There have been numerous self-made individuals, who have stood out and made their skills known to others. Previously self-learning was considered something extraordinary. However, it is no longer as difficult as it used to be. Thanks mainly to the internet, there are now so many resources available online that you can learn multiple skills without even going out of your room. You only need to have the will to learn something new.
Self-learning could be anything you learn outside a forced learning environment like a classroom. It is something you do on your initiative without a defined curriculum or graded assessments.
Unlike formal education, self-learning is not gauged by how high you score on a test. You evaluate your learning by applying your knowledge in real life with no one grading your performance. It is simply pure learning.
Self-learning helps in enhancing your skill levels. It makes your experiences valuable through practical evaluations. Here is how you can adopt the habit of self-learning.
Curiosity is the first step towards learning anything new. Having a desire to learn is the thing that will keep you motivated to learn more.
Ask yourself questions about what kind of learning experiences you are interested in. Ask yourself these questions:
- Why do I need to learn?
- What makes this skill important for me?
- How will I use the knowledge which I gain through learning?
When we are not curious, we will not absorb the knowledge or information presented to us. However, when we are self-learning, we know it is all for our betterment. When we are curious our learning curve will go up.
Create Learning Objectives
To be successful in life, you need to have goals and objectives. Set realistic learning objectives so you can have focus and boost your productivity. Having clearly defined objectives will let you work on achievable things that give a sense of purpose to your learning.
For example, if you are learning computer programming, have an objective to launch an application that runs on the programming language that you are learning. If you are learning a foreign language, then your objective should be to do an activity where your language skills can be demonstrated. This activity could be reading poetry, singing a song, or writing a blog in the language that you are learning.
It is important to have such learning objectives because they give you a clear direction of what you are supposed to achieve out of whatever it is you are learning.
Assess Your Learning Resources
This is something really important from a self-learner’s point of view. Since this is a solo act, you need to meticulously verify the appropriateness and authenticity of the learning material that you will be using. You should also be careful about what learning material is accessible to you to make this whole process efficient.
Unlike formal education, self-learning is unstructured. Whatever learning material you may be using will likely have a lot of information that is not necessary for you to fulfill your learning objectives. So try not to lose your focus.
Here are some ways to help you assess your learning resources.
- Verify everything you come across. The internet is a hotbed of fake information so make sure the information you are gathering is correct and updated. Crosscheck your references and question every bit of information you come across.
- Use peer-reviewed scholarly databases that have appropriate citations, like Google Scholar and other credible scientific journals.
- Use credible mainstream online learning platforms like Udemy or Skillshare.
While you are assessing your learning resources, you should also assess your Internet Service Provider (ISP). After all, what good is online learning if your ISP is not dependable? Use a dependable fiber internet and TV service like MetroNet.
Learning has changed considerably over the past two decades. You no longer need to sign-up for physical classes or hire a private tutor to teach you skills. If you are passionate enough, you can learn a seemingly endless number of skills through the internet from the comfort of your room. Make use of these learning resources for personal effectiveness.