Your path for most effective learning is through knowing
- your capacity to learn
- the process you have successfully used in the past
- interest, and knowledge of, the subject you wish to learn
It may be easy for you to learn physics but impossible to learn tennis, or vice versa.
All learning, however, is a process which settles into certain steps.
|Begin with the past||What was your experience about how you learn? Did you:|
What are your study habits? How did they evolve? Which worked best? worst?
- like to read? solve problems? memorize? recite? interpret? speak to groups?
- know how to summarize?
- ask questions about what you studied?
- have access to information from a variety of sources?
- like quiet or study groups?
- need several brief study sessions, or one longer one?
How did you communicate what you learned best? Through a written test, a term paper, an interview?
|Proceed to the present||How interested am I in this? |
How much time do I want to spend learning this?
What competes for my attention?
Are the circumstances right for success?
What can I control, and what is outside my control?
Can I change these conditions for success?
What affects my dedication to learning this?
Do I have a plan?
Does my plan consider my past experience and learning style?
|Consider the process, the subject matter||What is the heading or title?|
What are key words that jump out?
Do I understand them?
What do I know about this already?
Do I know related subjects?
What kinds of resources and information will help me?
Will I only rely on one source (for example, a textbook) for information?
Will I need to look for additional sources?
As I study, do I ask myself whether I understand?
Should I go more quickly or more slowly?
If I don't understand, do I ask why?
Do I stop and summarize?
Do I stop and ask whether it's logical?
Do I stop and evaluate (agree/disagree)?
Do I just need time to think it over and return later?
Do I need to discuss it with other "learners" in order to process the information?
Do I need to find an authority, such as a teacher, a librarian, or a subject-matter expert?
|Build in review||What did I do right?|
What could I do better?
Did my plan coincide with how I work with my strengths and weaknesses?
Did I choose the right conditions?
Did I follow through; was I disciplined with myself?
Did I succeed?
Did I celebrate my success?