Self-Directed Learning

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The world of learning today is very much different from what it was in the past. The process of learning has endured vast changes that it is inevitable for students not to trail its rapid changes. Today’s information age is accompanied by an exponential increase in factual knowledge with rapid change and modification of that knowledge (LeJeune 2001). Learning, in the information age, demands learners not to be passive or stative but to progress forward in line with the fast development of the current situation in order to succeed.

With the constant change in knowledge and technology, it is impossible for learners to obtain all that they need to know just within the confinement of the four walls of the classroom or just from the input of teachers in the classroom. While the role of teachers as the main provider of knowledge in the classroom is important, it is equally important for the students themselves to take the initiative to obtain new knowledge. In this new situation, students must know how to learn every day, how to adapt to rapidly shifting circumstances and how to take independent initiative when opportunity disappears (Gibbons 2002). The key word is self-directed learning (SDL) and this is the concept that will be able to help learners to keep up with the constantly changing world. Learners should be active and moving forward to be at par with the emergence of new knowledge.

Self-directed learning, a concept that is strongly linked with adult education has become the objective of university education everywhere. Many universities are now placing specific emphasis on the development of self-directed learning as one of the primary goals of university education (Norzaini Azman et al. 2003). Norzaini clarifies that as self-directed learners, students should have the ability to identify and set goals for their learning, develop and use a wide range of learning strategies, work independently and/or with others and persist to...
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