The Power of Self-Directed Learning in a Digital World

With the rapid increase in the number of students enrolled in online courses, the traditional college classroom is shifting from a physical location to a virtual meeting space. The result? Self-directed learning has become the new measurement of success. 


For the first time in 15 years, the overall number of students enrolled in higher education courses has decreased by nearly 34,000 students. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, this overall decline is the result of a fewer full-time students; part-time enrollment is actually on the upswing. 


According to one report, online enrollment has surpassed the six million student mark, and nearly one-in-three students are now enrolled in an online course through a college or university. Today, to accommodate the demands of the part-time, technology savvy student, schools are expanding their online offerings. 


Students interested in taking an online course must be prepared to manage and control their education. With many online courses, a majority of the preparation and learning falls on the student, and requires students to view PowerPoint presentations, PDF documents or videos before attending class. Now, more than ever, it is essential to establish self-directed learning and organization skills at an early age. 


Even before the popularity of online courses, self-directed learning has been stressed as a major principle in early development. The U.S. Education Department has highlighted the importance of teachers not only being be self-directed learners themselves, but passing this trait along to their students. 


This concept has been the foundation of supplementary education company, Eye Level. Since its creation in 1976, Eye Level has recognized the importance of building and strengthening the fundamental principle of self-directed learning, and it has incorporated selfdirected learning into its unique curriculum. Eye Level has nurtured the development of selfdirected learning in millions of students worldwide, from pre-school to secondary education levels. 


As the future of education trends toward hybrid learning, preparing students for the new college campus is more important than ever.