For adults looking to acquire new skills or learn about a particular topic in more depth, self-guided courses can be an excellent alternative to traditional schooling.
These types of courses provide a flexible and personalized approach to learning, allowing students to tailor their studies based on their individual goals and interests. They also allow adults to manage their own time and organize their workload, which can be especially appealing if they have other commitments or work obligations.
And with a wide variety of online resources available today, students have access to all kinds of information on nearly any topic under the sun; from language tutorials and academic writing guides to cooking classes and fitness tutorials, there is truly something for everyone when it comes to self-guided learning.
But don’t just take our word for it. In this article, we’ll explore how self-guided courses work, as well as their benefits, so that you can decide for yourself if this type of learning is right for you.
What are Self-Guided Courses?
Self-guided courses present an exciting alternative to traditional learning methods. For both adults and children, these online courses offer a range of benefits that go beyond what most classroom programs can provide.
Courses come in many different forms, but generally, they are courses that you can access and complete at your own pace. Many feature multimedia content including videos, audio, and text. You may also have the opportunity to interact with other learners or the instructor through discussion forums or chat features.
The greater flexibility that self-guided courses offer also covers adults with different learning styles. If you’re a visual learner, for example, you can rewatch lectures or read over transcripts at your own pace. And if you prefer hands-on learning, some courses also include interactive exercises or simulations.
Why Self-Guided Courses Work
We touched on a few benefits of self-guided courses above but let’s now take a deeper dive into why they’re so effective for some learners:
They are flexible and convenient
How much more convenient can a learning platform be than one that you can access anytime, anywhere? From the comfort of your home or on the go with your mobile device, you have instant 24/7 access to all course materials. This is ideal for busy people who need to fit their learning around work or other commitments.
Self-guided courses also bypass one of the biggest challenges of traditional learning: variance in learning styles. In a classroom, the teacher has to cater to the needs of all students, which can be difficult when everyone learns differently. With a self-guided course, however, you can learn in the way that works best for you.
Whether you prefer a learning experience closer to reading a book or you like to be able to interact directly with the material, self-guided courses give you the freedom to learn in the way that’s right for you.
Learning when you’re at your best
One of the great things about self-guided courses is that they allow you to learn at your own pace. If you find a particular topic is more challenging than others, you can spend more time on it and work through the material at a speed that works for you. This is in contrast to traditional courses where you may need to keep up with other students or risk falling behind.
The freedom to go at your own pace also gives you more control over your learning experience. If you’re having a particularly hard time with one topic, you can choose to spend some time on an easier topic and then return to the more difficult one when you feel more up to the challenge.
Teaches you discipline and self-motivation
A self-guided learning approach is an excellent way to develop discipline and self-motivation. Because you are responsible for your learning, you need to be committed and motivated to get the most out of it. This can help you become more disciplined and independent in your personal life as well as your professional one.
Some important questions to ask yourself before deciding whether a self-guided course is right for you include:
- How much time do I have to commit to completing the course?
- Do I prefer learning in a traditional classroom setting or online?
- What learning styles work best for me, and can a self-guided course accommodate these?
- Am I comfortable working independently and at my own pace?
Being brutally honest with yourself in answering these questions will help you understand whether a self-guided course is the right learning approach for you.
Generally speaking, self-guided courses are also more economical. With traditional courses, you have to pay for tuition, books, and other materials as well as your time. Self-guided courses, on the other hand, often require little more than an internet connection and some time investment—aside from tuition fees, which are significantly lower on average for online courses.
Of course, traditional courses make up for the extra cost with experiences you likely won’t get with a self-guided course. You won’t have access to as many experts or opportunities to interact with other students in a self-guided course, but if your schedule and budget aren’t compatible with a traditional learning approach, a self-guided course may be the right choice.
The Million Dollar Question
Are self-guided courses effective?
Yes but not for all. The flexibility and convenience of such courses come at a price: you must be fully committed to your learning. Unlike the classrooms many of us were stuck in during our youth, self-guided courses provide little in the way of external motivation. It is up to you to make the most of the material and reap the benefits of your learning.
But for those who are willing to put in the effort, self-guided courses provide a flexible, convenient, and economical way to learn. And, perhaps most importantly, they allow you to learn in the way that best suits you.
If you’re interested in learning more, we suggest checking out our website for more information on self-guided courses. We offer a variety of courses that you can take at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home. Visit us today to learn more!