Learning to learn is a process of discovery and is an important element in becoming an effective self-directed lifelong learner. Every individual has their own unique way of learning which means that each individual needs to be self-directed in figuring out what works best for them. Different strategies may need to be utilized depending on the specific learning goals and material needing to be learned.
In order for educators to be effective in facilitating their students through the learning how to learn process, they first need to do a baseline assessment of where each of their students’ self-directed learning abilities are at. Students who are new to the adult educational setting, such as those in diploma or undergrad programs, are more likely to need their instructors to act as more of a guide/mentor in the learning to learn process. Students who are further along in their educational endeavours, such as those in graduate or doctoral programs, are more likely to already be well versed as self-directed learners who know how to learn, therefore, their instructors should take a more backseat approach and be there as more of a facilitator to their learning. Assessing where your students are at in knowing how to learn is crucial, otherwise you as the instructor may not be utilizing the appropriate strategies in order to help your students to learn how to learn.
Attached below is a link to the 5R’s Diagram. This is a concept map of qualities of which instructors need to assess and promote within their students in order for them to learn how to learn and become effective lifelong learners.