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Tips to develop skills for self-directed learning

  • Use a time / task calendar
  • Break up a project into small manageable tasks
  • Write a learning plan (or learning contract)
    Steps: write out briefly the four essential components of your learning
    • your objectives
    • your process and resources
    • your target date
    • your standard for evaluation
  • Use Support Systems
    • Be willing to ask your professor for help
    • Ask classmates or colleagues
    • Use online help
    • Contact the university's support services
    • Seek a mentor
  • Know your best learning settings
    • Do you need direct, in-person contact and facilitation?
    • Do you need a quiet, undisturbed setting for study?
  • If you cannot be in your best learning environment, have strategies to adapt to the environment that you have

Reference: Guglielmino, L., & Guglielmino, P. (2003). Becoming a more self-directed learner. In G. Piskurich (Ed.), Getting the Most from Online Learning: A Learner's Guide. West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons.

Other Resources

Developing Self-Discipline

Time Management Series

Toodledo: Online "to-do" list with organizing capabilities

Evernote: To capture (notes, reminders, websites), organize and search

Delicious: Store, tag, search and share your bookmarks

Dropbox: Allows you to sync your files online and across your computers automatically.

FreeMind: A free mindmapping tool