Developing independent & autonomous learning

Developing independent and autonomous learning

“Nothing aids one’s intellectual development, so much as a period of independent study” Kropotkin (1899)

“Independence … is not the absence of guidance, but the outcome of a process of learning that enables learners to work with such guidance as they wish to take” Knight (1996)

The capability to learn independently and autonomously is a key graduate attribute. This workshop examines the nature of independent learning and explores the characteristics of autonomous learners and the methods which can be used to help students develop such characteristics. Participants will discuss how they can apply selected methods within their modules and the departmental strategies that can be adopted to promote independent learning over a degree programme. The workshop is illustrated with an extensive set of mini-case studies of how a range of disciplines, departments and institutions are encouraging independent and autonomous learning. There will be an opportunity to plan how you can apply some of the ideas discussed in your own context.


“What a luxury having time to think, read, discuss and share”
“An excellent workshop, strong on case studies and good practice, very useful”

The best things about the workshop were:
“The combination of stimulating ideas and opportunity to unpack and explore then with colleagues”
“I really valued every part of the workshop. I have had an opportunity to re-think a great deal and to move forward with added insight. It will make change in my practice and ability to inspire others”
“Wonderful ideas to take away to help students become more autonomous”
“Some good teaching strategies observed”
“Nourishing my thinking”
“He walked the talk … engaged the participants … and a thoroughly nice guy!”