After figuring out your learning-style last week, it’s time to learn the different techniques that work best for you.
*Note – Techniques used by each style can work and be useful to the other styles. Just because one may statistically be better for one does not mean it won’t work for you. Try them all and experiment a little.
Active Learner Techniques
If you are an active learner and you’re creating your own class or in a class that doesn’t meet your needs, then these are some specific techniques that work with your brain chemistry.
1. Find a way to discuss the subject with others.
This could be anyone, but it is preferable to have someone who knows as much as you do and has an interest in the subject, or is a subject matter expert. This could be someone who studies it themselves or is a professional in the business. The key is to find someone who you can talk with who can expand what you’re studying as well as put it in a realistic perspective of how it works in practice.
A key provision of this strategy is finding a mentor who will consistently work with you to expand your knowledge as you learn the practice of what you’re trying to learn. Mentors are the most important and effective way to learn a subject and make it applicable to the real world. It should be utilized by all learning styles.
2. Create a Problem Solving Activity
Look for ways you can apply your new knowledge. This entails looking how to use it in your everyday life or artificially creating a situation where you could use it. This could be doing an already created activity (From the Internet) or creating and running your own experiment to verify the information (Also from the Internet).
A good example of this is if you wanted to learn to trade stocks. You could actually trade stocks or you could use free web programs that give you fake money to trade on the real stock exchange so you can learn and test your own abilities and strategies.
3. Use what you learn.
The final and best way to learn something is to actually do it. This entails going out and doing it. Go to a place where you can use your knowledge and practice what you learned.
Public Speaking = Toastmasters International Club
Engineering = Build a shed
Programming = Design a program that solves a problem you have
Business management = Start a Business
Etc. = etc.
Just do the hands-on work and you as an active learner will succeed.
Reflective Learner Techniques
If you are a reflective learner and you’re creating your own class or in a class that doesn’t meet your needs, then these are some specific techniques that work best with your mental inclinations.
1. Figure out your optimal ratio of learning to breaking.
Reflective learners are notorious for having gestation periods where they need to take the information and let it develop and settle. These can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days.
The key here is to find out how long your gestation period is by experimenting with your own mind. Meaning you research the information and try to learn it. Then take a break to find out how long it takes to digest the information. You can find out your best combination of learning to digesting by choosing to learn something for a certain amount of time and then measuring how long it takes before you know it.
A Good Example:
Study for an hour. Break for an hour. See what you remember.
Repeat using 2 hours of study to 1 hour of breaking.
Repeat using any combination of times until you find your optimal learning to digesting ratio.
2. Find a good place or activity that helps you learn and gestate.
Where do you learn most comfortable?
Is it at home? A coffee shop? Or library?
Where do gestate the best and retain the most information you learn?
Learn best by finding the place your most comfortable but not easily distracted.
3. Think of possible questions or applications of what you learn as you learn.
While you think and gestate the information you learn, you need to make connections between what you learned to what you will learn by thinking up questions you have of what you did learn and what you hope to learn in the next bout of learning. This helps connect the information to your mind, storyboarding it.
Another technique is to think of ways you could apply this information to the real world and what you do on a regular basis. This will help cement the information to concrete examples.
4. Write summaries (How-To Lists) of what you learn in your own words.
Having reflective traits myself, this blog is the epitome of this technique. Taking in new information, learning it, applying it to gain experience, and then finally writing a blog about it to show my understanding. This is the basis of what all reflective learners must do.
If we didn't cover your learning style this week. No worries. All will be covered in good time.
#2: Learn-to-Learn (Part 2 – Sequential and Global Learning Techniques)
See you then.