What is Self-Directed Learning (SDL)?
“SDL includes knowing what you need to learn, how to learn it, and being able to judge if you’ve learnt it. It assumes that learners have a role in selecting those learning tasks that fit their learning needs.” (Loyens, Magda, & Rikers, 2008).
Self-directed learning is a process in which individuals take on the initiative to learn and develop their skills as their own responsibility. They initiate to pursue the learning experience. Upon taking the initiative, the learner takes full responsibility and accountability to complete the program and consult most appropriate means for acquiring knowledge, thus demonstrating a high level of determination and devotion.
Need of Self-Directed Learning in the Workplace
The rapid changes in the technological world and ever-evolving advancements have increased the need for having a skilled expertise and a highly innovative approach to formulating process, which can produce optimum success.
In the quest to keep their workforce highly competitive and well informed, many organizations have sponsored various employee-training programs that have generated no apparent results. Knowing the effectiveness of SDL and its encouraging influence over the performance of workforce organizations are now embracing the notion of self-directed learning (SDL). They are encouraging their employees to take the initiative for polishing their skills and making them learn new ways to display excellence.
Importance of SDL
The importance and effectiveness of SDL are depicted from the concept of Montessori System. Did you ever notice that only the Montessori section students excel much higher than their expected level? It depends upon the curriculum and the educational system followed. They are not bound to achieve a certain goal or to learn some specific concept. Kids happily acquire knowledge at their own pace and in their own way in a free environment. Some prosper in learning the concepts of numbers while others are good at creating patterns and blending different colors. Similarly, self-directed learning encourages individuals to participate, and acquire knowledge for demonstrating a high level of brilliance. They feel motivated and search productive ways to exhibit efficient skills.
How to Implement Self-Directed Learning in the Workplace
Self-Directed Learning goes against the contemporary learning methods and programs. In this process, the learner identifies the need to acquire more knowledge and feel motivated to enhance his or her skills. He or she finds ways to overcome their professional weaknesses. The learner takes the initiative to get enrolled in learning activities and events. Above all, such learning programs are not time bound, it rather depends on the personal skills and pace of the student how soon he or she completes the course.
- Introduce self-report measures like Emotional Quotient Inventory, where the employees will get a chance to measure their strengths, desired areas of improvements and weaknesses.
- Motivate employees to devise their training program either by providing them with the training allowance or dedicating specific time slot in which they can put aside their daily task and solely focus on their learning.
- Celebrate completion of the learning program and invite learners to showcase their results.
All you can have to do is to try such measures through which your team members and learners feel encouraged about pursuing their learning program. Appreciate and inspire them to make huge progress.