4 Elements That Encourage Successful Self-Direct eLearning

Ashley Halsey

Even for the brightest and most motivated of students, self-directed eLearning can be hard work. Especially now that we live in a post-COVID world, more students have to try it out for themselves, and perhaps it is not something that’s going to go away any soon. Many believe this has introduced the way many students will be learning in the future.

So, whether you’re a parent, a student, or a teacher, it’s important to take some time to zero in on what makes a successful independent eLearning practice, ensuring you’re able to get the work done, the information learned, and overall creating the best experience for everyone involved.

Today, I’m going to show you how.

Setting Goals

It doesn’t matter what kind of self-development journey you’re embarking on, whether you’re losing weight, writing a book, or independently learning at home. The best way to get focused and motivated is to set manageable, tangible goals.

“In the case of eLearning, this means creating activities that you can achieve hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly (although short-term goals are better because achieving them brings far more motivation than trying to reach a goal over the course of a month.) For example, you could set the goal to read two chapters of a book and make notes on them today,” explains Sarah Farrow, an education blogger at Draft Beyond.

Once you fulfil the goal, you’ll get a hit of dopamine because you’ve achieved what you set out to achieve, and you’ll be able to use that momentum to keep going to achieve the next goal. You can then find a learning pace that suits you and your individual learning style.

Understanding What You Need

Take a moment to answer these questions, as they will help you get a greater understanding of your learning style.

·         Who is/was your favourite teacher in the school, and why?

·         What kind of learning or lesson structure do you enjoy the most?

·         What hours of the day are you most engaged with learning?

By answering these kinds of questions, you can begin to figure out what type of learning style best suits you. Do you like quietly reading books and taking notes, or do you work better using an instructional video? Are you more focused in the mornings or afternoons? What did your preferred teachers do those other teachers didn’t?

You can then apply these answers to your own individual learning efforts. If you love watching videos and work best in the mornings, then set yourself some dedicated work hours in the morning to get the most important work done (setting goals along the way), and then work on less important or mentally taxing projects the afternoon.

Figure out what learning process works best for you and will deliver you the best results.

Seek Feedback

“As a student, you don’t need to feel as though you’re going through the learning process alone, and there’s no help out there. There always is in one form or another; you just need to be open enough to accept what people are saying and have a readiness to adopt new strategies,” shares Nikki Turner, a tutor at Writinity.

One of the most invaluable tools you’ll have as a student is getting feedback from other teachers and students who will give you new ideas and approaches you can apply to your own learning processes, thus optimizing it to be the best learning process it can be.

Think of the Future

There are so many benefits from thinking about the future and letting your aspirations give you the momentum now to apply yourself to the learning journey. For example, let’s say you want to be a writer, and you eventually want to write and publish books.

What you now need to think about is how you can take what you’re working on learning and how it will help you achieve your future goals. This may feel slightly abstract at times, maybe even difficult if you’re not sure what you want to be doing, but even just having some idea or notion on how this education can help you in the future and can be applied to your career can be a great way motivate you to focus and keep going.

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Ashley Halsey is a teacher and professional writer at Glasgow Writing Service and Gum Essays. At the time of COVID, she has been proactive in helping both teachers and students develop the most effective learning practices possible.