Self-Directed Learning

What is it?

Self-directed learning is a strategy that actively engages the student in the learning process that in which the student produces at higher levels of the cognitive scale.
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Advantages of self-directed learning

Self-directed learning provides:

  • Information about when and how to use mental strategies for learning
  • Illustrations of how to use the strategies in the context of real-world problem
  • Encouragement to students to restructure the content in terms of their own ways of thinking
  • A gradual shift of the responsibility for leaning to students through practice activities


Tips and tricks

Metacognitive strategies are most easily conveyed to learners through the process of mental modeling. Mental modeling involves three steps.

  1. Showing students the reasoning involved
  2. Making students conscious of the reasoning involved
  3. Focusing students on applying the reasoning

Useful strategies

Cognitive learning strategies

  • Elaboration/organization
  • Comprehension-monitoring strategies
  • Problem-solving strategies
  • Project-based strategies

Famous self-directed learners

Leonardo DaVinci

Herb Rits

William Blake

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Potential problems

  • Student confusion by failing to check their understanding by asking the teacher