Independent learning

Independent learning

What do you think Independent leaning means? For new students it means that you will need to assume responsibility for your own learning. Here is a definition to help you:

“In higher education today the ability to become an independent learner is crucial. While tutors and other students can provide some support and encouragement, the independent learner has to provide the inner motivation and self-discipline. When you are at university or college, you will need to assume responsibility for your own learning because increasingly there is an emphasis in the educational sector on individuals.” (Payne and Whittacker 2006)

Here is a table that highlights some of the differences between the two learning styles:

Dependent learner Independent learner

Learner wants:

Structured learning experiences
Tutor to take responsibility for the experience
Tutor-centred approach
Rewards and support

Learner anticipates:

Experimentation
Extensive self-paced independent study
Freedom to explore and make mistakes
Complex problems for which no one correct single solution
Judgement free support

Learner wants lecturer to be:

A subject expert
An authority figure
An instructor

And to:

Lecture or talk
Assess or check
Examine or test
Design, direct and control the experience

Learner wants lecturer to be:

A facilitator
A guide

And to:

Negotiate
Encourage
Develop
Motivate
Consult 

Learner is:

Willing to learn
Inexperienced - learns what is required
Reliant on tutor for evaluation
In need of frequent feedback
Not intellectually curious

Learner is:

Collaborator
Confident in own abilities
Flexible
Adaptable
Autonomous

Reference:
Payne, E. & Whittaker, L. Developing essential study skills, 2nd edn, FT Prentice Hall.

Creative Commons Licence
SMILE by Imperial College, Loughborough University and the University of Worcester, modified by Marion Kelt Glasgow Caledonian University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.