An independent learner is a term used to describe an individual who takes accountability for its own learning. It’s a process, a method and a philosophy of learning whereby a learner acquires knowledge by his or her own efforts and develops the ability for self-evaluation. These people are self-aware individuals they know how to evaluate themselves. They can see their strengths and weaknesses. They strive for considerable progress and often chart their achievements and failures. In other words as a student, you need to do your own research instead of assuming a teacher to give you a hand by providing materials you might need. The students need to be self- motivated and should be driven by their own words of wisdom to face real-world challenges. In an online learning environment where a teacher can be at a distance and parent support can be restricted, the skill of independent learning is highly helpful. By having some of these characteristics students can foster self-confidence and responsibility both in universities and later in their career. It’s a more of an analytical thinking way of learning where you have to evaluate your own potentials and drawbacks.

Independent learning skills should be developed in kids since the early growing years. These skills are the fundamental and principal of learning how to be not only a great thinker but a great leader too. Such skills teach our learners how to have a perception of the world based on personal experience and observation and to make critical well – informed decisions in the same way. As such, they increase confidence and the power to learn from mistakes so that they can grow in their own way.

5 characteristics of independent learners include

1. Self- motivation

Self- motivation is a force that drives you to do things. People can be motivated by many things, both internal and external. Motivation is a simple term that pushes you to achieve your goals. Understanding and developing your self-motivational powers can help you to take control of many aspects of your life. independent learners are motivated by setting internal goals to achieve. They are driven by their own personal accomplishments.

2. Curiosity

Curiosity can make learning more valuable and fun. Curious students not only ask questions but also actively seek out the answers. Without curiosity, sir Issac newton would have never formulated the laws of physics. Albert Einstein had said “ The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. Be curious about your surroundings and try to find out the best possible answer that can satisfy your inner hunger. Curiosity always prepares the brain for learning. Independent learners want to find out more about the world through their own methods of understanding and perception.

3. Responsibility

Responsibility means taking an active role in learning by recognizing that you are accountable for your own work. Being responsible also implies knowing what you have to do and doing it without anyone telling you to.

4. Critical Thinking

Critical thinking means the ability to think clearly and rationally, understanding the logical connection between ideas. Independent learners examine and evaluate all the possibilities and try to find out all the possible solutions. they believe in formulating their own answer on the bases of real-life facts, findings, and observation.

5. Self-evaluation

Self – evaluation is best defined as the involvement of learners in making assessments about their achievements and the outcomes of their learning. students should learn to self -assess their own work. In order to create great work, students need to know what great work looks like. Independent learners should know how to analysis themselves. They should see their own fortes and flaws and measure their performance based on the efforts that they have invested.

How can you become an independent learner?

1. Efficient Time Management:

Time management is the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between specific activities on the basis of priorities. good time management enables you to work smarter not harder. you have to plan out smartly so that you get more things done in less time, even when time is tight and pressures are high. Try to break each project down and work out how long you will need to spend on each project, then allocate time according to your priority.

2. Put Into Practice alone:

Practice working on your own for a long period of time without taking any help from others. Independent learning focuses on the process and not simply the goal. Practising alone can make you figure out your own strengths and weaknesses. You can minimize distraction allows you to pace yourself and can improve your focus.

3. Study even when you don’t feel like:

We have days when we don’t feel like studying or getting involved in any kind of activity. but the most successful students are those that don’t wait until they feel great to study. independent learners understand that present frustration is worthwhile to achieve future success.

4. Be constant:

If someone is studying something for a longer period, concentrated, with fully focused that person implies as a persistent learner. if you want to become a persistent learner then don’t give up easily. Keep at it until you understand what you need to do and work on that with full force. Be constant with your doings and hard work.

5. Know when it’s necessary to take help:

An independent learner should know the value of solving problems by themselves. They should try their best to figure out their own problems by themselves first. but after several trials also if you are still struggling with the same problem then you can ask for help from anyone you might think can help you. Never hide or ignore your problems . do take help if you are facing any sort of problems.

6. Be determine and set goals:

The best and most sorted way to keep yourself motivated is just to think about what you want to achieve and what are your future plans and set your goals so that you can look up to something. Make yourself productive and invest your time doing much more useful things rather than just wasting your time on social media and other useless things. Focus on personalizing learning goals.

7. Give yourself a break:

Take proper sleep and break from your daily schedule so that you don’t get easily drained out and your body and brain function well. take proper food and sleep and do regular exercise and keep thoughts positive.

8. Seek and act on feedback:

Take all the feedback from your teachers and peers in a positive way. They should be giving you feedback on your assignments and test. make sure you take all those feedback seriously and work on them otherwise, it’s pointless. Teacher feedback encourages students to work hard more and make them understand where they are currently standing in their learning process and where they’re heading towards and how they’ll get there. Focus on the process of learning as well as the goal.

9. Work out on your priorities:

Once you have decided or know about your specific problems and interest are. you can work on them. make sure you efficiently address them all. Give all your interest and problems equal time and tackle them all with utmost sincerity.

10. Maintain a record of your daily work:

Keep a record of your daily doings. this will help you with further planning and give you a sense of accomplishment. this could motivate you to keep going and even can improve your results. Once you’ve achieved your target you can work for your next target and can start the process of planning again.

11. Don’t fall behind by not giving enough time to study:

It can be sometimes hard to find out a balance between making time for studying and having fun. An independent learner knows very well they need to build studying as an everyday habit. They need to study every day with focus. scheduled out your time every week and making study your first priority. Evaluate your improvement on an everyday basis. It’s impossible for students to become independent learners if teachers don’t encourage them. Teachers also should provide opportunities to reflect on learning. They should transfer learning decisions to students.

12. Make your learning goals clear in your mind:

Make your goals clear in your head and according to that plan out your target. Asses and evaluate yourself in terms of your accomplishments and what you about to achieve.

13. Maintain proper notes and documents:

Independent learners should have an effective method to keep their notes and documents organized and safe, so they can easily locate them whenever they need it. Maintain a proper notebook for your notes and documents so you don’t lose your important documents or waste your valuable study time searching for them.

14. Read outside your study material:

Sometimes you’ll come across a concept or a topic in your textbooks you just don’t understand but this doesn’t mean you should skip it and move onto the next topic. The best possible solution is to make some efforts to find out online about the topic until you could understand and apply it in your studies.

15. Be willing to try different and new methods of learning:

Some people like to learn by experience. Others prefer to read or by taking notes or revise in the same way. But an independent learner identifies that different subjects and modules may suit different methods of learning. Similarly, some exams require you to learn lots of definitions and small pieces of information so flashcards are vital during revision. But other exams have more of a focus on essay-type questions so practising past papers becomes key. You can apply different methods of study techniques as per your convenience and learning potential.

Learning independently can be challenging but also can be fun. Students need various skills and techniques towards learning for successful independent study. Students need to understand themselves as learners In order to understand their needs and desire for learning.