What is Self-Directed Learning?

Self-Directed Learning

Can One Teach Oneself?

Perhaps not, but people can learn by themselves, given the right tool. Avatar creates tools that teach people how to teach themselves.

Many ways to learn:

  • Sit in a classroom and learn from an instructor.
  • Read a book and picture it in your mind.
  • Watch a video demonstration and try it yourself.
  • Experimentation (trial and error).

There is not one best way to learn. Each of us learns in different ways, and what might be your best learning method is not the next person’s.

Learning Styles and Preferences

Some people are visual learners — they need to see pictures, diagrams, and demonstrations. Some people are auditory learners — they learn best by listening. Others are verbal learners — they enjoy reading how to do something before trying it themselves. Some are kinesthetic learners — they learn best by hands-on, trial and error. Some people are morning people — they are more wide awake and in a learning frame of mind in the morning hours. Other people are night owls — their minds simply work better in the evening after the sun goes down. Most people benefit from programs that employ a combination of learning styles and that are available when they are most ready to learn.

An ancient philosopher once said…

 “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” That is the fundamental premise behind self-directed learning. When you are ready to learn, the learning materials should be available to you. Adult learners should be allowed, and encouraged, to choose the place and time that is best for maximum learning to take place.

Why do we use self-directed learning?

  • The learner defines the time and place for maximum learning.
  • It’s more cost-effective than classroom training.
  • It can be delivered consistently across geography and time.
  • It can be accomplished economically, one person at a time.
  • It’s infinitely scalable and repeatable.

Components of a Self-Directed Learning Program

Self-directed programs usually contain three components.

  1. Printed
  2. Video
  3. Testing

The printed component, like a workbook, explains the learning objectives, provides connecting information and introduces the video instruction portion of the program to the adult learner. They also might include an end-of-lesson comprehension test. The video component explains, illustrates, and demonstrates the skills to be learned or information to be conveyed. Finally, the “final” test component provides an objective measure of the learner’s performance and also provides feedback to the learner about that performance. You can implement the testing phase via print materials, incorporate it in the multimedia program, or provide it online.

How does Avatar design self-directed learning programs?

We use a systematic process for analyzing your needs, designing and developing methods to help your people become productive more quickly and to continually improve their performance. We have produced hundreds of self-directed programs, many of them using video and multimedia, each one custom, based on each customer’s needs, objectives, and budget.

Call to Action

Avatar specializes in designing and developing self-directed programs that incorporate a variety of learning methodologies. Call us to see how self-instruction can be the most effective form of training you’ve ever tried. There’s no obligation. Really!