Self-paced training, also called self-paced learning, is any type of instruction where the primary motivation comes from within the learner themselves. Whether the instruction is offered from a specific location (such as a university or workplace) or is accessible online from any place, the method of study remains the same. It is the student who determines the pace of the training.
In this post, learn three major benefits that can be accessed from self-paced training.
Benefit 1: Self-paced learning has been shown to improve memory and results for students with strong allocation skills.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), students that possess strong study time allocation skills and are willing to study the harder subjects for longer than is necessary to meet minimum learning criteria, they reap rewards including better memory and retention and increased ability to perform well on difficult subjects.
The overall result of several studies that looked at differences between controlled and self-paced programs is that offering learning in a self-paced format has the ability to improve performance and memory, but only in students with the proper skills and motivation.
Interestingly, one of the primary benefits of self-paced study and training is that it eliminates many of the distractions that are often found in a typical brick-and-mortar classroom or training course scenario. The student is much better able to control their own ability to focus without distraction when the learning is offered in a self-paced format.
Benefit 2: Self-paced training makes it possible to learn even in small pockets of available time.
For students and employees who are juggling an already full plate of work, study and home life responsibilities, the ability to attend courses or training sessions in large time blocks may simply not exist. In this case, as U.S. News points out, the choice is either not to pursue training at all or to make difficult scheduling choices that may impact work or family time.
But with the advent of self-paced training, even small windows of time can be well used to study in small spurts as time permits. So long as the student’s concentration and retention is good, the amount of time per session is not a significant factor in learning outcomes.
Perhaps most importantly, self-paced learning is ideal for any material that is considered part of the permanent knowledge requirement for a student or employee. Such training modules will rarely need updating, meaning they can be extremely cost-effective for a long span of time.
Benefit 3: Self-paced training is where the world in general is headed.
“With the sheer amount of overhead associated with brick-and-mortar institutions and training centers, contrasted with the accessibility and affordability of online learning methods, there is no doubt that education and training has everything to gain by offering education and training courses in a self-paced format,” said ReadyTech.
From standard educational curricula to industry-specific training, the major advantage of the self-paced training model is that it can come to the student, rather than the student having to come to it. Modules can be formatted into brief or more extended time blocks, so employees can take brief workday breaks to fit in a quick job-related study module and students can listen to professor lectures on their smart device while stuck in traffic.
But perhaps most importantly, self-paced training requires the student to buy in to their own educational and career enrichment. A committed student will be a successful student in a self-paced study program. Seeing which students and which employees excel at self-paced learning and training courses can be a handy tool for professors, supervisors and employers to identify potential future stars with potential for job success and promotability.
While self-paced training may not be the ideal choice for every student or worker (especially those who tend to rely more on motivation from outside sources), it is the optimal model in today’s time-crunched, over-scheduled and oh-so-mobile world. Not only will self-paced training separate the average achievers from the superstars, but it can make ongoing learning accessible to students and employees who simply cannot make time to pursue additional knowledge through the traditional learning formats from decades gone by.