Self Directed Learning

Goals of Self-Directed Learning (a review)
Self directed learning can be seen as any study in which individuals have the primary responsibility for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the effort (1).  There are three main goals of self directed learning -

    1) to enhance the ability of adult learners to be self-directed in their learning
    2) to foster transformational learning as central to self-directed learning
    3) to promote emancipato
ry learning and social action as an integral part of
        self-directed learning
        (points taken from "Learning in Adulthood", Sharan B. Merriam)

Self-Directed E-Learning vs Formal E-Learning
As self-directed learning takes place outside of the classroom, it is easy to assume that all e-learning is actually self-directed.  However, programs such as online degrees are not self-directed; the student is typically bound to a certain course schedule, and the inclusion of a professor running the class places this type of e-learning squarely in the "formal" type.

Online Computer-Based Training

One option for self-directed learning is based in the history of E-Learning.  Computer Based Training is now readily available for easy access.  A good example of this is the Microsoft Knowledge Base.  Although traditional courses are available to learning how to use different Microsoft Products, training audio and text is also available through the Microsoft website.  These "free self-paced training courses" are perfect for people who want to learn a new Microsoft product, or those who want to improve their current skill set.