At some point in your life, in one way or another, you have gotten curious over something and researched it. You have watched a video, read a book or an article, etc. and educated yourself on the matter. That’s because it is more of a concept, rather than a strict methodology. Self-paced learning adapts to the learner and their abilities to intake and process information.
Self-paced learning is defined by the Business Dictionary as a method where the learner initiates the learning. Learning is a very personal thing and all people have their preferred methods, times of the day when they’re effective, and learning mediums.
With traditional learning, the learner and trainer have a defined relationship and communication path. The trainer shares the information and the learner receives it. This formal relationship limits the learner and trainer. The learner and the trainer must adapt to the training method. On the other hand, when personalized and adapted to the individual, learning can become a very enjoyable process, even for the people who don’t like it as much. The great thing about self-paced learning is the fact that it adapts to you, you don’t adapt to it.
5 reasons to consider self-paced training
Considering the benefits of self-paced learning and it’s effectiveness, organizations and schools are incorporating this methodology into their curriculums. That’s what we call self-paced training. Here are 5 reasons to consider self-paced training:
It’s efficient and effective
The main benefit of self-paced learning is efficiency. Since people learn differently and at different times of the day, when they have the ability to make their own schedule, they are more efficient. They also learn at different paces. That is why when they get to control their learning rhythm, they don’t get lost or bored in the materials. People, depending on their learning style, can take their time, run through the materials fast, learn in a particular place or setting, or be able to learn everywhere.
Self-paced learning has also proven to be more effective. A study on the effectiveness of self-paced learning found that self-paced learning can improve memory performance due to the fact that the learner dedicates more time to the more difficult material. 148 psychology students from the University of Illinois participated in the study. The students were put on individual rooms with their own computers and were given 160 words to memorize. The subjects were alternately assigned to self-paced learning and fixed rate conditions. After that, they were tested on the effectiveness and efficiency of the studying. The students with self-paced learning performed better than the ones with fixed rate conditions.
One of the best things regarding self-paced learning is the flexibility it gives to the learner. People’s schedules are busy and their productivity differs during the day. With this learning method, you can schedule your learning hours to a time of day you are most productive at. Some people learn best in the morning and others in the evening. Other people have different and unpredictable responsibilities during the day and can not commit to attending classes at a fixed time. Self-paced learning is adaptable to many people and their necessities. Often times, the flexibility extends to the location. With an internet connection, learning is possible everywhere.
Scalability is one of the most beneficial characteristics of self-paced learning. As a training material developer, your job is done when you finish the materials. After that, it is up to the learner to do the rest. The fact that you are only involved in the process at the beginning, makes it scalable. You invest your time, effort, and money heavily in the beginning and then reap the rewards over time since the cost is spread across the employees who receive it.
The training materials are reusable
Training materials are hard and take a lot of investment to make. If you’re dealing with permanent content, reusability comes to mind as one of the benefits of self-paced training. Permanent content is training material that doesn’t change. If you’re a company that continuously delivers information to new employees, self-paced learning is the way to go. This will make it easy for new employees to adapt their skills and get on board with the training materials, even if the training has already started.
Self-paced learning supports inductive thinking. This refers to the ability to intake information and later come to a conclusion based on it. By learning at their own pace, people improve their memory performance. When they do so, they stimulate their inductive thinking as well.
We can see that when training is adapted to the learner we are presented with a more effective process that benefits both, the learner and trainer. The learner benefits from its flexibility and efficiency while the trainer is left with better results, scalable training, and materials that can be used again and again.
Author Bio: Ujëbardha Bekolli is passionate about lifelong learning and self-development. She writes for Kiwi, which is a restaurant LMS that aims to help restaurant owners train their staff in an easier and more effective way. Moreover, they offer online training courses for different Restaurant services.