Self-directed learning is the ability to direct and manage one’s own learning processes. It is about learning to learn and the ability to plan and set goals that are motivating, fit learning preferences and predict required knowledge and skills, to choose and undertake the right activities to realize these goals, evaluate and reflect on learning progress and use learning experiences to improve future performance. Being self-directed is also about showing autonomy, being proactive and continuously looking for feedback to improve one’s performance. Being self-directed provides (future) designers with the basis to deal with unpredictable and complex situations, emerging technologies and societal challenges. It is an important 21st century skill (Beetham & Sharpe, 2013).
The ability to self direct your learning path, increases over the years in the bachelor and master. In the Master there is only one compulsory course (5 ECTS) and you are required to select one of three dedicated Tracks and two of the five Expertise Areas for your specialization. Self-directed learning becomes apparent in projects in which you have the freedom to direct your own design and research process. Self-directed learning also takes place within the context of the projects as you are required to decide which expertise areas will be integrated in your design and research process.
To provide direction in your choices, you are asked and coached to
- develop and regularly reflect on a personal vision on technology, society and what the future role of academic designers or design researchers in bridging the two
- develop a professional identity of each individuals as a designer or design researcher in bridging the two
Beetham, H., & Sharpe, R. (Eds.). (2013). Rethinking pedagogy for a digital age: Designing for 21st century learning.