plethora of online tutors available that will enhance the overall learning process as well.
If you require essay writing help, or want to find engaging guides, you can check out sites like Essaymama. They offer a free essay writing guide and blog full of inspiration, in addition to their professional proofreading and editing services. Other great places to find intriguing material and coursework are Coursera, Crash Course and iTunes University. Both of these sources offer free online classes and learning materials. And if you lack sufficient time management skills, you might want to try tools like Focus Booster and RescueTime to improve your productivity.
No matter where it is you need the most help, there is definitely an online resource for assistance. Stay motivated, focused and positive. It’s possible to achieve anything you set your mind to. And any elearner should feel proud of their choice to self-educate.