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How to develop your learning skills

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Presentation on theme: "How to develop your learning skills"— Presentation transcript:


2 How to develop your learning skills
Developing Business Practice –302LON Unit: 1 Knowledgecast: 2

3 Module Learning Outcomes
In this 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 skills Discuss the value of reflection and self-evaluation as a learner In 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 organisations How 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 environments Set 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)

4 Module Overview Unit 1 Developing as a learner 2 Working independently and with others 3 Academic writing 4 Critical thinking, reading and taking notes 5 Using data in your studies 6 Business and management research 7 Career development strategies 8 Effective self marketing tools 9 Successful work experience 10 Personal Development Planning The 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 skills Skills for successful 21st century careers Your Personal Development Planning

5 How Do You Learn Effectively?
The most effective learners: Are clear about what they need to learn Actively acquire knowledge and skills Use a range of skills to enhance their ability to learn, retain and recall information and skills In 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 market Understanding how CULC curriculum has been designed to meet your needs to succeed in the global business environment How to use Programme and Module Learning Outcomes to understand and plan your study goals In this Knowledgecast, we will directly address Steps 2 and 3 by: developing an understanding the theories and models of learning and learning styles applying these to a process used both in your studies and in your ongoing professional development.

6 How Do People Learn? Kolb’s Learning Cycle Experience Reflection Theorise Experiment There 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 experience That experience is reflected upon We try to conceptualise what happened and formulate a theory or a set of predictions We then test out our theory

7 How Do People Learn? Kolb’s Learning Cycle Experience Reflection Theorise Experiment Key Principles are: Learning is a continuous cycle, there is no end only another learning experience Learners need to actively learn about and experiment in their environment Reflection and internalising experiences are key stages in effective learning Managers have to be constantly aware of their own behaviours to continually improve their performance Kolb’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 learning Can help identify your strengths and the areas you need to develop to improve your learning Can help identify areas which are preventing you from learning effectively Kolb argues that managers should be constantly in situations where they can apply ideas and learn from their experience using a range of feedback sources

8 Honey & Mumford Learning Styles
Activist Reflector Theorist Pragmatist Honey 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 place 3. Is one style of learning better than another? - No. Each style is important. The ideal learner is one who can work through each stage.

9 Honey & Mumford Learning Styles
Activist Reflector Theorist Pragmatist How can I use this information? Effective learners will be able to learn in all 4 styles Identify your strengths or preferred learning style Reflect on your past experiences of learning where learning was not successful Identify opportunities to learn using each of the 4 styles Honey 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 attention identify which learning styles that are underused plan their development to ensure that they are equipped to operate in all 4 styles The questionnaire is also used in organisations as a teambuilding exercise to: Develop an awareness of shared learning styles Identify diversity in a team and the range of behaviours that can be observed in a team setting Open 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

10 Visual 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 words Feel drawn to the sound of the acronym used Feel the need to write the words down themselves in their own notes and some explanatory information for VAK It 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.

11 Surface vs. Deep Learning
Surface Learning Meeting course requirements Unclear purpose Little sense-making or application Deep Learning Understanding ideas for yourself Active interest in the subject Relate new ideas to previous knowledge and experience More likely to improve recall and performance Surface Learning When and why students might take this approach? Studying without being clear about the purpose and application of the knowledge or skills Focusing on ‘just getting by’ Feeling under pressure Emphasis on memorising facts but not applying it in a specific content Deep Learning Benefits to taking this approach Demonstrates an active interest in the subject Make links or look for patterns that are consistent/inconsistent with your own knowledge and experience More likely to be able to be recalled for future use Cameron (2009) suggests there is third approach – Strategic Approach, blending surface and deep learning to achieve best results within confines of time and resources Key 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

12 Key Skills in Deep Learning
Identifying the most useful materials Making notes in the most useful way for you Making links between course materials Creating sequences of events Review and reflection Over the course of this module, we will be considering each of these steps: Using effective research methods and sources of information Making notes in a manner that is efficient and tailored to your needs Analysis of complex data and methods to present your findings In 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.

13 Reflection: What is reflective practice?
Kolb’s (1984) Learning Cycle An experience is: reflected upon a theory is then created that 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 Cycle Experience is first reflected upon, a theory is then created and then tested or experimented Relates 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 lives The purpose is to enhance our deep learning process to improve our capabilities One 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)

14 Reflection: How do you do it?
Schedule sufficient time to reflect on your experiences Being clear about what specific experience you are reflecting on Choose a suitable method to record your reflections Use the skill of ‘critical thinking’ to consider ideas and evidence Be honest with yourself about your thoughts and your feelings Be 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 skills Let’s focus on Cameron’s (2009) approach to Reflection. A simple and well structured approach The key for anyone engaged in the process of ‘reflection’ is that they follow some simple guidelines But it is equally important that you adapt the process to meet your own style of learning

15 5 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 progress One 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 abstract It 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 use Is efficient for you to use Makes you want to do it Records information that you can easily analyse, interpret and plan your ongoing development At 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.

16 Maximising Your Learning
Prepare in advance Listen and take good notes Take an active role in the experience Ask questions to clarify your own understanding Work with others Do the follow up Reflect on the experience In 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 steps Identify 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 goals Consider where your strengths lie and make use of these, at the same time as developing your areas of concern

17 What 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 skills Demonstrate a critical understanding of the importance of independence in learning and the need for a ‘growth’ mindset Define the 5 elements required to successfully manage your studies Describe two theories of motivation and identify how you can relate these to managing your own motivation in your studies and at work Explain SMART objectives and identify the benefits of regular reviews to check progress Discuss how time management techniques can improve your ability to manage your workload

18 Knowledgecast Summary
In this Knowledgecast, we have looked at: Analyse a range of learning styles and the factors that influence successful study Two approaches to learning styles and how you can identify your preferences for learning and your development needs Evaluate current academic, self-marketing and personal skills and present a plan for developing skills Discuss the value of reflection and self-evaluation as a learner Kolb’s theory of learning and the importance of reflection in the cycle of effective learning Kolb’s theory of learning and the importance of reflection in the cycle of effective learning Two approaches to learning styles and how you can identify your preferences for learning and your development needs Reflection as a key Lifelong Learning skill and how to start using this skill in your everyday working practices


20 Seminar Student Introductions Background information
Study & career aspirations Using Learning Outcomes to plan your studies QAA Core Skills Programme and Module Learning Outcomes

21 Group Activity Getting yourself organised to learn
Setting up your Learning Journal Exploring your Learning Styles

22 Suggested Portfolio Structure
My Learning Journal Unit 1 etc Self Awareness Documents Learning Styles Reading on Lifelong Learning Career Search Information CVs Background Information on Industries Personal Development Plan Template Current Version

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