The Skill to Autonomous Learning

Regardless of whether you plan to study online, in a traditional setting or enter the workforce, possessing autonomous learning skills will benefit you in a multitude of ways. Autonomous learning skills are those skills that allow you to act, think and work independently, without requiring the guidance or supervision of others. So, if you had to work on a project, for instance, you could do so by yourself, without asking for help to complete it.

Possessing these skills will allow you to be successful in online study (because almost all online study involves autonomous learning). It will also help you tremendously if you’re in the traditional learning setting, as quite a lot of the work you’ll do will be independent work. The greatest aspect of possessing these skills though is that you’ll be able to utilize them throughout your working life, as these skills will help you work independently, which is a desirable (if not essential) skill in most industries.

There are a few essential traits of a good autonomous learner, such as:

  • Motivation
  • Excellent time-management skills
  • Determination 
  • Resilience

And the transferable skills you’ll gain from autonomous learning skills include the above, plus:

  • Organizational skills
  • Multitasking skills
  • Independence
  • Initiative
  • Stronger reading and writing skills (due to practicing self autonomy)

So, how do you become a great autonomous learner? Well, it’s easer than you think. You just increase the amount of time you spend studying alone, on the usual study you do. The more often you work alone, the better you’ll become at doing so; however, there are other things you can do to improve your autonomous learning skills. Some of these are listed below:

Push yourself to work alone – Study as much as you can alone and push yourself to work through any problems independently, without seeking help.
Ask for help only when you need to – There will be times when you just have to ask for help, but don’t be lazy when you could do it yourself, but just don’t want to. You’ll need to use common sense to determine when to ask for help and when not to.

Discuss the issue with others – This may seem contradictory, considering the previous two points, but if you have a problem you need to solve, discuss it with others (without directly asking for help). Doing so will hopefully stimulate your thinking and give you inspiration.

Learn to research effectively If you can research effectively and source your information broadly, you’ll be able to find any information for any project, without relying on someone else to help.

Learn to speed read Speed reading improves your productivity, but to hone your speed reading skills, skim a page or two, then write down what you’ve learned, before reading the same page more slowly to ensure you properly understood what you have read.

Set achievable goals Setting goals is an essential for anyone studying, no matter how they are studying. It’s best to set achievable goals though, as this ensures they are reachable and increases motivation.

Learn effective time management Again, an essential for students. Break your work into manageable pieces and give yourself enough time to finish each before the due date. Being able to manage your time and work is extremely important, because if you can’t do this, you’ll end up needing to ask for help.

The CFS Team
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