Independent Study Courses Defined

independent study courses

Independent study courses refer to self-taught classes that allow an individual to learn at his own way and at his own pace. These kinds of courses are especially designed for people who could not attend to their classes physically due to certain circumstances. Examples of individuals who may find it advantageous to attend self-taught courses include working students and specially-abled individuals.

Types of Independent study courses

The collision of advance technology and man’s creativity has given rise to the existence of several prototypes of independent study courses. Though the ways these types of courses were conducted are often essentially different, it is still agreeable that history has proven enough that they could effective in honing one’s skill and knowledge.

One of the traditional ways in conducting study courses like these is through the use of study module. These study modules contain everything that a person would have to learn about a particular course or domain. It is like a classroom that is compiled in a book as it contains chapters that uses conversational language in expressing the ideas and self-assessment exams at the end of every chapter. More often than not, a person who would assist and assess the student on his performance on the study course would also be involved in this kind of program.

The more popular faces of independent study courses these days are often conducted through the World Wide Web. In an online self-study course setup, students are provided electronic files that they can use in order to understand certain ideas and mechanisms related to the subject matter. Usually, the students of a self-study course are also given the opportunity to talk with an expert or to chat with other people who are also taking the same course through forums or electronic messaging applications.

Rates of Independent study courses

The cost of enrolling in independent study courses usually vary. There are institutions that are charging a considerable amount of money for this kind of programs since it would definitely require them to exert extra efforts in facilitating the learning programs of different individuals with varying types of learning abilities. Several leading universities and colleges such as Harvard and UC Berkeley, which are offering these kinds of programs through their extension schools, usually charge their students as high as $1,000-$3,000.

The good thing is that there are also some who are ready to offer this kind of service to people who are more than willing to learn something new. There are universities and colleges that are conducting open online classes to individuals who have an access to the internet. They are sending their students several course materials that they could study at their own pace and convenience. However, these institutions do not usually give academic credit to people who would be enrolling in these kinds of classes. Instead, they would just be giving certificates of accomplishments to people who would be attending their classes.


Levi Pace is a graduate teaching assistant and economics Instructor at University of Utah. You can reach him via linkedin.

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