2How to develop your learning skills Developing Business Practice –302LONUnit: 1 Knowledgecast: 2
3Module Learning Outcomes In this Knowledgecast, we will:Analyse a range of learning styles and the factors that influence successful studyEvaluate current academic, self-marketing and personal skills and present a plan for developing skillsDiscuss the value of reflection and self-evaluation as a learnerIn this Knowledgecast, we will cover 3 key areas:An understanding of the cycle of learning, and how each stage is critical to learn effectively, by using a model used in management literature and in management training in organisationsHow the concept of learning styles could contribute an awareness of your strengths and areas for you to develop to learn successfully from a range of environmentsSet the scene for the use of your learning journal throughout the course of this module, focusing on the skill of reflection as one of the leading methods used by most Professional Bodies in demonstrating competence and Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
4Module OverviewUnit1Developing as a learner2Working independently and with others3Academic writing4Critical thinking, reading and taking notes5Using data in your studies6Business and management research7Career development strategies8Effective self marketing tools9Successful work experience10Personal Development PlanningThe modules is built around 3 Elements critical to supporting students make the transition into CULC and for success in their first career step:Lifelong learning skillsSkills for successful 21st century careersYour Personal Development Planning
5How Do You Learn Effectively? The most effective learners:Are clear about what they need to learnActively acquire knowledge and skillsUse a range of skills to enhance their ability to learn, retain and recall information and skillsIn our first Knowledgecast, we looked at Step 1:Developing an awareness of what potential employers are looking for in new graduates by developing your knowledge of the context of the graduate recruitment marketUnderstanding how CULC curriculum has been designed to meet your needs to succeed in the global business environmentHow to use Programme and Module Learning Outcomes to understand and plan your study goalsIn this Knowledgecast, we will directly address Steps 2 and 3 by:developing an understanding the theories and models of learning and learning stylesapplying these to a process used both in your studies and in your ongoing professional development.
6How Do People Learn?Kolb’s Learning CycleExperienceReflectionTheoriseExperimentThere are many different schools of thought on how individuals learn. One approach looks at what motivates us as human beings to learn – such as reward and punishment. Another approach considers the process of learning taking into account individual’s preferences and styles.The model suggests that ideas and experience are a connected and integrated process. Learning:Starts with an experienceThat experience is reflected uponWe try to conceptualise what happened and formulate a theory or a set of predictionsWe then test out our theory
7How Do People Learn?Kolb’s Learning CycleExperienceReflectionTheoriseExperimentKey Principles are:Learning is a continuous cycle, there is no end only another learning experienceLearners need to actively learn about and experiment in their environmentReflection and internalising experiences are key stages in effective learningManagers have to be constantly aware of their own behaviours to continually improve their performanceKolb’s (1985) Learning Cycle is probably one of the most commonly used models of learning in management texts and in organisations for management development. We’re using this model because it directly links with the concept of learning styles. In simple terms, what influences how people learn effectively and individual preferences for learning. More about learning styles in the next slides.How does this apply to me?Can help to understand the basic stages that contribute to learningCan help identify your strengths and the areas you need to develop to improve your learningCan help identify areas which are preventing you from learning effectivelyKolb argues that managers should be constantly in situations where they can apply ideas and learn from their experience using a range of feedback sources
8Honey & Mumford Learning Styles ActivistReflectorTheoristPragmatistHoney and Mumford adapted and simplified Kolb’s Learning Cycle to define 4 learning styles and the patterns of behaviour that would be observed when engaged in this style of learning.Activists:- 'here and now', enthusiastic, seek challenge and immediate experience, open-minded, can quickly become bored with long term routines.Reflectors:- 'stand back', gather data, observe and analyse, cautious in reaching conclusions, listen before speaking, thoughtful and focus on the big picture.Theorists:- ‘think things through in logical steps’, assimilate disparate facts into coherent theories, rationally objective, reject subjectivity and flippancy.Pragmatists:- ‘experiment and try out new ideas’, practical, down-to-earth, enjoy problem solving and decision-making happens quickly, bored with long-term discussions.Key Questions and Responses:1. Can anyone identify with one of these descriptions?- Most people can. This is one of the strengths of the model. The questionnaire used to identify your learning style shows the extent to which you have a preference for each.2. Do you think it is possible to have more than preference?Yes, think back to Kolb’s model which argues that each stage of learning must be engaged with for effective learning to take place3. Is one style of learning better than another?- No. Each style is important. The ideal learner is one who can work through each stage.
9Honey & Mumford Learning Styles ActivistReflectorTheoristPragmatistHow can I use this information?Effective learners will be able to learn in all 4 stylesIdentify your strengths or preferred learning styleReflect on your past experiences of learning where learning was not successfulIdentify opportunities to learn using each of the 4 stylesHoney and Mumford have developed a series of questionnaires to help individuals to identify:their preferred learning style where they are more comfortable and most likely to focus their attentionidentify which learning styles that are underusedplan their development to ensure that they are equipped to operate in all 4 stylesThe questionnaire is also used in organisations as a teambuilding exercise to:Develop an awareness of shared learning stylesIdentify diversity in a team and the range of behaviours that can be observed in a team settingOpen discuss how different individuals experience working together. For example, how might an Activist feel about working directly with a Theorist?Apply learning styles to using a team’s strengths and identifying where potential weaknesses may be in the make up of the team. For example, if a team has no member with a clear preference for Reflection, how might the team actively learn from experience and apply feedback to any future activities
10Visual Auditory Kinesthetic Learning Style Commonly referred to as VAK Learning Styles, this approach to learning styles has its origins in a field of psychology known as Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). The basis for this approach is that people vary in their dominate sense, and that we use our senses as an integral part of the learning process.This model of learning styles suggests that we use 3 senses:Visual learners have a preference for seeing (think in pictures; visual aids such as overhead slides, diagrams, handouts, etc.).Auditory learners best learn through listening (lectures, discussions, tapes, etc.).Tactile is another word for kinesthetic learners prefer to learn via experience—moving, touching, and doing (active exploration of the world; science projects; experiments, etc.).In practice, what might see some students:Feel drawn to the way the slide has been created with the use of the letters and wordsFeel drawn to the sound of the acronym usedFeel the need to write the words down themselves in their own notes and some explanatory information for VAKIt has been argued that this approach is most commonly used in teaching, by using a range of methods to draw the attention of all 3 senses.Students can also use the model to identify their learning style and maximize their educational experience by focusing on what benefits them the most.There are many interpretations of this approach to learning style, and today you can find many free online learning style questionnaires. One of the most widely used is VARK based on the work by Fleming (1987) who split Visual into two parts – V as symbolic, and R as written.
11Surface vs. Deep Learning Surface LearningMeeting course requirementsUnclear purposeLittle sense-making or applicationDeep LearningUnderstanding ideas for yourselfActive interest in the subjectRelate new ideas to previous knowledge and experienceMore likely to improve recall and performanceSurface LearningWhen and why students might take this approach?Studying without being clear about the purpose and application of the knowledge or skillsFocusing on ‘just getting by’Feeling under pressureEmphasis on memorising facts but not applying it in a specific contentDeep LearningBenefits to taking this approachDemonstrates an active interest in the subjectMake links or look for patterns that are consistent/inconsistent with your own knowledge and experienceMore likely to be able to be recalled for future useCameron (2009) suggests there is third approach – Strategic Approach, blending surface and deep learning to achieve best results within confines of time and resourcesKey Question and Response:1. Why do you think Cameron argues for a Strategic Approach to learning?- Reflects the reality of life with pressures on your time and attention- You may choose to prioritise certain learning experiences over other
12Key Skills in Deep Learning Identifying the most useful materialsMaking notes in the most useful way for youMaking links between course materialsCreating sequences of eventsReview and reflectionOver the course of this module, we will be considering each of these steps:Using effective research methods and sources of informationMaking notes in a manner that is efficient and tailored to your needsAnalysis of complex data and methods to present your findingsIn the final part of this Knowledgecast, we will focus on the skill of reflection as a way of continually learning about your experience and application of new skills and knowledge.
13Reflection: What is reflective practice? Kolb’s (1984) Learning CycleAn experience is:reflected upona theory is then createdthat theory is tested‘In its broadest sense reflective practice involves the critical analysis of everyday working practices to improve competence and promote professional development. ‘ (Clouder,2000: 211)Reflection is essentially an honest dialogue between you and your journal based around a set of questions, or perhaps based only around your emotions, relating to an experience.Reflection links back to our model of Kolb’s Learning CycleExperience is first reflected upon, a theory is then created and then tested or experimentedRelates also to Deep learning where you are actively engaged in the process of understanding and applying new information or experiences in a manner that is relevant and important to meet your own needs or goals.There are many different competing definitions of refection and reflective practice (the use of reflection). The Clouder quote highlights:Requires demonstrating critical thinking (one of our Core Skills from QAA)You are reflecting on events that happen in our daily livesThe purpose is to enhance our deep learning process to improve our capabilitiesOne of the key tools used by many Professional Bodies/Organisations to assess an individual’s ability to demonstrate competence against professional standards. Reflection is also a key skill used by individuals in their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) to learn from experience and plan for future scenarios where they will need to demonstrate enhanced performance.Further references:Clouder, L. (2000). Reflective Practice in Physiotherapy. Studies in Higher Education. 25 (2)
14Reflection: How do you do it? Schedule sufficient time to reflect on your experiencesBeing clear about what specific experience you are reflecting onChoose a suitable method to record your reflectionsUse the skill of ‘critical thinking’ to consider ideas and evidenceBe honest with yourself about your thoughts and your feelingsBe open to feedback- There is still a lot of debate about the process of reflection.- What we know is that universities, professional bodies and management/executive development programmes are all now focusing on this key transferable skill to equip individuals with the ability to learn through experience – a key lifelong learning skillsLet’s focus on Cameron’s (2009) approach to Reflection.A simple and well structured approachThe key for anyone engaged in the process of ‘reflection’ is that they follow some simple guidelinesBut it is equally important that you adapt the process to meet your own style of learning
155 Key Questions in Reflection How did that go?How do I feel about the experience?What did I learn from it? What did I fail to learn?How might I have learned more effectively?What will I do differently in the future to help me learn better?Source: Cameron (2009)So what do you write about when you are ‘reflecting’?There is much debate about whether there should be a prescribed approach to the process of reflection.If you focus on the 6 steps (previous slide) then you are already making good progressOne approach to reflection is to simply start writing about an experience and when you ‘dry up’ you will have captured all the most important features. Some people however may find this too abstractIt may be helpful to think about these questions as a structure to your thoughts. The key with reflection is to choose a set of questions and a method of recording them that:Is easy for you to useIs efficient for you to useMakes you want to do itRecords information that you can easily analyse, interpret and plan your ongoing developmentAt the end of this module, you will be required to submit a Personal Development Plan.Your plan will be built on a broad range of data about yourself, data that you will have gathered throughout this module.You will need to demonstrate that you have kept a journal over the duration of this module.Take a look at Cameron (2009) Chapter 3 and choose for yourself your own style of recording your reflections.
16Maximising Your Learning Prepare in advanceListen and take good notesTake an active role in the experienceAsk questions to clarify your own understandingWork with othersDo the follow upReflect on the experienceIn summary, there are some simple but important steps to develop your learning skills.To maximise your learning:Consider how consistently you follow each of these 7 stepsIdentify areas you are going to develop in your first Quadmester (and not just in this module), and plan how you are going to achieve these learning goalsConsider where your strengths lie and make use of these, at the same time as developing your areas of concern
17What are we going to cover next? In our next Knowledgecast, we will:Analyse a range of learning styles and the factors that influence successful study.Evaluate current academic, self-marketing and personal skills and present a plan for developing skillsDemonstrate a critical understanding of the importance of independence in learning and the need for a ‘growth’ mindsetDefine the 5 elements required to successfully manage your studiesDescribe two theories of motivation and identify how you can relate these to managing your own motivation in your studies and at workExplain SMART objectives and identify the benefits of regular reviews to check progressDiscuss how time management techniques can improve your ability to manage your workload
18Knowledgecast Summary In this Knowledgecast, we have looked at:Analyse a range of learning styles and the factors that influence successful studyTwo approaches to learning styles and how you can identify your preferences for learning and your development needsEvaluate current academic, self-marketing and personal skills and present a plan for developing skillsDiscuss the value of reflection and self-evaluation as a learnerKolb’s theory of learning and the importance of reflection in the cycle of effective learningKolb’s theory of learning and the importance of reflection in the cycle of effective learningTwo approaches to learning styles and how you can identify your preferences for learning and your development needsReflection as a key Lifelong Learning skill and how to start using this skill in your everyday working practices
20Seminar Student Introductions Background information Study & career aspirationsUsing Learning Outcomes to plan your studiesQAA Core SkillsProgramme and Module Learning Outcomes
21Group Activity Getting yourself organised to learn Setting up your Learning JournalExploring your Learning Styles
22Suggested Portfolio Structure My Learning JournalUnit 1 etcSelf Awareness DocumentsLearning StylesReading on Lifelong LearningCareer Search InformationCVsBackground Information on IndustriesPersonal Development PlanTemplateCurrent Version