2022 Self-Directed Learning: 5 Problems We Cannot Ignore


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The 5 “Gotchas” Of Self-Directed Studying

A lot of historical past’s best scientists, inventors, and artists have been self-taught. Leonardo da Vinci taught himself engineering. The Wright brothers by no means graduated highschool. Henry Ford by no means attended school. There’s loads of proof about the advantages of self-directed studying within the office too. It makes employees really feel autonomous and corresponds with each grownup’s want for self-fulfillment. No surprise many companies see self-directed studying as the best way ahead. Self-directed studying has many positives. However we additionally must acknowledge its drawbacks.

What Is Self-Directed Studying?

Self-directed studying could be outlined as a studying technique that enables learners to take cost of their very own studying course of (diagnose studying wants, establish studying targets, choose studying methods, and consider studying performances and outcomes) [1]. It’s about handing over energy to the learner to determine what they should be taught. Somewhat than your group sending its staff on programs which might be usually irrelevant to their day-to-day actions, it assumes that your staff have the capability to determine what they need to be taught and the way a lot time they need to spend on it. It’s about treating your employees as accountable adults who can handle their very own time. Most organizations present self-directed studying in one in all two methods:

  1. They deploy a Studying Administration System (LMS) the place employees learn coaching paperwork, watch movies, or full quizzes.
  2. They encourage employees to hunt out options to their issues on-line.

We consider that self-directed studying is, in lots of workplaces, a wonderful approach to transmit data. However, you will need to think about the drawbacks too.

5 Issues With Self-Directed Studying

Listed here are a number of the key issues with self-directed studying:

1. Not Realizing What To Study

In case you are new to a topic it’s usually very difficult to determine what to start studying. Which paperwork must you learn? Which course must you full? What’s going to be related to the job, and what’s merely noise? Many self-directed coaching programs put the onus on the person to determine what they should be taught, however because of this they might probably spend numerous time studying irrelevant data whereas lacking out on crucial ideas.

2. Lack Of Time

Research reveals {that a} lack of time is by far and away the best impediment to self-directed studying. Should you’ve bought deadlines, conferences, and initiatives to finish, how many individuals are going to put aside time every day to be taught new issues?

3. Lack Of Self-Motivation And Curiosity

As any Studying and Growth skilled will know, there are totally different persona varieties in your group. Some persons are extremely engaged and are regularly in search of out methods to enhance their ability units. Nevertheless, others are much less motivated or formidable; they’re good at what they do however lack the drive to repeatedly be taught new strategies. In some ways, self-directed studying is a bit of idealistic! The very fact is that many staff simply aren’t going to exit of their approach to do additional coaching once they do not need to.

4. Too Many Decisions

An LMS that’s filled with attention-grabbing and helpful assets could be extremely helpful to the group. Nevertheless, generally there’s simply an excessive amount of selection. If an worker logs into your LMS and is confronted with lots of of programs, movies, and coaching paperwork, it may be merely overwhelming. This may be mentally irritating and depart folks demotivated too. It’s as if they’re being proven all of the issues that they do not know.

5. The Straightforward Means Out Is Out there

A ultimate disadvantage of self-directed studying is that psychologically talking, most individuals go for the trail of least resistance. Even people who find themselves motivated to be taught will usually be drawn to matters that they personally discover attention-grabbing or partaking. By the use of analogy, somebody who has a private curiosity in sports activities will spend their free time exterior of labor studying about sports activities. Few of them will dedicate their spare time to studying about gardening only for the sake of it! The identical goes for self-directed studying at work. In case you are concerned about administration matters, you’ll naturally gravitate towards studying administration strategies. That is nice, nevertheless it means you gained’t actively search out details about how you can use the brand new IT system in the event you’re not personally concerned about tech.


Regardless of its drawbacks, self-directed studying shouldn’t be written off. As an alternative, we have to consider higher methods to use the idea. In our firm, our strategy is to ship studying in context. Every time somebody is unsure about how you can use enterprise instruments, full a course of, or carry out a activity in compliance with the foundations, they get a related coaching module that opens in a pop-up window that reveals them how you can do the duty. This retains the good thing about self-directed studying whereas avoiding the dangers.

  • Staff stay in charge of what they be taught and may learn each time they need.
  • Staff do not get overwhelmed with data they do not want.
  • If staff lack data in a single space, it’s simple for them to discover a answer.
  • It takes little or no time to eat the knowledge.
  • It encourages staff to be taught essential issues even when they’re not naturally drawn to them.

By placing self-directed studying in context, you give your staff the autonomy to decide on what they wish to be taught and once they wish to be taught it. And, on the similar time, you overcome lots of the key obstacles that self-directed studying produces.


[1] What is Self-Directed Learning

Initially revealed at info.visualsp.com.


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