Contemporary online learning methods are placing additional pressures on online students, but the increased demand also serves to stimulate the intellect. Self-directed learning shifts the power and responsibility for learning closer to the student. For many online courses, self-directed learning requires that students:
•Plan and participate in their own learning activities
•Identify requirements for problem solving and reaching the learning objective
•Develop self-discipline and time management skills
•Seek critical evaluation of performance
•Communicate with peers for information exchange
The most often talked about problem is the lack of face to face interaction and non-engagement by some students. Motivation and learning are inseparable, so it’s important to assess online course content to determine whether it is designed to retain a student’s interest and motivation. Both immersion and engagement are integral to self-directed learning.