All entries for Sunday 15 May 2011
May 15, 2011
Effective Learning Strategies
Since my dissertation deadlines are drawing closer, I decided to take this workshop to optimally use study skills in my research. During my last project which involved a lot of work and research, I read so much that I ended up unfocused when it came to putting down my finding on paper. One reason for that is that the lack of right harness of learning strategies in the right place.
Therefore, this workshop helped my learn about myself first and then decide on an action plan taking my Strengths and Weakness points as my launching pad for imroved and efficient learning according to SWAT scale. This action plan has the following points:
1- On a VARK scale, I came out as a very Aural/Oral learner because I prefer to listen and discuss learning. Hence, I will set up a small study group and meet regularly and discuss our learning plans and progress.
2- However, the best learning does not occur because of utilising our best abilities, it also involves improving the latent ones. I discovered a serious problem in my Visual abilities. Therefore, I will try as much as possible to read maps, diagrams, and flowsharts and even use them in my study notes in order to employ the two spheres in the brain. Flanagan suggests that we remember by reading, hearing, saying and mostly by doing new things that we learn.
3-It is not sufficient to just learn new things, but it is also important to memorise them. Studies show a downward diagram showing a decrease in the amount of information we remember as time progresses. The best way to counter this tendenacy is to Externalise the information that we learn in the sense that we learn for the sake of teaching the new information. As a result, we will be involved in a deep process of learning that will lead to a more profound memorisation of new information. The second thing to counter gradual forgetting of new information is to check regularly for how much we still hold of this information over time span and keep refreshing our memory during regular intervals.
4- Another strategy I intend to employ in my dissertation research is to use Cognitive and Metacognitive skills. Examples of these skills could be, using mnemoniics, organising and managing the learning process, and taking regular breaks. The most immense problem I have had was dragging myself to the right state of mind in order to start study. Therefore, an organised learning plan alongside appropriate employment of learning skills, and repetitive breaks will give me confidence and rejuvinate my state-of-mind to start working and researching.