Schools Training

Self-Paced Learning in Modern Education

19 FEB 2013
Career Path : Computers and Technology

Self-paced learning is one pedagogical technique that works for the busy but motivated learner, or one who lives in a remote area. An autodidact is a self-taught individual. In the past this might involve spending a great deal of time in the library or through written correspondence courses. Today, computer courses, either through remote learning or a computer college, take the place of many past strategies. Though the old ways are used today, self-paced learning has evolved.


Anyone who has ever studied outside the confines of a formal program has done some self-paced learning. Whether it was back in elementary when you reviewed your speller, or more recently, with things like learning to cook a new dish or play a new computer game, you’re more than familiar with the basic techniques to learn things on your own. It is one part reading over the material and one part review and discovery, as you attempt to understand as well as memorize. Learning takes time, of course, and seasoned self-teachers budget that into their efforts, but many of the skills you use daily without thinking about it, including walking and talking, were mostly self-taught.


The difficulty is learning to learn outside your comfort zone. Everyone has one or two things they are very good at, whether that is memorizing hockey team members or baking a good loaf of bread. But when things do not come easy, most people will give up. That is one of the places that school facilitated self-paced learning can help. For example in a computer college, learners are not left completely to their own devices, but paired with the oversight of a manager. They can ask questions, and get guidance as they need, while setting their own pace.


An easy example of something that was traditionally taught via autodidact methods but can now be shared easily via computer courses are web design courses. The first learners were computer savvy programmers, another field prone to self-paced learning, but these days the same sorts of materials and design exercises they used are packaged for easy consumption by students. From the first piece of code to complicated final projects, web design courses have to be completed mostly by the learning in an insular environment, but external input helps speed things up. It would be less suited to a less hands on, classroom with a lecture and note-taking format than the way it is usually taught.


The same format has been applied to many other subjects that depend on hands on work with computers, but also more traditional courses can be facilitated by the multimedia approach of computer courses. Animations, self-scoring tests and multi-media recorded lectures unmoor the learner form the teacher. It’s no wonder that distance education is the big trend in modern education.



Visit Oulton College for more information on computer courses.