Self-learning is defined as a method of garnering information and after processing and retaining it without taking the help of another individual. It is the responsibility of the learner to learn and hold on to the knowledge without the help of another human resource.
It is a modern way of learning that helps a person to teach himself skills and knowledge that will prove relevant to his daily activities. It has not replaced the instructional learning process that has been used traditionally instead has become an extra key that will open the doors of knowledge for everyone who is interested in acquiring it.
What is Self-learning?
Learning is a challenge and self-learning a step higher as the learner will require more patience and discipline than a general student who has enough material at his tips to study it without the extra effort.
Self-learning has proved it’s worth a hundred times over as it keeps the individual happy, motivated and engaged. It works as a handy tool that leads to high performance and efficiency levels. It is useful for individuals who do not have enough time to enroll themselves in formal courses because of some reason or other.
When a learning process is not forced and the student wants to take the first step at self learning voluntarily then it is a move in the right direction. Self learning has to happen from within because you cannot force someone to do it effectively. It is actually motivated by a desire to make yourself richer in knowledge so that you can better your circumstances.
Self-learning is considered enriching and worthwhile because the learner can set a pace that is convenient and affordable. With the advent of the internet, it has become the process of self-learning has become very easy and flexible. It is especially beneficial for professionals who want to brush up their skills to refresh and hone their knowledge.
Process of self-learning
The process of self-learning includes
1. Be clear in your objectives and goals
It is important for a self-learner to be clear in his mind about his objectives and goals. Remember he has to study and learn independently through intentional learning and thus he needs to be clear in his perception from the beginning.
Start the process of self-learning by setting up result-oriented and smartly formulated objectives. Define the topics and what needs to be covered so that you can gather relevant information without wasting any time.
2. Find a reliable source
With the advent of the internet, you will find thousands of materials for any of the topics you want to pursue. Make sure that you have reached a reliable source that has credibility so that the information is correct and verified.
Another thing to remember is that you do not need an abundance of study material as it will make you confused and will waste your time sorting through for relevant matter. Be careful in your endeavor and filter the necessary from the unnecessary so that you can utilize the time expediently.
3. Allow yourself to be curious
If you are curious then you will have to dig deep and this will uncover facts that will help you in your self-learning process. As per several medical journals, curiosity is a trait that makes life exciting and ultimately more productive.
4. Motivate yourself and make the subject interesting
Are you going through the process of self-learning only because you have to or are you seriously interested in that subject Remember disinterest will not take you far and hence motivate yourself early on if you want to attain your goal. You can learn only what you want to learn and hence make sure you have a viable reason to study.
For instance, if the process of self-learning will help you in getting a promotion you can motivate yourself by reminding about it at regular intervals. You can make the subject interesting by integrating visual study material so that you do not get bored while learning.
5. Cover your topic
If you are stuck at any point during self-learning it is better to adopt a new angle and move on. Try to study from the alternative material that you have at your disposal for a change as it might offer you a new perspective.
Don’t stick to conventional and traditional approaches instead explore new and unconventional ideas to get out of the rut.
6. Deal with issues
Problems and issues are an integral part of self-learning hence prepare yourself for every eventuality. It is a new step for you and issues are bound to crop up. Face them head-on.
Have confidence and try to find viable alternatives so that you can get a clear picture. This will make it easier to handle them.
7. Use technology for your benefit
If you have a handy tool then be smart and use it. Technology is one such key that can do wonders during the process of self-learning. Tutorials, study materials, questionnaires, notes, etc are available through the internet very easily.
Keep yourself updated with latest technology so that you can put it to good use.
8. Do not stick to a fixed timetable
The beauty of self-learning is that it does not have to be time-constrained. The learner does not have to follow a fixed regime and that is a serious plus.
Adjust your time in such a manner that you can utilize your free time effectively through the process of self-learning.
9. Seek learning communities
Sometimes it is difficult to be the only student in a class as the loneliness starts getting to you. Seek and join an online learning community where you can share your knowledge and queries with other members. Make sure that the community has an interest in topics that are similar to your study material.
Learning communities have proved to be life-support to learners as it gives the necessary advice and encouragement to move forward diligently.
10. Taking viable breaks
The process of self-learning emphasizes the need for taking viable breaks in between. This helps to refresh the mind and body so that they can become aligned once again.
Importance of self-learning
The importance of self-learning has been pinpointed as follows-
- Self-learning helps a person in understanding the basic concept of learning and it says that everyone has to learn by himself at the end of the day. As you go deeper you start exploring new horizons that might have been a taboo in traditional form of learning and this can open further doors. Actively pursuing your goals single-handedly gives the learner the necessary confidence to deal with the eventualities of life by any means.
- The importance of self-learning is that it takes the crutches away. You are no longer dependent on others and this proves beneficial in the long run. Identifying and tackling problems works as a booster and gives you immunity against issues and problems that a person faces in life.
- Self-learning helps you to find the ground under your feet. It prepares you for the future where you have to work alone to reach your goal. The resilience and the immunity that you gain here are the key tools that will take you further in life.
The advantages of self-learning are as follows
- It is not time-bound and is dependent upon the person who wants to learn for whatever number of hours he feels like. It gives him the opportunity to set his own pace and remove frustration and boredom from the equation
- Learning is without any restrictions
- Self-learning is not subjected to location-constraint as an individual can make use of the learning process from anywhere he pleases. He does not need to travel at a particular place at a specific time and this works in his favor
- It boosts the self-esteem of a person because he knows that he has learned everything on his own. It also helps him to keep digging until he knows all there is to know about the topic.
- Self-learning helps to identify issues and find solutions quickly because you do not want to waste your valuable time sorting out issues. The ability to learn, identify and change becomes more spontaneous
- Self-learning encourages curiosity and this can result in innovative ideas and information that can prove a blessing.
- The importance of self-learning is that it is considered stress-free because a learner does not have to adhere to preconceived rules that are an integral part of the traditional learning method. The pressure is less as the learner has the freedom to choose the content as per his requirement and not just because it is part of the curriculum.
- Self-learning often works hand-in-hand with self-assessment and time management. Thus setting and working towards achieving your goals becomes second nature. The increased ability proves a blessing in gaining other skills side-by-side.
- The desire to gain first-hand knowledge makes the experience more meaningful and relevant. Learning tends to become more enjoyable and purposeful with time.
- When you are part of the traditional learning process you have to adhere to the prescribed set of rules, books and even way of studying but self-learning gives you the freedom to choose your mode of learning.
The disadvantages of self-learning are as follows-
- You do not have readymade material at your disposal and whatever you need will have to be acquired through additional effort on your part
- You will have to verify your study materials whereas in traditional learning method these were already verified beforehand
- Working with others help in brainstorming which is not possible during self-learning
- Teamwork encourages open communication that is not seen during the process of self-learning
- There is no face-to-face interaction during self-learning
- The lack of transformational power is a serious limitation of self-learning
- There is a slow evolution
- Understanding becomes difficult without someone to explain things
- Waste of time as the learner has to spend considerable time in finding viable methods and understanding the material by himself
- There is no guarantee that whatever you are learning is correct.