What is an independent learner?

Photo by Eliott Reyna on Unsplash

As a university student, you will often hear the term ‘independent learner’ and how you need to become one! As a new student, such a term might make you think that you are on your own, but that is not the case.

An independent learner is not a student who does everything on their own. Rather, an independent learner is a student who takes responsibility for their learning but knows how to effectively use resources and support to help address their weaknesses and solve problems. Other aspects often included in definitions of an independent learner include time management, goal setting, planning, curiosity, criticality and reflection.

Becoming an independent learner takes time and you should not expect to develop all the necessary skills in your first few weeks at university. It may be your first experience of an environment that encourages independent learning and you should take some time to identify your strengths and weaknesses, familiarise yourself with the services, support and resources available to help you and plan how you are going to develop as an independent learner.

However, during those first few weeks at university, it is likely that you will receive a lot of information about different aspects of university life. Getting started on the process of becoming an independent learner before you start university can give you some direction and help you manage those first few busy weeks at university. If you would like to get started on becoming an independent learner please get in touch.


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