Introduction. In the specialized literature the concept of self-directed learning is linked with personality traits, learning environment or learning process. In the literature we find that there is a correlation between self-directed learning and some personal traits from the “Big Five” model of personality, including extraversion, agreeableness, openness and conscientiousness. Self-directed learning is also influenced by the learning environment, which consists of teaching environment, learning environment, technology and administrative support. In a “traditional” learning environment, the teacher defines the learning goals, delivers the knowledge and evaluates the student’s ability to memorize the specific delivered knowledge. The student’s learning needs are rather seen homogeneous than heterogeneous. In a self-directed learning environment, the student takes the initiative, defines his own strategies of learning specific goals and evaluates his evolution in pursuing a certain learning goal. Seen as a process, the self-directed learning can be structured in certain steps like: defining the steps of learning from easy to difficult; establishing an own calendar of learning; evaluating his own learning progress etc.
Aim of the study. The aim of this article is to understand the concept of self-directed learning and to explore how to use self-directed learning in an educational environment, in order to find the appropriate qualitative and/or quantitative methodology to study the self-directed learning concept.
Keywords: self-directed learning, personality traits, communication skills, economic education, motivation.
JEL Classification: D83, I21, P36