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September 23, 2019, 07:16:59 am

Author Topic: Self-directed, self-motivated, Independent study  (Read 238 times)  Share 

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JR_StudyEd

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Self-directed, self-motivated, Independent study
« on: May 02, 2019, 09:58:47 pm »
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What is it exactly? I hear that much of the workload in uni is self-motivated, and some of my teachers have decided that since we're in Year 12, they are going to prepare us for uni by *drumroll*...not telling us exactly what to do all of the time. I get why they're doing it, and it's a good idea to get us to be 100% responsible for our learning.

And how do you transition into this kind of learning, coming from early high school where you're spoon-fed (at least that's what I remember it being like)? In layman's terms, what would you study if you had no instruction from a teacher on what to do?
VCE Class of 2019
Subjects: English, Psychology (2018), Maths Methods, Chemistry, Biology, Health and Human Development

TheLlama

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Re: Self-directed, self-motivated, Independent study
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2019, 10:14:05 am »
+7
For the self-directed part at least, it's about deciding how you organise and prioritise your study. In effect, it's about moving from being completely dependent on teachers telling you what to study and how to study, to becoming more active and taking control over your learning.

Or put differently: say you're studying English. Maybe you've been used to a very structured learning environment where you're told which chapters to read, given a list of questions to answer, as well as information about the key themes and ideas in the text. In other words, the teacher makes a number of decisions about what's important and you, as the student, can rely on these to structure your learning.

As you move to becoming independent, it's about acting more as an expert would.

Instead of waiting to be told which sections of the book to read, you might motivate yourself by saying: I'm interested in reading this text because... And as part of my reading, I'll focus on understanding a particular idea that I might want to know more about. As you read, you might realise that there are difficulties - here are some new ideas, or questions raised by the text. As a self-directed learner, you could jot down a series of questions that you can't yet answer. They might lead you to searching for further resources, or to asking your teacher to explain or offer their interpretation. Or you might tell your teacher how you've approached the text and ask if they have a different way of doing it.

Basically, it isn't about doing it just by yourself, but it does involve thinking more about why you're doing what you're doing.

What you actually study will probably depend on your goals. So one tip is to consider: what am I going to be asked to do, show or demonstrate at the end of this unit of study? What knowledge or skills do I need? Where and how will I get these? Start thinking about how you can build deep knowledge - rather than memorising content, one tip is to think about the thinks between information and ideas; experts often have broad schema for concepts; they focus less on the little details and more on overarching ideas that help fit those smaller pieces into a big web of ideas.

Hope that helps. Try to feel optimistic - becoming self-directed and independent, though it might seem like being thrown in the deep end, can ultimately be a really positive thing :D
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JR_StudyEd

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Re: Self-directed, self-motivated, Independent study
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2019, 09:21:44 pm »
+1
I'm finding it really difficult to focus - more so than in previous years. It's likely a combination of physiological and psychological factors (like e.g. I got 5 and 1/2 hours of sleep last night, as well as pretty much every night this week so far, and felt smashed all day today), but what I want to highlight is just how much work is self-motivated. It's equally difficult when you have to motivate yourself - no one's really forcing me to do it. I mean, I'm not even necessarily aiming 'high' anymore, I suppose I'm just aiming to acquire an intuitive understanding of what I'm being taught at school. I chose each of my subjects for a reason - because I like a certain aspect of them, but looking at where I'm at now, it's really draining and tedious just trying to endure and bear with the parts of the subject's course that you just want to get out of the way and over with so you never have to expose your brain to it ever again. So much of this year to date has been about learning content that I'm not at all interested in, and despite my best attempts to try and spark my interest, I probably never will gain an interest in such topics unless coerced. And the real-world applications of what I'm learning, where are they?

I know this mindset is unhealthy and unhelpful, but there's a million other good, much more satisfying things to stimulate my brain with. The short-term pain of studying is inevitable, yes, but for me it's felt like this ever since I first stepped into a Year 12 class. Studying tedious concepts and understanding them enough to apply in a structured situation is enough to make me want to just give up and focus more on improving the state of my health, because isn't that more important than studying?
VCE Class of 2019
Subjects: English, Psychology (2018), Maths Methods, Chemistry, Biology, Health and Human Development