3 Top Tips for Learning
There’s no doubt about it, everyone’s learning styles are different. Some of those we particularly envy are those that pick up a book, read it cover to cover and then abracadabra they’ve got it and remembered it.
However for most of us mere mortals learning experiences can be anything from an enjoyable satisfying experience all the way through to a fear of failure and a headache coming on.
Why is it important?
Learning is part and parcel of our life. From when we’re born and all through our lives we are learning. Learning through life experience, unexpected challenges (all those parents suddenly become teachers during lock down springs to mind), learning hands on skills and academic subjects….our brains are designed to keep learning.
We are all learning, we are all in the same boat so to speak….so how can we embrace learning and keep those headache tablets safely in the cupboard?
Over the 20 years Computer Tutoring has been training, we’ve been in the fortunate situation of being able to observe thousands of students learning methods and talk to them about their learning experiences. Based on this wealth of experience these are Computer Tutorings' Top 3 Learning Tips.
Top Tip #1 - Open Mind
This might sound like weird first top tip, however the first learning obstacle for many is a preconceived idea of how hard something is going to be, or how time consuming it will be, or maybe the idea that training is not needed at all. This way of thinking inhibits learning and puts a stop to exciting opportunities and personal growth. Learning always involves some kind of investment, namely time…however the rewards far outweigh the investment, in fact once you start embracing learning it can become quite addictive.
For example, at times delegates attending an Excel course, have been booked on by their HR department and initially are perplexed as to why they are attending an Excel course when they’ve already been using it for yonks. However not long into the course, their eyes start to widen, their mouth starts to smile, and their brain starts to imagine all the ways time can be saved by implementing these new skills. Their overall feeling has tuned from one of indifference to being totally engaged and genuinely excited.
Top Tip #2 - Knowing how you Learn
As mentioned above we all learn differently and at different speeds. So, do you know your preferred learning style? Once we know how we best learn we can learn smarter not harder. For most of us this will involve a combination of methods.
Looking at the below which category to you identify with?
- Prefers to read and write rather than listen
- Enjoys reading books for knowledge
- Can easily follow written directions
- Has trouble remembering verbal instructions
Auditory – Listening
- Prefers to follow verbal instructions rather than written ones
- Enjoys group work and discussing information with others
- Remembers by listening, especially music
- Reads with whispering lip movements
- Finds it difficult to work quietly for long periods of time
Kinetic – Activity
- Needs to move, tap, swing or bound a leg in order to stay focused
- Benefits from in-class demonstrations, “hands on” student learning experiences, and fieldwork outside the classroom
- Often needs frequent breaks during studying
- Often takes notes or even draws pictures or doodle while listening
No learning style is either better or worse than another, but recognising which one you identity with will help you learn. If you’re more of a visual leaner then taking notes and drawing pictures will aid your learning. If you are more of an auditory learner, then reading notes aloud, making up a funny song or rhyme about a subject can help. If your more of a Kinetic learner than keeping active while learning will help you keep focused. Reading while on the treadmill or studying with music in the background.
This is why Computer Tutoring employs various methods to help students learn.
Training manuals. Great for post course reference and for pre-course preparation.
Training Videos. Watch and pause when you need to, work at your own pace.
Step by Step guides. Most of our training videos also come along with detailed step by step written instructions. The latest video Creating Pivot Tables for Beginners is a great example. Watch the video as many times as you need to, pause if necessary, however if you prefer to follow written instructions they are also included.
Auditory – Listening
Attending a training course either online of face to face will involve following verbal instructions discussing information with others.
Training Videos. Listen and follow along training guides.
Kinetic – Activity
Training sessions are all hands- on. Trainers thoroughly interact with delegates, and encourage them to be using their own device to complete the exercises, with their own imaginative flair thrown in. Students are doing not just watching or following. For the regular breaks included in a training session - this is a great opportunity for a quick hula hoop session.
Top Tip #3 - Teach Others
Whatever your preferred learning style is, teaching others what you’ve learnt is the ideal way to hammer your newfound knowledge down. There is even a name for this type of learning – Pedagogy.
Albert Einstein Famously said “If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.”.
After learning something new try to:
Explain to someone at work one of the points that you found most beneficial.
Show a family member a new skill you have learnt and show them how easy it is to do and how it can help them.
If no one is around, explain it to the cat or dog, or to yourself in the mirror! It may sounds silly….but the act of explaining how to do something …irons out all the crinkles in the brain and smooths out the process….so the next time you undertake the task, it is solidly and smoothly embedded in your brain.
This process will take your learning to a higher level.