What is self-learning?
Self-learning is when you teach yourself without relying on a teacher or anybody. It’s a learning method where the learner is the main person, and he/she drives the learning journey.
We can categorise self leaning into two types according to what resources you use.
- Traditional resources
Some old-school people prefer to use conventional resources such as books and a pen and paper.
Electronic Learning, for the people who prefer to use the internet and new technology to learn new things. It’s the most common type of resource used nowadays as it’s easily accessible and environmentally friendly. You can read e-books, watch videos or use interactive resources.
Advantages of self-learning
Self-learning has got some advantages that you might not find in traditional learning. Here are the most important benefits of self-learning.
- Flexible Learning
You can learn at any time and anywhere suitable for you. And because you are the best one who knows, you decide what you study and what level of content you want to study. Unlike traditional education, where you might not be able to get the course you wish to because of your qualification or because it’s not available in your area.
- Unlimited Learning
To supplement your understanding of topics been covered, you can repeat the video or reread a book – whatever the resource you are using is.
- High-quality resources
As you have the choice of what resources you use, you can use the best resources available to you. Unlike traditional learning when you have to use the resources that your teacher provides, which might not be significant.
Like all different leaning methods, self-learning has got some challenges you might face during your learning journey.
- Lack of feedback
There are no exams or teachers’ feedback. That might lead us to self-doubt.
Because there is no feedback or anybody to guide you during your learning journey, you might fell doubt about your level and your progress.
You are the only one who controls when and what to study. That might be a problem for some people. As you need the right level of self-discipline and time management skills.
Most times you study alone. That might be a disadvantage for some people who like to be socialised. Unlike traditional education where you can make study with your classmates and make friends.
Tools and Resources
- edX.org – Online Courses Platform
Edx.org is a platform for online courses. Where prominent universities and organizations such as Harvard and Microsoft provide useful online courses.
In most cases, you can take courses for free as an audit (Without a Certificate). Or you can pay around £80 to gain a verified certificate like the one below. You can apply for financial support to get %90 off the price, so you pay around £8 only!
During your online course, you have to complete some tasks to show that you understand the topics. You may also be required to mark other participants’ tasks (peer review).
- Quora – Q&A Website
Self-learning doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help when needed. Quora is a great website to ask questions. And most times you will find that your question has already been asked and answered. Furthermore, you can answer other people’s questions and share your knowledge.
Youtube could be used to learn new things by watching videos. But bare in mind that anyone can publish anything on youtube. So you need to check the validity of the content you are studying.
Self Learning is becoming more popular over time. It’s suitable for people who like to be independent and have the right level of self-discipline and task management skills. On a personal level, I think self-learning is more beneficial than traditional learning. Because when you teach your self, you understand things in a way that your mind finds more natural to understand things.
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