Improve Self-Learning Scores in Class Through a Knowledge Hunt
In an age of digital learning we keep finding new ways to avoid reading for class. Through app highlighting features, shortcuts through keyword searching, and chapter skipping, it’s only a matter of time until we have roboreaders reading and taking the dictation for us. AI isn’t the solution here. This is about educating yourself through a traditional means, asking questions and reading the material.
What if reading isn’t your issue? If you have trouble remembering the material, but enjoy the reading, there is a solution for that as well. Ask questions. This method can apply to both the non-readers, and the memory lapses. One way to engage with the material is by asking questions in advance. Some professors even require students to include questions along with their discussion post response for the week. For your purposes in reading though, it creates interest.
Think about it. You typically ask more questions when you’re interested in the subject. If you want to know why something works you either ask, or you look up the answer. The same should go for your readings in class. If you’re in a security management class and you have to read a chapter on the current issues in security management then you need to be prepared to get through it. Sometimes it helps to visually see how long the reading will be. This way you can anticipate how long it’s going to take. Read the headers as you flip through the assigned section, and create one question for every few pages you have to get through. It will turn your reading assignment into a knowledge hunt of sorts. You will be surprised at the quality of notes you get out of the exercise. It helps you synthesize information better since you’re exploring what captivates you about the topic, and you’re acquiring what your professor finds important for you.
The same technique can apply for the student with memory issues. If you have kids, a full-time job, a busy social life, a learning disability, or just a short attention span, it’s understandable why retaining information can be a little harder to come by. Starting out with your own questions before starting the assignment brings up the interest factor. There’s a reason why great memories and bad ones stick with us the hardest. The emotions surrounding it is what you’ll recall. So take out the negative component associated with an assignment, and turn it into a welcomed experience. Draft a list of questions related to the assignment from your professor, and also make a few more bullet points about what YOU would like to learn out of it. After the assignment is complete, apply some of the things you’ve learned into an actionable recurrence. For example:
- How would you apply this concept to your position?
- This could be useful because…
- I might be tested on this later, because…
This is an example of applied learning. Not only are you working on comprehending the material by talking through it, but you’re applying it to relatable items either in your professional life, or the course material.
So, after learning these tips how will you know if you’ve improved overall on the material? You test yourself! A self-learning score is where you would rate your current knowledge of the subject material. On a scale of 1 to 10 where do you stand now? If you could click-through to a quiz tomorrow how confident are you that you could answer 50% of the questions, how about all of them? Ideally you should be working towards a 10 on that scale. Besides following the material and assignments from your professor, it is also important to not second guess yourself. Be confident in your knowledge of what you’re learning, and keep pushing yourself.
By J. Mason
Online Learning Tips Editor