Becoming a Self-Directed Learner (Digital Technologies and HEALTH/PE Lesson) – Years 7-10



This lesson provides students with the opportunity to develop skills to analyse and visualize data using software to create information. This lesson was designed for a year 7/8 or 9/10 classes, has been tested and worked well with high student engagement.

Australian Curriculum Links:

Year 7/8: Digital Technologies

  • Analyse and visualise data using a range of software to create information, and use structured data to model objects or events (ACTDIP026)

Year 9/10: Health/PE

Lesson Sequence:

Introduction/Warm up:

  • Explain the concept of “Self-directed learning”:

In its broadest meaning, self-directed learning describes a process in which individuals take the initiative, with or without the help of others, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identifying human and material resources for learning, choosing and implementing appropriate learning strategies, and evaluating learning outcomes. (Knowles, 1975, p. 18)

  • Have students discuss their own experiences of where they have applied Self-Directed Learning within or outside school.


  • Complete the Self-Directed Learning Quiz
  • Have students discuss their results in pairs and ask each other whether they agree/disagree with the outcomes.
  • Bring class together to respond to any questions that may have been raised.
  • Have students respond to the questions on Sheet 1 as to their their strongest and weakest skills according to the table and graph.
  • Ask for suggestions as to how their strongest self-identified weakness might be strengthened – Get fellow students to make recommendations for them.
  • Discuss the concept of “readiness for independent study” and the further development of this.
  • Go to the Class Averages sheet.
  • Collect the data from all class members and record in the appropriate cells
  • Respond to the questions provided individually and then compare answers with a classmate
  • Directed discussion with whole class to address the potential/proven benefits of Self-directed learning and its impact on individual’s identities:

Self-directed learning offers the following:

  1. An opportunity to learn through the lens of your culture, worldview, and perspective
  2. The experience of empowerment through the power of choice and decision-making on what, when, and how to learn
  3. An enhanced level of focus as the learning process is being led by you
  4. The opportunity to be led by curiosity (a natural thing)
  5. A learning experience that focuses on the actual learning as opposed to being evaluated or assessed on the learning
  6. A stress-free approach to learning
  7. Self-confidence will know no boundaries



  • Class discussion about what students learnt from this learning experience.


  • Students could write a personal account of their “Readiness for Independent Study” utilizing the individual and class data and preparing a plan of action for improvement.
  • Anecdotal notes of students recorded during observation, discussion and activities.


  • Computer and Projector or Smartboard
  • Individual student computers with copies of Self-Directed Learner – Skills Self-Test Excel Spreadsheet loaded
  • Self-Directed Learner Resource (Quiz) (XLSX)

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