Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Learning how to learn

Some of you may realise you aren't studying/revising effectively. For example you put in hours of studying and mugging time and can't remember a single thing, or you are so easily distracted and keep having suddent thoughts of every other matter except the subject you're staring with your eyes

1 possible reason for this is perhaps you did not study in a way to suit your learning style.
For example, I remember things by reading and then writing them down in my own words. I create summaries of keypoints and also include the difficult questions that I was unable to solve. Even though the textbooks or notes already have summaries but I still write my OWN NOTES (not copy the teacher's summary). Because only somebody who had fully understood the topic is able to write their own summary.
I also try to imagine or visualise things in thin air. Not sure how many of you can do this but can you try to do multiplication 123 x 54 by imagining you're writing the long multiplication method on an imaginary whiteboard in front of you, without moving your fingers? If you can do this, you would be able to imagine or visulise how electricity flows, how the molecules vibrate when you change the temperature etc.

Take this short survey to find your learning style, and perhaps you can change the way you do your work to make it more effective!

This is Mr Guay's learning style:

The results of Hansen Guay's learning inventory are:

Visual/Nonverbal 22 Visual/Verbal 26 Auditory 18 Kinesthetic 30

Your primary learning style is: The Tactile/ Kinesthetic Learning Style

You learn best when physically engaged in a "hands on" activity. In the classroom, you benefit from a lab setting where you can manipulate materials to learn new information. You learn best when you can be physically active in the learning environment.

You benefit from instructors who encourage in-class demonstrations, "hands on" student learning experiences, and field work outside the classroom. Strategies for the Tactile/ Kinesthetic Learner: To help you stay focused on class lecture, sit near the front of the room and take notes throughout the class period. Don't worry about correct spelling or writing in complete sentences. Jot down key words and draw pictures or make charts to help you remember the information you are hearing.

When studying, walk back and forth with textbook, notes, or flashcards in hand and read the information out loud.

Think of ways to make your learning tangible, i.e. something you can put your hands on. For example, make a model that illustrates a key concept. Spend extra time in a lab setting to learn an important procedure. Spend time in the field (e.g. a museum, historical site, or job site) to gain first-hand experience of your subject matter.

To learn a sequence of steps, make 3'x 5' flashcards for each step. Arrange the cards on a table top to represent the correct sequence. Put words, symbols, or pictures on your flashcards -- anything that helps you remember the information. Use highlighter pens in contrasting colors to emphasize important points. Limit the amount of information per card to aid recall. Practice putting the cards in order until the sequence becomes automatic. When reviewing new information, copy key points onto a chalkboard, easel board, or other large writing surface.

Make use of the computer to reinforce learning through the sense of touch. Using word processing software, copy essential information from your notes and textbook. Use graphics, tables, and spreadsheets to further organize material that must be learned.

Listen to audio tapes on a Walkman tape player while exercising. Make your own tapes containing important course information.

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