An autonomous learner is an individual who is responsible for his/her education. Autonomous means are self-directed or capable of working independently. Self-taught students are involved in their education, decision-making and take charge of their learning strategies. An autonomous learner holds the responsibility for his/her education. They create a plan and monitor their performance. These learners also implement methods to improve their skills.
The characteristics of an autonomous learner are self-discipline, logical intelligence, independence, and self-motivated. This individual is not instructed by any teacher about which direction is the best for them. They decide their path and work towards achieving it. The autonomous learner is aware of his/her actions and techniques. This technique allows for greater control over their education.
This education method helps in cases where the individual is passionate towards a goal and wants in-depth knowledge in it. Technology has given various tools in the form of software and applications for individuals to become self-learned. It is also useful in places where traditional classroom education is not sufficient or in remote locations. Students can attain complete education or focused learning through this method in such cases.
The autonomous learner was first mentioned by Frenchman Henri Holec in 1981. He spoke about shifting the focus from teaching to learning. It meant that students become self-aware about their education rather than being trained by their trainers. Although this method does not entirely mean teachers have no role in education. They are responsible for providing support, encouragement, and constant advice to students regarding their learning style.