5 Examples Of Self-Directed Learning

Consider the instances in your life when you wished to learn something without enrolling in a formal lesson or course. Have you ever learned a skill for your delight by yourself? Or did you read for pleasure because you were curious to know more about the subject or the author? Perhaps you were prompted by an intriguing Facebook post to follow a specific feed or discover more information about a particular cause. When was the last time you binge-watched a TV show because the characters or the plot somehow captured your attention?

Simply said, self-directed learning is when students take charge of their education by selecting the learning opportunities most appealing to them. This can be done through a hands-on or lecture-based approach, producing a more natural and desirable understanding of a subject. 

The basic premise of the student-directed learning theory is that they are in charge of their own education and understand the significance of a subject through their own interests. The theory can be implemented individually or in a group setting. Follow the blog as it includes various examples that will help you better comprehend the subject.

Examples that depict how self-directed learning takes place

Self-directed learning is a skill that all children may learn and develop from an early age; it is not a quality that some children have, and others do not. So how do you encourage a kid to learn on their own?

1. Chunking approach

Chunking approach

In a “chunking” project, students rewrite the “portions” of challenging material in their own words after breaking it down into more digestible chunks. This method can be applied to complex texts of any length. Chunking teaches students how to recognize essential words and concepts, improves their paraphrasing skills, and makes it simpler for them to organize and synthesize material.

Chunking can be utilized with any length of difficult text. A paragraph can be divided into phrases and sentences, while a multi-page reading might be divided into paragraphs or parts. It is generally beneficial to have students fill out a graphic organizer with information about each “chunk.”

2. Hexagonal method 

Before beginning to learn, the hexagonal method can assess a learner’s prior knowledge and understanding level. It can also be used as a learning experience prompt to deepen and demonstrate understanding and to create fresh learning by introducing hexagons with additional information – concepts, symbols, images, and so on.

Students discover that applying the hexagonal thinking technique allows them to explain their learning in a more cohesive and structured manner – yet this is just the tip of the iceberg. The process is multi-layered in that the learner begins with one relevant thought and progresses to gathering multiple pertinent ideas.

The next level is making links between ideas and explaining why these connections exist. The final stage of this process allows the learner to generalize about their linked thoughts and choose an area of research or where more learning is required. The hexagonal thinking method is effective primarily because it allows for identifying practice problems instead of a previously unconscious incompetence knowledge set.

3. Journaling 


According to research, putting pen to paper helps us recall and absorb knowledge, making handwriting a powerful learning tool. Students write to learn daily, and there are numerous methods to include writing in the classroom. Journaling is a strategy that works across the curriculum and at any age.

Students could, for example, write from the perspective of a personified figure, such as an animal or something nonhuman, in order to personify, investigate, and learn more about the personified character, or they could document a fictional version of a diary. The same may be said for a historical individual or a fictional monster. Students could put themselves in the shoes of a character they’ve read about, embodied, or imagined and write from their perspective.

Journaling can assist children in improving their emotional intelligence, goal achievement, creativity, memory, critical thinking skills, and academic performance.

4. Brainstorming 


Brainstorming is a problem-solving strategy used in groups that involve the spontaneous production of innovative ideas and solutions. This strategy necessitates a lengthy, free-flowing debate in which each group member is encouraged to think aloud and propose as many ideas as possible based on their diverse knowledge. Teachers can use worksheets, games, and activities to help kids brainstorm, and understand the importance of the same. 

Brainstorming combines an informal problem-solving strategy with lateral thinking, which is a method for discovering new notions to solve problems by looking at them in different ways. Some of these ideas can be developed into unique, innovative solutions to problems, while others can spark new ones. 

There are various advantages to brainstorming. Brainstorming increases participation, commitment, loyalty, and passion. People’s creative talents are stimulated and unlocked as a result of their involvement in the workshops. Brainstorming also boosts self-esteem because people are solicited for their input and thoughts.

5. Video-learning


Video-based learning refers to learning activities that are facilitated by video. Unlike any other e-learning medium, videos generate a multimodal learning experience by combining camera footage, animation, graphics, text, and voice. It’s no surprise that video-based learning is swiftly becoming the dominant standard of online training. As previously said, YouTube alone has 2 billion users globally. That’s around one-third of the internet.

Students learn to digest information quickly by watching videos. Videos, like animation, provide a tale about how a specific process occurs. There is no reading, only observation. Watching someone perform or illustrate a process teaches abstract notions that are difficult to grasp in any other way.

Significance of self-directed learning  

Self-directed learning is more than simply a new method of education; it’s a new way of life, say parents whose children make the transition. The following are some of the most significant advantages of self-directed learning:

1. Boosts retention

Dale’s Cone of Experience states that learners only retain 10% of what they read and 20% of what they hear but 90% of what they do. Classrooms with self-learning are, well, more active. To reinforce their learning, students frequently put their knowledge into practice, collaborate on projects, or use methods like design thinking or the agile process.

2. Boosts Perseverance 

The natural growth of initiative, tenacity, happiness and much more are encouraged through self-directed learning. When one is in command of their own lives, they reach adulthood, they are in charge of making the decisions that shape the routes they take. A person’s capacity to make wise, competent, and self-affirming decisions when the stakes are high is significantly increased by self-directed learning.

3. Widens the horizons of learning 

With a pre-determined curriculum, rigid timetable, and inability to meet the needs and interests of individuals, a normal school makes it difficult to pursue a wide variety of interests. Self-directed learning, on the other hand, offers an opportunity to do just that. Even subjects covered in the typical school curriculum can be studied more deeply and meaningfully through self-directed learning. For example, surveying a plot of land rather than just computing the area of a polygon on a worksheet or actually building and sailing a boat are two examples where this is possible.

4. Reinforces collaboration 

Parents and children are free to develop, discuss, negotiate, plan, explore, and practice whatever they feel will best serve their objectives, values, and personal interests without the constraints of a school curriculum. Experience has shown that this strategy accomplishes the exact opposite of what the majority of doubters fear. Young adults who are at ease with themselves and very perceptive to the needs of others are frequently the outcome.


The learning adventure is addictive in and of itself. And, if you are self-directed in one area, you will likely find a drive to learn again and again. A robust learning community is one that is established by self-directed learners who contribute significantly to each other’s support, elevation, and empowerment. To achieve this degree of inclusiveness and innovation, all learners must understand how to study and cooperate effectively by accepting responsibility for their own contributions. Self-directed learning will always exist, even if we don’t try to force it into the curriculum. Still, a curriculum that illuminates and seeks intention through self-directed learning will revolutionize our communities.

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