Perceptions of self-directed learning

Evaluating Perceptions of Self-Directed Learning in Students

Jun 26 2022

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In this article, authors Adi, Artini & Wahyuni (2021) “analyze teachers’ perceptions of self-directed learning (SDL) and the identifiable components of SDL from online learning activities assigned by teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

The involvement of students in learning decisions

This article did not include a literature review. However, it was interesting to note that despite the fact that educators recognize the value of SDL, many hesitate to involve students in decisions related to their learning, including both content and assessment decisions.

Measuring perceptions of self-directed learning

As a part of the data collection methods, the researchers provided a self-rated questionnaire, measuring teachers’ “perceptions of SDL content knowledge, perceptions of SDL implementation, and perceptions of the impact of SDL on students.”

The study surveyed one high school English as an Additional Language (EAL) teacher in Indonesia. Overall, the findings revealed that while teachers recognize the importance of providing opportunities for self-directed learning for student success, “the application of SDL has not been maximized.” Rather, “teachers tend to use classical strategies that do not focus on student-centered learning” and “are hesitant to involve students” in decisions related to their learning, including content and assessments.

How teachers can help students grow in independence

The results suggest that “teachers and school authorities need to develop the most appropriate curriculum and assignments to encourage students to be more independent and independent in learning.” The study showed that English teachers consider themselves “knowledgeable” about SDL content knowledge and “anticipate” in applying SDL, yet “rarely do pre-activities and post-activities” to promote student autonomy. However, the research is limited by the survey size (only one teacher was surveyed) and additional participants need to be surveyed in order to be able to generalize the findings to a wider population of teachers.

Notable Quotes: 

“Teachers felt that SDL strategies could significantly motivate students in learning, stimulate them to recognize their learning goals, and assist them in determining appropriate sources and ways of learning.” 

Self-directed learning (SDL) is “a process in which students take the initiative to identify their learning needs, formulate learning objectives, determine learning resources, apply appropriate learning strategies and evaluate their learning outcomes, with or without the help of others” (Hill et al., 2020; Suryadewi, Wiyasa, & Sujana, 2020). 

According to the questionnaire, teachers “generally agree that SDL is important for students” as it “can give autonomy to students in learning and increase students’ initiative in monitoring their learning.”

Personal Takeaway

As the world shifts back to in-person school, evaluating perceptions of self-directed learning will be an important part of determining next steps for teacher instruction in this new phase of the pandemic.


Taryn McBrayne

Summarized Article:

Adi, N. L. M. P., Artini, L. P., & Wahyuni, L. G. E. (2021). Self-Directed Learning in EFL During Covid-19 Pandemic: Teacher’s Perception and Students’ Learning Autonomy. Indonesian Journal of Educational Research and Review, 5(1), 80-90. DOI:

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