- What is self-learning?
- Importance of independent learning
- 5 Top Benefits of self-learning
- 16 Helpful self-learning strategies
You may have heard about the concept of self-learning, but what does it really mean? It refers to the way we learn things.
In other words, self-learning is teaching oneself without the assistance of another person. It can help you in becoming an independent learner.
How well you do in your classes will depend on how much time you put into studying outside of class. So, it’s no secret that self-learning has a direct impact on your grades.
Why Is Independent Learning Important?
Mastering the skills that you need to succeed in life is the biggest challenge facing most students today.
Independent learning or self-learning skills play a big role in helping you to succeed academically and professionally.
There are a lot of benefits associated with self-learning. Let us take a look at some of them:
1. Encourages Effective Learning
Learning a subject on your own can help you to get actively involved with the topic. It will enable you to understand a topic to a deeper extent.
When you are more engaged with the topic, you will find it interesting and, moreover, you will be able to remember it better.
2. Learning Can Become More Fun
When you embark on the journey of learning on your own, you will enjoy the process of learning a lot more. You will be able to find topics of interest that build curiosity in you. This is a big motivating factor for learning.
3. Improves Self-Esteem
One of the benefits of self-learning is that it enables you to become a confident learner. You will feel confident enough to tackle difficult subjects on your own without any outside assistance.
4. Students Can Learn at Their Own Pace
Self-learning skills allow you to be flexible in your learning styles. In a classroom setting, students are expected to learn at the same rate.
This method is not always effective. With self-learning, a student can take less or more time to learn a concept on her own.
5. Develops Genuine Interest in Learning
The key advantage of independent learning skills is that they foster interest and curiosity in learning. If you do rote learning, it won’t be much fun for you as you may not develop any interest in the subject.
But if you engage yourself in self-learning, you will enjoy and feel proud of your academic achievements. Such a learning attitude will definitely help you to succeed in life.
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6. Reduces Stress
Self-learning can reduce stress because you are in control of your learning and don’t have to rely on others.
Moreover, self-learning will help you be more interested in the learning process and you’ll find it enjoyable.
7. Encourages Students to Try New Things and Learn New Skills
Self-learning is an excellent way of learning new skills and building knowledge.
While trying new things, you might fail many times but you will learn from those failures, gain new insights, and improve your self-confidence. More importantly, you will do all this while having fun!
How Can You Incorporate Self-Learning Into Your Studies?
In order to make sure you’re getting the best results from self-learning, there are a few self-learning techniques you can use.
1. Set a Schedule
One of the best independent learning strategies is to have a study schedule. Fixed study timings will prevent you from procrastinating or becoming too distracted by other things.
You’ll be more likely to stick with it if you have a well-planned study timetable.
2. Start Small
If studying seems overwhelming, don’t over-commit yourself. Set small goals. To do so, spread out your self-learning over time.
For example, if you are taking an exam on world history in a few months, start reading about it now so that when the exam comes around you won’t feel overwhelmed.
3. Take Notes
Taking notes during self-study sessions helps you to organize and retain information better. You can do this by writing down points on sticky notes or in a notepad.
This way, during exam time, you can revise the material more easily and quickly.
4. Set a Timer
Setting a fixed time frame to study can increase your concentration. For instance, set a timer to study for half an hour.
After the time is up, take a 5 minutes break, then set the timer again. Take another 5 minutes break every half hour. This helps you concentrate on the task at hand and increases your productivity.
5. Have a Single-Minded Focus
Try to tackle one topic at a time instead of studying everything at once. This is one of the ways you can improve your self-learning skills.
6. Take Breaks
We often tend to forget to take breaks while studying. Even though on the surface, it seems like we are being productive while not taking breaks, it’s not really true.
Breaks help you to unwind for some time. When you get back to studying after a short break, you will feel more refreshed and your concentration power will improve.
7. Choose a Time that Works Best for You
Studying can be a tiring process. But it doesn’t always have to be that way. When you practice self-study, you have control over your learning schedule.
You can choose when and where to study. When you’re self-studying, you’re in charge. You set your own schedule and pace.
That means you can fit your studies into the times that work best for you, for example, early mornings or late evenings. The idea is to choose a time when you are most attentive.
8. Set Short-Term Goals
By setting short-term goals, you’ll feel more motivated to keep going.
For example, if your end goal is to be fluent in a language, try setting smaller goals along the way, such as memorizing five new vocabulary words per week or learning how to form a simple sentence per day.
9. Learn from Other Sources
The internet is full of free resources for any kind of learning, so take advantage of them! Most websites and apps offer free video lessons that you can download and watch at your own time.
10. Focus More on Knowledge, Not Just Good Grades
We have been led to believe that the objective of learning is to get good grades. Although good grades are important, that shouldn’t be the ultimate goal.
It’s important to keep in mind that gaining knowledge is power. You might be able to take what you learned in school and apply it to something entirely different later in life.
11. Set Realistic Learning Goals
One of the most important self-learning techniques is to set realistic goals. Don’t take on too much; it’s better to learn a few things well than to try and learn everything badly.
12. Revise the Study Material
Review the syllabus of a subject before you begin.
Define your personal objectives, learn about the requirements of the subject (such as writing assignments and group work), and get an idea of how you will be assessed and evaluated.
This will help you to be a more effective student and improve your independent learning skills.
13. Learn to Manage Your Time Effectively
One of the challenging things that students face is learning how to manage their time effectively. When you are self-learning, you are in charge of your time.
When you plan a schedule, you need to make sure that you will be able to cover the required syllabus within the fixed time frame.
14. Study at A Different Place
Studying can get boring over time. At times like this, a change of scenery can often rejuvenate your mind.
Learning for long periods of time in an enclosed space can feel stuffy. In such cases, grab your book and sit on the balcony to get some fresh air while you tackle the next chapter.
15. Monitor Your Progress
Self-learning is important for various reasons, but the primary reason is that it helps you monitor your progress.
You can’t expect to advance in your studies if you don’t know whether or not you are learning what you need to learn. If you are self-studying, you can keep track of your progress.
16. Enjoy the Learning Process
The process of self-learning can be hard, but it will be worth the effort and time you put into it. Learning is a life-long process. You’ll gain more and more knowledge throughout your life if you keep learning new things.
Students who have mastered the art of self-learning develop a high confidence level and can work independently without any help from others.
Self-learners are able to learn things faster than those who depend on teachers for learning.
If you are a student who is looking to have a successful career in the future, then self-learning is important. It is something that can set you apart from your peers.