Self-Directed Instruction

The teachers Guide to Self-Direct Instruction

What is Self-Directed Learning?

SDL views learners as responsible owners and managers of their own learning process. SDL integrates self-management management of the context, including the social setting, resources, and actions with self-monitoring the process whereby the learners monitor, evaluate and regulate their cognitive learning strategies. In SDL, control gradually shifts from teachers to learners. Learners exercise a great deal of independence in setting learning goals and deciding what is worthwhile learning as well as how to approach the learning task within a given framework.


  • Teachers scaffold learning by making learning 'visible.' They model learning strategies and work with students so that they develop the ability to use them on their own.
  • SDL is, ironically, highly collaborative. Learners collaborate with teachers and peers in small groups. SDL develops domain-specific knowledge as well as the ability to transfer conceptual knowledge to new situations. It seeks to bridge the gap between school knowledge and real-world problems by considering how people learn in real life.
  • Some examples of Self-Direct Instruction