They're not pre-recorded, and I think a big part of it is a bi-weekly meeting with Jim to talk face to face (or VideoChat).
The way he's been doing it with me, it's half analysis and half working on my own material.
I had to choose a story I really cared about making, and as I'm analyzing films (separate from my story) we are also working on understanding, refining and getting the most out of the story I want to tell.
Beyond this, I believe, is certification as a Story Expert which involves dissecting a story down to all the elements involved in the entire storyform.
It's not "self-directed," but one definitely has to be self-motivated to keep up.
It's a LOT of work, but so far it's all been worth it.