Teaching and Learning Current Curriculum Self-directed Learning

Self-directed Learning

Self-directed Learning


Over the years, we endeavour students’ self-directed learning in the hope of cultivating their Learning habits such as previewing before classes and improve their learning skills in class. Training has also been provided to enhance students’ ability to reflect and self-evaluating, so as to become confident and self-directed learners.


1. The Basic Concepts of Self-directed Learning

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) advocates "self-directed learning" in one of lifelong and vocational skills. To meet the needs of study and work, students need to equip themselves with relevant skills. Some scholars believe that "self-direction" is the foundation for both conventional or unconventional learning (Williamson, 2007). In fact, self-directed learning can be defined as a process in which the learners actively analyze their learning needs, set goals, identify learning resources, select suitable learning strategies, and evaluate their learning outcomes (Knowles, 1975).


2. Features of Self-directed Learning

As learners, self-directed learning has two important concepts:

(i)      Students are responsible for their own learning

This includes taking control of one's own learning direction, setting learning goals, and taking responsibilities for his/her own thoughts and actions (Hiemstra & Brockett, 1994). In fact, one needs to constantly make different decisions about learning (Banz, 2009, Hiemstra, 1982).


(ii)     In the process of learning, learners communicate with teachers and other learners

Learning usually takes place in social settings with teachers and other learners (Lim, Hew, & Cheung, 2013). In other words, despite the fact that learners are responsible for their own learning, it does not mean that teachers and other learners are excluded in the interactive learning process (Banz, 2009).



3. Major Elements of Self-directed Learning



Goal Setting

  • Students identify personal learning goals and learning activities


  • Students carefully formulate and plan study-related decisions and arrangements, such as planning, making study timetables, etc.
  • Students choose from a range of learning strategies and learning tools


  • Students manage their own study time
  • Students take charge of a range of learning strategies and learning tools
  • Students adjust their learning paths throughout the learning process
  • Students always stay focused during classes and take the initiative to answer the teacher's questions
  • Students gradually establish their study routines and learning habits


  • Students are informed concerned about the assessment criterion.
  • Students self-evaluate their learning according to the assessment criterion.



  • Students improve their assignments with the help of the feedback from the teachers, peers, or their own the reflections at various stages.
  • Students can deal with their learning difficulties
  • Students can reflect on their learning and apply what they have learned in the new contexts


4. Teaching Support


(i) Teaching guidelines are issued for each subject. To encourage self-directed learning, students preview before class while teacher’s adjust teaching according to students’ progress and their needs to enhance learning effectiveness.


(ii) Each classroom is equipped with facilities, such as tables and chairs arranged in groups, to facilitate group discussions and learning. Meanwhile, small blackboards and large TVs are used to display learning results, with comments from both the teachers and students to promote self-directed learning.


(iii) A student study handbook encourages students to set and review learning goals and review their own learning situations.



5. Enhancing the effectiveness of Teaching and Learning


(i) Infrastructure

(a)   All classrooms, staff rooms, special rooms, school hall, and school office are connected by 10G optical fiber. Wireless network is provided throughout the school area.

(b)   All of our classrooms are equipped with computers, projectors, visualizers and large TVs to facilitate dual multimedia teaching. An Apple TV can be connected for e-learning on tablets.

(c)   Each teacher is provided an iPad for classroom teaching and a desktop computer for class preparations and administrative purposes.

(d)   We have two computer rooms, the main computer room and the IT-Lab. which are connected to a wireless network.


(ii) Software/Platform

(a)   We have a cloud intranet to provide as an integrated platform electronic notices, electronic payment, electronic homework, and online quizzes that are to be used to facilitate communication and e-learning.

(b)   All teachers and students can use Microsoft Office at home. We also provide integrated office software, cloud storage space, e-learning platform, etc., which enhance the convenience of teaching and administration.

(c)   All of our staff and students have access to Google Workspace, which provides email, cloud storage space, and e-learning platform to enhance efficiency in teaching and administration.

(d)   In addition to the school website, a dedicated information platform for school staff and students is set up to provide relevant information.


(iii) Training for Teachers

Each regular teacher in the school has reached Intermediate level or above in information Technology (IIT) and has access to online video teaching (TEAMS/Zoom) and e-learning platform (Google Classroom) for improving efficiency in class.


(iv) Training for Students

Computer classes have been arranged for students from S.1 to S.3 to learn about the computer system, APP coding, spreadsheets, database, webpage building, etc. The new senior form had Information and Communication Technology for students to choose.


(v) Encourage Top Students in IT to Learn

The Computer Society is set up to motivate the top students’ learning in IT.


(vi) Student IT Team

(a)   Student IT ambassadors are appointed in each class to assist teachers and other students when using e-learning devices.

(b)   Student computer room administrators are assigned to assist technicians in opening the computer room for students use during after school hours.


(vii) E-learning

Students from S.1 to S.6 bring their own tablet computers to class for e-learning (BYOD).