Independent Learning Strategies in a Digital Environment

Independent learning is when pupils have the skills to set goals to plan, monitor and evaluate their own academic development, so they can manage their own motivation towards learning. Research from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), Using Digital Technologies to Improve Learning, identifies how technologies play a central role to build the skills required to develop self-regulated learners, providing ownership and mastery of their learning.  

Independent learning or self-regulated learning can be broken into three essential components:

•cognition – the mental process involved in knowing, understanding, and learning
•metacognition – thinking about our own learning – ‘learning to learn’
•motivation – willingness to engage our metacognitive and cognitive skills
The role of practitioners is to explicitly teach pupils metacognitive strategies, including how to plan, monitor, and evaluate their learning.  The best available evidence EEF, Metacognition and Self- Regulation indicates that great teaching is the most important lever to improve outcomes and learner self-efficacy.  According to the OECD Student Agency 2030 report, when pupils feel in control of their own learning and can help direct what they learn, research indicates they show greater motivation to learn.  The EEF seven recommendations for teaching self-regulated learning & metacognition identifies seven areas and ​myth busts’ common misconceptions teachers have about metacognition.  Impact The Charter Journal of the Charter College of Teaching identifies how using technology can promote student metacognition through thinking aloud.
Teachers on the  Education Scotland Teacher Leadership Programme have produced posters which explain the enquiry journey of Self- regulation and Metacognition.