A Conceptual Model for Understanding Self-Directed Learning in Online Environments
Research indicates that online learning often situates control of implementation with the learner. Recently, scholars have turned attention to the importance of self-directed learning (SDL) skills for online learning environments. Existing frameworks for understanding SDL focus primarily on process and personal attributes in face-to-face settings. Some frameworks depict SDL as a process, focusing on learner autonomy in the learning processes; other frameworks emphasize personal attributes, focusing on learner’s capabilities of regulating the learning process. Yet, the level of self-direction needed may change in different contexts. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a research-based framework for understanding SDL in online learning contexts. Implications for future research and practice are provided at the end of the paper.