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February 02, 2013
Follow-up to 3rd FOLLOW UP BLOG FOR EFFECTIVE LEARNING STRATEGIES from Yentl's WSPA blog
In previous blogs, I mentioned different strategies to improve my learning and working. For the current entry, I will be focusing on how these strategies have been useful to my study at Warwick. The strategies are to set realistic goals, set deadlines to start a task and to reward myself when goal is achieved.
I am currently collecting data for my dissertation, and recruiting participants is one of the tasks. As undergraduates are not allowed to pay for participants, recruiting participants is very difficult. I need to recruit a certain number of participants in two weeks, to cope with this; I planned a deadline to start recruiting participants. At the moment, I am 2 participants away from the goal and it has only been a week. I feel very satisfied with it and with the fact that I did not wait till the last minute to recruit participants like I used to do.
Apart from my dissertation, my workload is very high, and as mentioned before, I found it very difficult to focus on one task. One of the reasons why I could not focus was because I always watch TV series online and check facebook constantly, therefore, I have limited myself to one episode per day and that if I do not achieve the goal that I set every day, I will not allow myself to check facebook. However, when I do achieve target set, I will award myself, such as letting myself play “candy crush saga” on facebook. Also, I mentioned that in Hong Kong, I would go library to work and I could focus better. At Warwick, I am doing the same; I usually work in the library in the evening when it is not crowded. Moreover, afternoon and the evening are the times that I work and learn best, therefore I normally work during these times.
My action points from now on are to set myself deadlines to start doing certain tasks, such as an assignment, and work in the afternoon and the evening.
January 01, 2013
Follow-up to 2nd FOLLOW UP BLOG FOR EFFECTIVE LEARNING STRATEGIES from Yentl's WSPA blog
I had had problems with working at home since coming back to Hong Kong as mentioned in the past entries, recently, however a wireless is set up at home and have sped up my working progress. It has saved travel time to the library, and more time is spent on work, both that requires internet and don't.
As mentioned last time, I became more realistic with plans and to set up deadlines for starting tasks. Having said that, I still had trouble following plans, the reason being that I was pre-occupied with working experiences this holiday and so I simply cannot carry out my plans. Now that I am finished with the work experiences, I am most certain that I will be able to do tasks as planned. I have set up goals to finish one assignment this week and another one next week, after handing them in, I will work on my law firm applications.
Since deciding to reward myself when appropriate as oppose to whenever, my work process has sped up significantly. I normally reward myself with time to check facebook, treat myself with a nice chocolate bar or watch a TV episode. I have also continued to blog before I work, other than blogging, I figure that working in the library or working at an area where other people are present helps boost my work efficiency; this could be to work at a cafe or the kitchen.
December 27, 2012
This week, I will continue working in the library for as long as I can. I found that sometimes I made an effort to go library but I could not stay for long as I would get tired, also, the library provides wireless which comes with distractions such as Facebook and email.
As suggested by the tutor, I should plan what my work is, what needs internet and what doesn¡¦t. During daytime, I aim to finish work that require internet in the library, and at night, I aim to finish those that don¡¦t require internet as the library is closed at 8pm. Having said this, it is not easy to carry out as I am shadowing a barrister and a judge at the moment, most of my daytime is used to work with them, and I only get around two hours max a day for the work that requires internet.
However, two hours a day is definitely not enough, as the work that require internet include online applications to law firms and researches for my assignments. One method that might mitigate this problem is to download the articles that are useful for my assignments in the library, and read them at home at night, by doing this, my time at the library can be utilised to work on online applications.
Another problem mentioned at the start was my tiredness while working in the library; I find that going for a walk, breathing in fresh air helps to wake me up. However, as mentioned by the tutor, I should reward myself when appropriate as oppose to whenever, I would reward myself with a walk or go on Facebook or to check emails after finishing an online application or anything similar to that.
December 14, 2012
Last week, I mentioned that my main problem was that I plan absolutely everything but I often find it difficult to start or to stick to the plan. Throughout the past week, I still found this a problem some times; however, it did improve in terms of frequency.
I was more realistic about my plans, for instance, finish one application for one law firm and read one chapter for a module in a day. Being more realistic definitely helped to finish tasks more effectively; however, I was often distracted by things around me. For example, while working on an application, I would browse around other websites, slowing down the whole process, at the end of the day I would find myself not finishing an application or the work that I intended to finish.
I realised that distractions in the environment hinder me from sticking to the plan. Since realising this, I have started to work in a library. Also, I worked much more efficient when I have no access to the internet (at home in Hong Kong, there is no wireless). However, this is not a feasible solution as a lot of the academic work require internet access; therefore, a better way to minimise distractions is to change the environment that I work in.
I also found that setting up deadlines to start a task very useful as I react best to deadlines, on top of that, setting myself into the 'focus mood' definitely put me into a zone where I find it much easier to focus on my work. I have mentioned in the last entry that blogging puts me into the 'focus zone'; in fact, having a schedule to blog motivates me to be more organised with my other work!
I wish that my skills would improve more and more over the next term as the next two terms will be the busiest terms during my undergraduate life!
December 03, 2012
Workshop Tutor: Han-Na Cha
My intention to sign up for this workshop was to learn about effective learning, I have always had problems in this particular area.
One of the real benefits of this workshop was that the tutor let us talk about our problems with learning, and would help us see what the real problem is. I mentioned that I plan absolutely everything, but I find it hard to start or to stick to the plan. This pattern was actually shown when I participated in a memorising activity in the workshop! I was suggested a method to solve this- create a more realistic plan and set deadlines to start tasks instead of deadlines to finish tasks.
We were asked to brain storm on particular subjects, and discuss our ideas with the tutor. This allowed us to actively think about a subject/ matter, one of the subjects was on factors that hinder or help learning. It came as no surprise that we all know what hinder and help learning, but often we neglect the factors, i.e., let whatever that hinders us go on hindering us. We then learn about the strategies that helps to avoid the hindering factors.
I also learnt about the type of learner that I am by doing the VARK questionnaire, and I am an aural learner which I expected.
Setting deadlines for starting a tasks.
Action: whatever deadlines I have, I will plan a deadline to start instead of just writing down the deadline to finish. I am applying to 30 law firms for vacation schemes, at the mean time, I have 2 essays and an internship this christmas, so I have set up deadlines to do certain tasks.
Be realistic about the plans.
Action: In the past, I would set up unrealistic plans like reading 2 chapters (around 80 pages), participating in 3 hour long dance practices and revising all in one day. I have recently however set up more realistic plans, reading 1 chapter per day with the intention to really understand what the chapter is about.
learn and study like an aural learner should.
Action: Reading out the notes instead of just writing. Purchase a recorder when I go back to Hong Kong this christmas, for recording in lectures and also to record myself reading out the notes to boost memories.
Getting myself ready to study.
Action: It is always hard to go straight to work after getting out of bed or finishing a sporting activity for me, therefore, I will start off by doing something that would set me into the 'focusing-mood'. Today, I realised that working on this blog set me into the 'focusing-mood', and hopefully, this will help me focus on revising for a test.
To write a follow up, go to http://go.warwick.ac.uk/skills//blog