Building on from the learning styles and theories I have covered, it is clear to see that although they target multiple learning groups; they fail to underpin any techniques, skills and strategies to become an effective learner.
“Many students can perform and obtain good results, but that itself may be insufficient to make them effective learners. Often the distinction between performance and learning is blurred and many students have difficulty reflecting on how they can learn to become better learners” (Gavin Reed & Shannon Green 2009). As you can see from this quote; within a school environment the focus is results orientated, which is deceptive given children cannot build up their learning techniques without reflection.
Reflection is key to becoming an effective learner, to reflect on what has been learned and from this reflective period, plan for positive change. Developing reflective learning improves critical thinking, analytical skills and self-awareness. As a learner there are simple skills that will strengthen, build and improve a reflective style.
One technique involves becoming more observational, especially in social scenarios that do not directly involve you. Focus your attention towards people’s characteristics and behaviour during conversation. This technique can be built upon with logging or capturing moments throughout the day, providing a structure to reflect and review; gaining further insights into learning. There are various forms used to capture moments throughout the day the most common being diaries; “… diaries were a useful tool for transformation reflection, providing them with opportunities to […] express their learning style in a personal way…” (John Biggs and Catherine Tang 2011)
As with most techniques, especially ones that require daily input like diary keeping; if you have a tendency to procrastinate it becomes difficult to maintain dedication and concentration. Overcoming an inability to concentrate is another skill enabling efficient and effective learning. There is countless websites, books and articles all devoted to numerous suggestions on dealing with procrastination.
“Instead of dealing with our delays, we excuse ourselves from them-self-deception and procrastination often go hand-in-hand” (Piers Steel 2011) this approach leads to anxiety and a feeling of ‘what could have been’. “Throughout history, great thinkers have noted the connection between the failure to take action and the building up of the feeling of anxiety” (LEAP 2011). Removing this sense of anxiety requires motivational strategies. An Example of the most common motivational strategies consist of; setting realistic targets/goals, planning rewards, using positive self-talk and simply just getting started.
The setting of realistic targets and goals lowers the burden, stopping self-doubt from creeping in. If you set achievable targets maintaining expectation levels for yourself, you’re more likely to accomplish the tasks in hand....