SELF — One term called self learning been popularized since pandemic hit our social life hard recently. Is it a new things? I don’t think so, at least for me. But before knowing about self learning as a term, I’m more familiar with autodidacticism. When we search about autodidacticism — I know its hard to spell it, also hard to type it though hahaha — we can found its definition. Autodidacticism or self education is education without the guidance of masters or institutions. The individuals choose the subjects they will study, their studying material, and the studying rhythm and time. After searching deeper about this term, I realize that obviously I’ve been doing this for years as my way to learn anything new.
How its started?
As far as I remember, I didn’t do much about self learning when I’m still on formal study, from elementary school until high school. But I remember about one time when I started to know about game, when I’m 10 years old. I have much privilege to have my first Playstation 1, even though I’m not born from rich family, it’s come as a birthday or grade-promotion gift from my father, I forgot about the details haha.
I loved playing RPG (Role-Play Game) genre, its full of story, puzzle, and imagination. You know on Playstation 1 era, its full of cool RPG game with a great story, from Final Fantasy series, Legend of Dragoon, Legend of Legaia, Wild Arms, Suikoden, and many more. But for Indonesian kids, all story will be nothing more than just a visuals, because we don’t speak English as mother language here. All RPG game comes with English as default language. I remember at that time, dictionary was my best friend. I always playing game with my dictionary beside me, and my brother beside me as well. Its almost impossible to play RPG without understanding about the story. Its a hard time yet exciting. But I think that’s how my self learning journey started. From a little boy who want to play a Role-Play Game.
Do that self learning come by itself or by external interest?
In a past workshop, I got some new information about ARCS Model of Motivation from John M. Keller. It’s Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction. I think its so related to what motivate us to do self learning. When we want to know about something, and we met all the ARCS, we will automatically have a motivation to learn that things.
Let say take a study case about me learning English while playing RPG experience. What the attention? I have an interest on to the way of RPG Games visualize the avatar and grab my imagination, so they get my attention to know about what’s going on there, what’s story behind that. Then the relevance, of course it’s relevant. Because the only way I could know about the story was by learning about how to read the text. All story comes with text and visual, but interpreting the story based on only the visual was not complete, we need to understand about the text beneath the visuals.
Then the confidence, because I already learn a bit about how to read dictionary, I confidence enough that I could know about the translation of the text. Even though I’m not understanding the whole content, I already got the context. Especially about the metaphor, its not supposed to be well understood by 10 years old boy which English isn’t his first language right. But at least I confidence enough that using this way, I could achieve my goals. Then the satisfaction, you know the feels when you know about a new things for the first time right? The aha moment! That’s what I got when I finish translating about some conversation, then understanding about what’s going on there. The satisfaction was instant enough to push me to continue learning.
On the whole concept, I think self learning need to come from internal interest instead of external interest. Since the ARCS model could easily met when its come from internal interest. But sometimes we need to have someone to give a clue or some little information before we do our job to self learning. We know that we have Google to search about any information, but what kind of information we can get without knowing about what keyword to be type? Take my bet that all of us might have experienced this at least once. When we want to know about something but getting stuck because we don’t know what the keyword related to that things we want to know. But after we know at least one keyword, we can searching the most part about what we want to know.
My latest experience about self learning
I have an experience about this. After I shutdown my packaging business at the middle of 2021, I discuss this decision to my mentor. Long story short, we discuss about the mitigation after the shutdown. Many days after that, my mentor got information about an information about a platform, he just know about a little part about the platform, and just giving me clue about the name of the platform and the main point about that platform. Because at that time I need to transfer my energy to something productive — because closing a business means we change direction and lose the daily activities that we used to do before — I decided to learn deeper about this platform. The platform was Gather Town.
I found out that that Gather Town is way cooler than I thought before, and there are many hidden function that we can explore deeper. After all the ARCS model met, the self learning process come in an easiest way that I can’t imagine before. Some months after I learn it, there are a contest which is held by Gather Town, I submitted a map and be a Top 10 around the world at that contest. Because of that I dare myself to open my new business around Gather Town as the product and get my first client not long after that.
Next month I try to submit a proposal to be a Gather Official Partner, and after long discussion about the criteria and administration, I got that badge, as the first person to be Gather Official Partner from Indonesia — As far as I know, because I’m the only one that using Indonesian badge on the Partner page. I can’t deny, but that’s a big achievement for me, and it will be a big milestone for my life experience.
Right now, 1 year after the discussion with my mentor, I already make a business using this business model. I also start getting client from around the world, from United Stated to Egypt, from United Kingdom to South Korea. It change my whole life right now, and I never getting this achievement on my past previous business. My debt never be cleaner than right now, and I believe it’s the power of self learning. Of course by the help from many people around me, thank to all of them from my deepest heart.
If the motive of self learning come from internal interest, it will doubled the result. Its giving more satisfaction to ourselves and of course making the process can be more sustainable. You can’t just asked by your lecturer to self learning about something, but don’t have any interest with it. The ARCS model wouldn’t achieved. Its simply because we don’t get the “A”. But as I said before, we need external parties to giving the beginning clue before we do our exploration.
Self learning is a booster
I believe that in the future, self learning will be the way we learn about anything. Teachers will only come as facilitators and consultants. You can call me as a person who believe that we can learn about anything we want, besides anything. Besides our past family condition, besides of our degree, besides anything! I took Chemical Engineering Degree and I also knowing about business right now. I learn about design and art, and also learn about game development right now. As long as we know about what to achieve, I think we can self learning about anything to achieve it. Ideas and information are scattering anywhere and we just need to compile and make it happen.
Using this method to learn need some basic training. We need to get used to be confused. We need to keep the way we curious about anything. Confusion and curiosity will be the fuel to do self learning. If you are a kind of person who always love to avoiding problems, I don’t think self learning will suit you.
Many people say that to learn, we need to be discipline. I don’t think so. In my humble opinion, to learn we need to be comfortable. Its true that sometimes we can get used with discipline and be comfortable with it. But its not for me. The point of self learning is we can choose our timeline and goals. As long as we learn something new, all is well! No pressure! You have your own milestone, you have your own timeline. Don’t get pressured by others milestone and timeline. Enjoy all the process. Nothing is too fast or too slow, we all walk on our own timeline.
So that’s all my story and opinion about self learning. It’s affect a lot aspect in my life. I love to use this way of learning as my main methods. Nothing can be more satisfying than learning about new things for me. I hope this short opinion can be a simple clue for you who want to start learning using self learning as the methods. If you have any discussion, we can discuss it anytime on comment section. See you on the next time, thankyou, sampai jumpa lagi!