Schools Training

Self-Directed Learning

14 MAR 2013
Career Path : Computers and Technology

Thanks to both the widely accessible range of print materials, old fashioned correspondence lessons and new computer courses, it’s never been easier to teach yourself new skills and ideas. Still, if you’re doing self-directed learning, staying motivated can be very hard. It can also be a challenge to pick out useful information from the full amount of books and resources you can find. And, without an instructor, nobody is there to easily answer your questions when you get stuck. However, there are many advantages.


A fully self-designed, self-directed learning program will be the biggest challenge to create, but can provide the most flexibility. It is your job to decide on not just your learning goals, but what resources will take you there. Of course if you go to an old fashioned library, this is exactly the sort of thing a librarian can help you with. There are also online guides to help you figure out what you want, and if you’re new to the subject, very good introductory books to nearly everything. Reviews, again, easily found online, can tell you what it the definitive introduction and what is a bad idea.


Bridging the gap between unstructured learning and having an instructor are all the free lecture recordings and videos that are now available online. They can get you started on the right path, especially if you’re not good at learning from text.


Old fashioned courses-by-mail were the old way to learn on your own with structure. These days, they are good for some skills, but you probably won’t find much help with correspondence web design courses that don’t involve a computer anyway. Alternatively there’s a wide range of computer courses that may be for you, from free to fee based, all to help you where you want to go. Most give you regular access to an instructor to ask questions from, and some even give you recorded marks to share.


If you’re not ready for a traditional classroom, but you want many of the advantages, one last choice is a computer college. Essentially these schools let you do a computer correspondence course in a more structured environment, with someone easily available to help answer any questions you might have. They are available in most communities, and many of them can even offer you the same financing of a regular post-secondary education school to pay for classes.


Choosing the best fit for you should really be a matter of temperament. You can decide based on how much structure you think you need, versus the amount of liberty you want to take with your material. And, for a larger project, don’t be afraid to combine methods. For example self-directed, outside study always helps.



Visit Oulton College for more information on computer courses.