The standard learning curriculum across the board is centered around students working through a determined list of material over a specified time. The students have little control over the system and are judged by how well they keep to it. Learning at this uniform pace is known as synchronous learning and though effective is not ideal for all students.
The students that either have trouble keeping up the pace or are pulled away by external responsibilities fall behind and find themselves in challenging circumstances, sometimes due to factors beyond their control.
On the other end of the spectrum you have students who don’t feel challenged enough and are ready to move faster than the curriculum dictates. They tend to feel held down by the pacing and could develop a detachment from the material. This could lead to decreased motivation with potentially detrimental results.
Advantages of Self-paced Learning
The possibilities presented by the proposition of self-paced learning offer solutions to a lot of the above listed challenges but also simply an alternative to the established system.
- Opportunities for Struggling Students
Different people learn and assimilate at varied speeds so giving the controls to the learner presents the opportunity for a more efficient learning experience. For the students who need more time with the material and find it hard to keep up with the pace of the rest of their class, self-paced learning gives them the ability to move at their own speed.
- Take control of Learning
When it comes to the students who are quick learners and can get through the work faster than their peers, they are met with the problem of feeling unchallenged. In this case they can speed ahead with their work at the pace that suites them, leaving them feeling fulfilled and able to achieve the goals they set for themselves, maybe ahead of schedule.
- Attention to Learning differences
It is commonly accepted that there are four main learning types which are:
- Reading and writing
Standard classroom learning and structure cater to just one or two of these so those who fall outside of this spectrum are left at a disadvantage with little to no alternative.
In an asynchronous setting the students can forge a system that works with their strengths. If for whatever reason they need input from their instructors to modify the learning schedule, then the teachers are there to help as much as needed.
- Time management
The opportunity presented to students to create a timetable for work and study is a chance for them to build themselves up in personal discipline and task prioritization. When placed in a position of responsibility for their own time and schedule a lot of students rise to the occasion and are able to adapt swiftly.
Time management is a life skill with applications far beyond the confines of institutional education. Developing these skills and that mindset benefit them long after the completion of their studies.
- Mature Students
For the demographic of mature students this is a life-saver. Individuals with full-time jobs and family responsibilities outside of school now have a way to juggle these commitments without it affecting their academic goals.
Traditional school isn’t designed with mature students in mind, so they are left unattended to even though they represent a sizeable portion of society. With this innovation they can work their studies around their lives and get it done the best they can as opposed to trying to fit their lives around a rigid structure.
Regardless of what option works best for you, the fact that self paced alternatives now exist offers opportunities that have never been there before for a wide variety of students and learners. These options can now enhance the overall learning experience for more students than ever before and give more people access to the tools they need to get where they want to get to professionally and personally.
Wishing you all the best in your studies and beyond!
This post was written by Abdulhakeem Yusuf. Abdulhakeem is the content writer at SOC Online Academy. He has over 6 years of professional writing experience.
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