What is independent learning?
Independent or self-directed learning accounts for a significant percentage of the total student learning time on any unit. But what does it mean? Do students really understand how much independent learning they are supposed to do? And, from a a tutor’s perspective, how can you provide sufficient guidance and learning materials to scaffold students’ independent learning time?
The internet holds an abundance of learning materials that can be used to help students learn in their own time and at their own pace. In addition to providing core learning materials such as lecture notes and Powerpoints, directing students to supplementary resources such as video tutorials, television broadcasts, online articles, websites and image collections is a valuable way of supporting their independent learning and helping them to become independent learners.
Ways to Learn
• Learn by being shown – from examples, demonstrations, and models
• Learn by observing
• Learn by asking someone
• Learn by searching the Internet
• Learn by practicing
• Learn by direct experiences
• Learn by experiment
• Learn by doing
• Learn by working with others in a team
• Learn by teaching someone else
• Learn by teaching yourself
• Learn by audio and videos
• Learn with a with a mentor
• Learn by trial and error
• Learn by thinking metaphorically: link the known to the unknown
• Learn about ideas – by connecting them to what you already know
• Learn from failure – how not to fail; from success, how to succeed
• Learn intuitively: discover what you know instinctively
• Learn by competing with others