Independent Directed Studies

What is an Independent Directed Studies course?

An IDS course provides students who have an interest or passion with the unique opportunity to pursue this subject in greater depth and receive grade 10, 11 or 12 credits towards graduation. Courses are an extension of one or more learning outcomes already identified in an existing coure. They must be rigorous and developed through a consultative process involving the student and the teachers with standards designed to maintain a high level of quality in the work undertaken.

What are the benefits of participating in an IDS course?

Students who take an IDS course must be motivated and able to demonstrate their ability to initiate their own learning and to work independently. In addition to these skills, an Independent Directed Studies course provides a student the opportunity to:

  • develop and refine research skills
  • develop collaboration and networking skills
  • reach beyond conventional course boundaries
  • develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • work with others who share similar interests on a local or global basis
  • work with recognized community leaders
  • add a unique dimension to their portfolio
  • develop skills that prepare them for post-secondary success

How do I apply for an IDS course?

Students identify a focus area of interest and meet with their school’s IDS advisor about the program requirements. They will then need to find a mentor (teacher, parent, community member) who can commit to providing guidance and support to enable them to complete the specified learning outcomes of the course.

Students must complete and submit a formal application to the IDS advisor for approval. Successful applicants will then work with their mentor to identify and develop the specific learning outcomes. These will include:

  • a process for ongoing facilitation and monitoring
  • a process for evaluation and assessment and criteria for successful completion
  • a timeframe for completion
  • credit value to be assigned

How many credits are assigned to an IDS course?

Students can choose to earn one, two, three or four credits. This will depend on the number of learning outcomes, depth of the proposal and the number of hours allocated for completion and will be predetermined at the time of the application. Courses can be taken outside of the student’s regular timetable.

For more information see a counsellor or Career Programs Advisor at your secondary school