Preparing Students for Self-Directed Learning

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Preparing Students for Self-Directed Learning

The purpose of this mini-course is to explore ways instructional designers and instructors can enhance the skills learners need for successful self-directed learning.

As we progress into the 21st century, individuals will be required to know how to learn. Individuals, both students and workers, will be required to identify a problem, research potential solutions, and solve problems. Individuals in the 21st century will be required to build and use knowledge. The growth of the Internet and the ever changing capacity of computers puts knowledge at the finger tips of all individuals. The challenge, however, is how to independently access the knowledge and learn new skills.

Computer-based applications and distance learning are touted as opportunities for individuals to access new knowledge and learn new skills. The reality is that some individuals are able to independently access the information while others cannot.

Understanding the characteristics of self-directed learning will provide instructional designers and instructors insight into how we can foster the skills needed for successful self-directed learning.

Before We Begin

Embedded in each of the units is an opportunity for mini-course participants to respond to various questions. In an effort to share your insight with others who may complete this mini-course, please use the "discussion" tab to post your responses.

Unit 1: Setting the Stage

The pupose of this unit is to lay the ground work for this mini-course. This unit includes the goals and objectives for the mini course.

The Tale of Two Students Page 1

Mini-course Overview Page 2

Unit 2: Self-Directed Learning: A Self-Reflection

This unit is designed to provide participants with an opportunity to gain an understanding of the characterisistics of successful self-directed learners by completing a self-reflection survey.

Are You Ready for Self-Directed Learning Page 3

Scoring Page 4

Analysis Page 5

Unit 3: The Foundation of Self-Directed Learning

The purpose of this unit is to present some of the latest research on self-directed learning.

The Foundation of Self-Directed Learning Page 6

Unit 4: Putting it to Practice

The purpose of this unit is to enable participants to connect theory to their own practice.

What Can We Do? Page 7

Teacher Strategies Page 8


The purpose of this unit is to allow participants to reflect on this mini-course.

Self-Reflection Page 9

Resources and Bibliography

This section presents various resources on self-directed learning and the bibliography for this mini-course.

Resources and Bibliography Page 10


If you have any questions or comments concerning this mini-course, please contact Scott Jill via email at