Set your learning up

How effectively do you learn? Are you a graceful learner or a lurching learner? Here are some tips to help you learn nimbly based on the two kinds of prior knowledge you use when you learn:

  1. knowledge about the subject itself
  2. knowledge about how you learn.

The more of these learning strategies you use as you study, the more easily you can learn the material at hand as well as keep on learning about it.

  • Think about what you already know about a topic before you launch into learning more about it.
  • Draw pictures or diagrams to help you understand the subject.
  • Ask yourself questions to test your understanding as you’re learning.
  • Discuss what you’re learning with others and how you can apply it.
  • Go over the material in your mind until you confident you really know it.
  • Go back over material when you don’t fully understand it.
  • Make a note of things you don’t fully understand to follow up later.
  • When you complete an activity or assignment, look back over it to see how well you did and to fine-tune it.
  • Make a study plan to organise your time for learning and completing activities and assignments.

Try these strategies before you attend a class or workshop:

  • Think about the topic, what you already know about it and what might be important ideas to listen for.
  • Know what you will do to remember the key ideas.
  • Think about any questions you may have about the topic or how to apply it.

Enjoy your learning. See it as an important pathway to the future, not a chore!