May 15, 2011

Probing the Hidden Skills

                                                                       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.

SAM.


- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. Ceri Marriott

    Apologies for not having commented sooner on your blog entry, Sam, but as I am new to the university, it has taken a little while for me to get access to the blog site.
    You have obviously thought very hard about how to maximise your skills and your learning potential. It’s good that you have recognised not only how to develop your learning strengths further but also that you have a plan to develop your latent learning capabilities. Your action plan is very thorough in that it addresses practical issues you have with your learning and, very importantly, it is a plan which you can apply to all areas of your learning, including past learning on your MA, current and future learning.
    Your blog has in itself become a means to ‘externalise the information learnt’ from the workshop (as you express it), and I will be very interested to hear how your small study group progresses, how you get on with trying to incorporate visual elements into your learning and how your plans go to organise and manage future learning processes and recall.

    25 May 2011, 15:50


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