Independent Studies: What You Need to Know

As training continues to shift to an online world, do you know the different types of online trainings? One type is the Independent Study.

What is an Independent Study? An Independent Study is an instructor-led approach where the instructor and participant are separated by place or time. An instructor assigns lessons and exercises, and participants work independently yet have regular contact with the instructor by phone or email communication.

All Independent Studies should be interactive between participants and trainers. Trainers should monitor assignments, lessons and exercises. If any of these need to be reworked, then the trainer should ask the participants to fix it. Participants work independently but should also be communicating with the trainer. Participants should have a way of reaching out to the trainer for questions, submitting assignments, etc.

Please remember that the Independent Study should take as much time as you are assigning credit for. For example, if you are giving 2 hours credit for an Independent Study, then the total time that it should take a participant to finish should be two hours. (Example: Power point 30 minutes, video 10 minutes, and 2 assignments at 30 minutes each with a reflection and evaluation at the end for 20 minutes). These assignments should reflect the time that it will take to complete.

As of the new regulations in 2021, all independent studies must be pre-approved through ECE-TRIS. The approval process will address key quality areas/questions:

· Written Course outline with objectives

· Identifying types of specific training delivery modes

· Review of support documentation and activities: Do these align with objectives?

· Cited Resources

Is your Independent Study asynchronous? Asynchronous learning is a form of education, instruction, and learning that occurs at different times and different places and may be accessed individually by trainees.

If you need assistance in developing Independent Studies, please reach out to your Regional Training Coach.