​Provide advanced facilitation practice

Encourage learner self-direction

Learner independence, autodidacticism (autodidaxy), learner autonomy and learner self-direction are various names applied to a common concept that describes the ability of a learner to seek out and acquire knowledge and skills through their own efforts and enquiry, ‘with or without the help of others’ (Knowles, 1975). The learner becomes responsible for, and controls, their own learning process. Ideally it also includes self-motivation in the learning process.

To be truly effective, it also requires that the learner undergo something of a paradigm shift to critical evaluation of ideas and methods, thereby encompassing the idea of developing the ‘lifelong learner’.

There are several behaviours we aim to develop in our learners that are often seen as indicators of learner independence or autonomy.

These behaviours include the ability to:

  • set their own aims and goals for learning
  • choose how they want to learn, understanding what is most effective for their personal learning style
  • plan and organise their own study and work effectively (when, where and what to learn)
  • organising and setting time to learn
  • learn through experiences and practical application
  • identify and solve problems for themselves or identify their own weakness and include collaboration
  • think creatively (develop abstract thought) and communicate effectively
  • self-assess their progress in relation to their learning goals.