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Independent Learning

What is Independent Learning?

Independent learning is the skill of learning to study for yourself without the same level of support and direction you received from teachers.

As an independent learner you will need to conduct your own research and choose books and articles to broaden your knowledge of a subject area. You will need to learn to set your own goals and reflect upon, monitor, and evaluate your own learning and academic development.

Adapting to University life is exciting but it can be daunting. Learning to work independently with less structure than you are used to at the same time as living away from home for the first time can be challenging.

Develop@Derby is here to help you learn how to study independently and manage your student life to the best of your abilities.

 

Why is Independent Learning Important?

Studying for yourself is an essential part of independent learning. Discovering new ideas, tackling challenges and tasks independently is wonderfully rewarding as well as being a useful life skill.

In the report, What is Independent Learning and What are the Benefits for Students? (2008), several benefits of independent learning were discovered.

Independent learning is important because:

  • It is a skill that is highly valued at university and in the workplace.
  • It will enable you to feel in control of your academic studies, hence reducing stress and increasing wellbeing.
  • It will help enhance your organisation and your ability to set goals.
  • It will increase your motivation and confidence.
  • It can improve your academic performance.

It has the potential to improve your employability skills, postgraduate study, and lifelong learning.

Perseverance and Motivation Podcast with Fran McKay

In this episode, Alex interviews Fran McKay about how you can motivate yourself to find success in your studies and your career. We discuss topics including motivating yourself after one bad day, our methods for motivation and the power of finding your values.

Returning to Study Audio Podcast

In this episode, Alex interviews the award winning University of Derby Online Learning student Ian Danton about returning to education after a break. Ian graduated from his first degree 30 years ago and discusses what helped him to find his feet.

Finding Your Feet at University Audio Podcast

Recent foundation year Law student Katie Harrod and host Alexander Wood discuss their experiences in finding their feet at the start of university. We discuss our reflections from our first year, how you can settle in and make friends, and how you aren't alone if you are feeling overwhelmed in your first few weeks.

Independent Learning Videos

Self Motivation and Independent Learning - 15 mins

In this video recorded live during the Introduction to the Key Skills Workshop on the 22nd September 2020, Alex from the Skills team outlines tips and advice for independent learning, beating procrastination and self-motivation at University.

Settling in and Excelling as an International Student Video Podcast with Sam Chikowore - 23 mins

In this episode, Alex interviews recent first class graduate Sam Chikowore about how he found his feet as an international following moving 6000 miles from Zimbabwe to study at Derby. Sam discusses how he made friends, and how his experiences as a Marketing Representative helped him to develop his skills and find success as a student.

Finding Your Feet at University with Katie Harrod Video Podcast - 41 mins

Recent foundation year Law student Katie Harrod and host Alexander Wood discuss their experiences in finding their feet at the start of university. We discuss our reflections from our first year, how you can settle in and make friends, and how you aren't alone if you are feeling overwhelmed in your first few weeks.

Advice for Starting University Livestream - 57 mins

In this livestream Alexander and Naomi discuss starting university. We give advice for how you can settle into the student life at the University of Derby, and share resources that you can use in your own time to help you be prepared for studying.