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6 Types of Independent Study

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Independent study is the process of learning on your own. This can include classroom assignments, projects and test preparation that students complete on an individual basis. Independent study can also be fully self-directed whereby people pursue knowledge and academic goals with their own planning and initiative. This is a foundational life skill that can support academic, professional and personal goals over a lifetime. The following are common types of independent study.

Studying

The process of directly learning materials with processes such as note taking, review and self-testing. This can take advantage of strategies such as spaced practice or mnemonics designed to improve your learning productivity.

Reading

The process of reading different types of materials such as books, articles and research. As a form of studying, this often involves note taking, highlighting or annotating the materials. Reading can be done in different ways such as scanning for something or in-depth reading that seeks to fully comprehend the materials.

Writing

Writing including creative writing, analysis, reports and essays. Generally speaking, writing is a form of learning as a foundational type of expression, composition and thought process. As such, personal writing such as journals or letter writing are a form of learning.

Critical Analysis

The systematic process of evaluating sources, ideas, works and arguments in order to produce knowledge. For example, critical analysis of a study that questions the study's methodology or assumptions.

Independent Research

Independent research is the process of developing knowledge regarding some topic, question or hypothesis on a self-directed basis. In an academic context, it is common for independent research projects to be supported with the supervision or guidance of a teacher or advisor.

Online Learning

Learning with digital tools and information sources. This can involve online research such as accessing studies, articles and data through websites or mobile apps. Online learning can also include structured programs such as online courses and social learning such as language exchange meetups online.

Summary

Independent study includes school assignments that a student completes on their own and self-directed learning whereby an individual completely plans and executes their own learning processes. This is a foundational academic and life skill that allows an individual to find information, pursue curiosity, solve problems and make informed decisions.
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