7 years later and I
am now an Undergraduate student at Brunel University London studying BA
Contemporary Education. In this piece of work, I will imitate on what skills it
required to get through these years and additional skills that I gained in the
process, as well as what I can develop. Being responsible for your own learning is
key, the first thing you must do is to get to know yourself as a learner. It is
important you are honest with yourself and your mode of learning in the past
may have worked and been effective, but for every level of education its needed
to make a step change in order to get the most out of your studies. You may not
think so, but being a good learner and knowing yourself is a skill itself.
First question you
got to ask yourself is how do we learn? The chances are that you learned many
of the skills you possess not through the formal educational system, but
through your own initiative. You were motivated by desire or need. You may have
learned them with the assistance and guidance of others, or possibly you
learned them through your own endeavours. Learning is a natural process, and
continues throughout life. It is usually associated with practical experiences,
which means actually physically doing something, usually repeatedly until
learning takes place. This is one of the secrets of learning. Each person has
the capability to learn and develop themselves as a learner.
Fleming and Mills
(1992) suggested four modalities, “VARK” which stands for; visual learning,
auditory learning, read/write learning and kinaesthetic learning. Visual includes the
depiction of information in maps, spider diagrams, charts, graphs, flow charts,
labelled diagrams, and all the symbolic arrows, circles, hierarchies and other
devices, that people use to represent what could have been presented in words.
Auditory describes a preference for information that is heard or spoken. Learners who have
this as their main preference report that they learn best from lectures, group
discussion, radio, email, using mobile phones, speaking, web-chat and talking
things through. They have need to say it themselves and they learn through
saying it – their way. Reading/writing is for information displayed as words.
Not surprisingly, many teachers and students have a strong preference for this
mode. Being able to write well and read widely are attributes sought by
employers of graduates. This preference emphasizes text-based input and output
– reading and writing in all its forms but especially manuals, reports, essays
and assignments. Kinesthetic by definition, this modality refers to the
“perceptual preference related to the use of experience and practice in real
life”. Although such an experience may invoke other modalities, the key is that
people who prefer this mode are connected to reality, “either through concrete
personal experiences, examples, practice or simulation” Fleming & Mills,
1992, pp. 140-141. It includes demonstrations, models, videos and movies of real things, as well as case
studies, practice and applications. The key is the reality or concrete nature
of the example. If it can be grasped, held, tasted, or felt it will probably be
individual will learn differently because people perceive and process
experiences in diverse ways, and therefore learning is very much a matter of
personal preference or style. This will be influenced by personal and speaking
from my own experiences my teachers and friends have had major influence on my
style of learning. Kolb (1984) identifies what he calls the “Experimental
Learning Model” p.13, in which he describes in four stages: doing, thinking,
speculating and active experimentation. Kolb (1984) points out that this cycle
recurs continuously. It is suggested that each learner has a tendency towards a
particular part of the cycle and this will then form a shape for how an
individual prefers to learn.
Furthermore, moving onto my own personal learning
experiences and needs. Time management has to be one of my top learning needs
that I have learnt to work with and yet develop on. Once I realised that there
is only 168 hours in a week and I cannot save it, therefore I had no choice but
to spend it wisely. Since the age of 16 I have always had a part time job
alongside with my studies, I use to think that was a challenge trying to manage
the two together especially at such a young age. I was always told that
University is extremely different to Secondary and College, however I can
confidently state that over the years I have found a balance between studying
and working, also social activities in my little free time. I made a choice to
balance and prioritise in order to be successful. Time
is something that you can lose and never get back. I use always wish I had more
hours available in the day. The solution to this common problem is easier than
one might realize. With a few minor adjustments in how you utilize your time
you can change how you manage your time.
Proper time management is something that can change your
life on a fundamental basis for the better. Every daily cycle consists of a twenty-four-hour
period. This is one of those things that is what it is and cannot be changed.
Even though you can’t control time, you can control how the time you have is
used. This realization is the first step to being effective in your own time
management. It is important to take stock in what is important in your daily
life and focus on allotting time for these things. Anything that is
non-important should be eliminated.
Developing skills to effectively manage your time will
bring forth improvements to your life on a dramatic scale. You must be
accepting to making fundamental changes. You have to learn to prioritize and
take things one step at a time. Chances for failure increase when you take on
more than you can handle or when you take on too much at one time. Developing
time management skills will also help you get to know yourself a little better.
This is the first step in proper time management. As people age, it becomes
much easier to lose track of important things in your life. It seems crazy that
humans allow this to happen, but it is something that happens really easily.
The first thing you must do is get in touch with what it is you want to
accomplish from your life- at this moment I am picturing Graduation day at
Brunel University 2020.
This is the point where you locate your vision. When
people are young, they believe that anything is possible. I think back to my younger
days and remember how I envisioned my life at that time. Many of my priorities
have changed since then, but some of the core ones have remained the same.
I began by focusing on the things I want to
achieve. Picked something big and something small. After I have decided on what
those things are, I take steps to formulate a plan that can set me on a path to
achieving these things. Completing one step toward each goal is an excellent
start. By going at my own pace, I began to plan and manage my time much more
effectively. Planning is key to mapping out the direction in which I know I
should head. However, one of the greatest
barriers of effective time management – procrastination. One reason why I procrastinate
is the fear of being tarnished if my project doesn’t go well or if the lecturer
doesn’t approve of it. Still this day I’m learning to get over my fear and anxiety
and start working on what needs to be done – and what motivates me to do better
next time is when I am praised for my work besides any feedback that I receive.