Self-paced learning is one of the biggest benefits of online schooling. Yet, we noticed that parents sometimes struggle to understand what that actually means. Even worse, they instantly build a negative attitude towards it because they think self-paced means their child learns alone. The truth is entirely different. Studying at self-pace helps a student to develop an individual learning style, leading to greater memory performance and better knowledge retention. We will explain everything in detail.
Take a look at your child, and you can tell what their favorite food is, what kind of clothing they like, do they enjoy group activities, or they are more quiet and introverted. It doesn’t matter if they are five, 12, or 18, children have certain habits and needs which also apply to how they study. Each student is an individual for themselves and has a unique style of learning. Yet, traditional schooling does not allow them to follow that unique style but rather forces them to mold into one style imposed by the school.
At brick-and-mortar schools, children follow the tempo of a group and schedule created by the institution. Each class lasts 45 minutes, and a teacher follows a pre-prepared learning plan and doesn’t really care if a child mastered the material. A child that can not keep pace gets a bad grade. It is a demotivational measure, and we do not see how it can encourage students to learn effectively. We won’t say they need to learn more, because in most cases it is not about the amount of time they spend studying, but how they learn.
What is Self-Paced Learning?
Online schooling brought a small revolution and introduced self-paced learning. With this style, a student learns at their own tempo. There are no timetables that limit or oblige them. This type of learning allows a child to move through the program at their speed. They can go quicker through material that is easy for understanding, or if they cope with something, they can spend as much time as they need to master it.
Let’s say, for example, that your child is very good at math and they can learn the lesson and do daily assignments in half an hour or 45 minutes. However, they are struggling a bit with History and Geography. Self-paced learning enables them to spend more time on lessons and subjects that are harder to handle, without worrying that they are falling behind as it would be in a traditional school. At the same time, if they finalize school assignments earlier, they get more free time.
Self-Paced Program at Education World Wide
Education World Wide offers a K-12 online schooling program that is self-paced. Students learn at their own tempo from Grade 1 to Grade 12. That, however, doesn’t mean it can last forever. Every time we enroll a student, we have to put an end date to their program. It is a ten months timeframe in which they have to learn the material and finish the grade. But, in case they are quick and dedicated learners, they can finish the grade faster. The same goes for those who have difficulties, for whatever reason, they can prolong that 10-months period and finalize the grade, without any consequences.
Our students have non-limited access to the platform and the entire studying material. They can log in anytime they want, 24/7. Therefore they can learn whenever it is convenient for them. A student does not have a clock ticking above his head to finish the assignment or comprehend the lesson. Since each student creates an individual studying plan, they are free to learn at their own tempo. Self-paced learning has many benefits for a student.
Why is Self-Paced Learning Important?
Aside from improving memory performance and increasing knowledge retention, self-paced learning also teaches students to deal with commitments. By allowing them to create individual plans for studying and learning at their own tempo, Education World Wide created a supportive schooling environment. In such a setting, children do not feel the pressure to learn the lessons in a particular time frame but master it in general. The time span in which they achieve it is not that relevant.
Every student has individual learning habits, and forcing them to go against their routine will have the opposite effect. We do not necessarily say that the system applied in traditional schools is bad. It is suitable for some children, but it is not for others. Self-paced learning adjusts to each student individually, and they can take the maximum out of it.
In other words, this type of learning gives everyone equal opportunities. Therefore, if a student is a fast learner, they can finalize school assignments quicker and enjoy extra free time. On the other hand, if a student struggles with some material, they can take as much time as they need to master it. By doing that, they won’t feel embarrassed because they are falling behind from the rest of the class. Because they do not learn in a group, they learn individually.
Even though Education World Wide offers online classes, we try to implement the same methodology and respect student’s learning habits. During individual online classes, a teacher adjusts to a particular student’s needs and learning style, not the other way around. Online group classes serve more as group meeting that allows students to interact with each other. Sometimes a lesson in the class will be a few units ahead of what some students achieved, but that is the moment when the rest of the students who already passed that lesson jump in and help their peers.
How That Affects a Student?
Once we free students from timetables and time frames in which they have to obtain knowledge, they do not feel the pressure anymore. Children learn at their own time and their own tempo. They learn faster, and with understanding, which means that they acquire knowledge and remember it easier. Students develop a habit of learning every day. By building these habits and developing personal studying affinities, students have control over the process of learning.
Taking control over the learning process improves students’ self-confidence. They know exactly what their flaws are and which subject or topic requires extra time for learning, and they are mentally prepared to invest that extra time in studying. It is not a daunting feeling, but it becomes a natural overcoming of obstacles. Therefore, over time, self-paced students develop problem-solving thinking and get better results overall. It is not uncommon that self-paced learners outperform those who spend an equal amount of time on each subject.
Benefits of Studying at Own Pace
Let’s summarize the advantages of self-paced learning:
- Increases the memory performance
- Improves the retention of the knowledge
- Boosts student’s self-confidence
- It takes the pressure out of studying
- Enables a student to create an individual learning plan
- Allows student to develop a personal learning style
- A student develops critical thinking and problem-solving mindset
- Positively affects the overall student’s performance
Common Traps of Self-Paced Studying
Everything mentioned above sounds fantastic, but it requires a certain discipline from the student’s side. With self-paced learning, students need to manage their time better and to have initiative. Since they decide when they learn and for how long, they have to be self-motivated and eager to do it. If a student is lazy or takes this freedom for granted, they will most likely fall into procrastination, leading to overdue assignments.
It is a task for parents and teachers to help a student to adjust to this type of learning. For example, elementary school students who are just starting their education journey are like an empty piece of paper. They will adopt what you tell them and show them, which is why parents should help them develop learning habits every day even though they are not obliged to. With middle and high school students, things are different because they already have some learning habits. However, as soon as they realize the benefits of self-paced learning, they can quickly adapt and enjoy its advantages.
At Education World Wide, we never leave things to chance, which is why teachers at our online school remind students that they have to learn and if they have some overdue assigns. Even if a student falls behind a lot, our teachers will develop a learning plan to help them get back on track.
Self-paced learning is a form of freedom. A student is free to decide when they will learn, for how long, and even what they want to learn at a particular moment. Allowing a student to learn at a self-pace is more fruitful than forcing them to adapt to some general tempo. This type of learning has multiple benefits for a student and helps them develop habits and skills useful later in life.
Students become proactive, self-confident, they are excellent at managing their time, but more importantly, they develop a sense of commitment and obligation without pressure. Ultimately, that leads to their overall better performance in school because they know that the important thing is to acquire knowledge, regardless of the time required to do it.
Education World Wide enables all its students to learn at self-pace and has excellent tutoring support to assist whenever students stumble upon obstacles. If you want to find out more, do not hesitate to book a consultation with one of our consultants, or simply send us an email with questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.