Guide to Self Directed Learning Model

We’ve talked a little bit lately about the self directed learning model, and the problems involved in trying to get it to work. It’s a grand idea, and, as I said not long ago, the driving idea that has sparked all the alternative learning and training models that have collectively freed so many from the hell of classrooms and lectures.

But, while the self directed learning model seems like a self explanatory thing by its very name, are we all truly on the same page about this? I’m not entirely sure we are. So, I’d like to spend some time, today, talking about this concept, how it usually works insofar as it works at all yet, why it’s a worthy goal to strive for, and what the biggest problems still are.

Independence:

In an organization meant to work well, while team work and reliance on one another is important, independence is also to be encourages in handling problems, motivating oneself and seeing things completed.

This is to say that being stuck relying on help all the time slows things down. This is a big problem with training, and while some new technology has helped soften this problem, a learning model needs to exist along with onboard software like WalkMe, to take full advantage of it.

The Most Popular Theory:

The most popular theory right now is to just use an LMS like Moodle or Blackboard for delivery of material that needs to be learned, providing a discussion forum when needed, and tracking completion and competency.

From here, students are encouraged to learn the material in the order best suited for them, and, if genuine work is put into this, be allowed to learn in the best –way- suited for them as well.

Who understands someone’s mind and way of thinking better than that person? Usually nobody.

The Hurdles:

The hurdles are immense but not impassible, and many manage to get around them with the above theory, or something similar. Still, they’re very much present and indelible for now.

The biggest one is fear of being on their own. Students will be uneasy with this, since they’re used to (but maybe not fond of) being live stock mentally herded about by classrooms, lectures and other old and unpleasant methodologies.

Another problem is sticking with it. There’s the fear, in all things, that if the cat is away, the mice will play. Every office worker alive could work from home these days, but companies fear people won’t get their work done.

For now, they may be right in this being a risk, and a similar potential risk is involved here.

Timing:

Finally, the biggest problem is timing. Some students will learn faster than others, but if it’s a lengthy training endeavor, you have to wait for everyone to be at the end of a segment before moving on, meaning that this model could cause long periods of severe stalling. I’ve actually seen it happen in early attempts at this in fact.

But, the self directed learning model is, as I said, very worth trying to get to work, and for many, it already does. It’s just not without its problems and obstacles.

bnr8

Jason Silberman
Jason is the former Lead Author & Editor of TrainingStation Blog
Jason Silberman on sabtwitterJason Silberman on sabgoogleJason Silberman on sabfacebook