Independent Learning Strategies

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  • 0:01 Independent Learning…
  • 1:31 Key Factors
  • 2:25 Strategies
  • 5:10 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Andrew Diamond

Andrew has worked as an instructional designer and adjunct instructor. He has a doctorate in higher education and a master's degree in educational psychology.

Learn about strategies teachers can use to help their students build independent learning skills. Included are the foundations of a good independent learning lesson and some examples of activities teachers can easily implement.

Independent Learning Strategies

Every class is made up of a conglomeration of learning types and styles. Teachers are faced with a multitude of students, each of whom has a different preference for how to experience the class's material. How then is a teacher supposed to create a lesson that meets the needs of 30 or more unique and individual learners? One excellent strategy is to develop independent learning activities for students and allow them to take charge of their own education.

Independent learning is a broad term, and there is a fair amount of debate as to an exact definition. For the purposes of this lesson, we'll say that independent learning is a self-guided process to expand knowledge and skills.

Also, let's set a few boundaries for independent learning. First, it does not have to take place outside of a classroom or involve zero teacher intervention. Independent learning can and does frequently occur inside a classroom with teacher oversight. Second, independent learning can involve multiple students engaging with one another. In fact, research has proven this to be an ideal methodology for independent learning. Finally, when students are working independently, we don't mean that the teacher is off on a coffee break. Independent learning shifts the responsibility for the learning process onto the student. The teacher's role is changed from imparting facts to supporting the student as they work to discover the facts on their own.

Key Factors

When designing and implementing independent learning in the classroom there are three key factors.

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