To learn is to change… Education is a process that changes the learner.
The Importance of Continuous Learning
Whether we are at school, college, university or working hard to climb the career ladder, I’m sure that we all understand the importance that continuous and ongoing learning plays in our continued success throughout life.
This IQ Matrix presents you with some fundamental keys to effective learning. Based on the principles discussed within the Memletics Accelerated Learning Manual, this mind map will hopefully provide you with a good foundation on the basic principles behind this powerful learning method.
How to Achieve Your Ideal Learning State
Learning is as much about technique as it is about developing an empowering and lasting psychological and physiological state. You may well have all the techniques and learning methods thoroughly entrenched into your habitual patterns of behavior, however, if you lack the energy or can’t bring forth the required mental effort and awareness, than your progress will undoubtedly suffer as a result. Here are some suggestions to assist you in developing an empowering state that will provide you with the energy you need to excel:
Your biology is made up of billions of cells that work cooperatively to keep you healthy and at peak condition. However, through incorrect dietary habits, we drain our cells of the energy they need to promote peak states of learning on a consistent basis. In order to bring back that “zing” into your cellular biology you need to consume plenty of water, glucose, oxygen (through deep breathing exercises) and get the essential nutrients you need such as amino and fatty acids that will keep your cells at peak levels of conditioning.
Even though learning is mostly a very sedentary activity, it is however very dependent and reliant on one’s physiological health and wellbeing. By partaking in physical exercise, by eating energy rich foods (fruits and vegetables) and through periods of deep relaxation, you will dramatically enhance your learning ability and maximize your potential.
Furthermore, it is easy to take our learning environment for granted and its influence on our physical well-being. Make sure that your learning environment is supportive to your learning needs and that it provides you with adequate fresh air, lighting and skeletal support.
Finally, it is important to understand one’s sleeping patterns and energy cycles that we tend to move through throughout our day. Make sure you plan your learning accordingly with these peaks and valleys in your cycles to achieve accelerated learning states.
Psychology is all about strengthening your mind in ways that will enhance and accelerate your learning potential. This can be achieved in several ways. First, start off by setting empowering learning goals that will propel you forward despite the challenges that you may face.
Secondly, adopt a positive mental attitude that will help you to focus on solutions over problems.
Thirdly, just as you would exercise daily in order to keep your body fit, it is also important to develop the ability to stay mentally alert and centered throughout your day. This requires brain gymnastics and fitness. By this I mean to challenge your brain with finding solutions to problems, with creative thinking, with memorizing numbers and phrases, and generally with anything that will stimulate it in ways that will take it out of the doldrums of its comfort zone.
And finally, just like your body, your brain also requires periods of relaxation and recuperation on a daily basis. Here are some online resources for Brain Training.
Breaking Down the Five Step Learning Process
There are some simple steps and guidelines that one can follow to assist in structuring, organizing and managing the entire learning process. Although please keep in mind that the methods outlined here present one of a number of ways that this process can be undertaken.
Here are some suggestions that can assist you with enhancing the learning process:
Step 1: Locate
Your first step is always to locate and identify the learning materials (books, articles, websites, etc) that you will need for content extraction. In order to be both effective and efficient throughout the learning process, make sure to have all your study materials prepared before moving onto the next step.
Step 2: Explore
Exploration of your resources and topic content is the next step within the learning process. This exploration of your content material should be accomplished through the use of the seven intelligences; namely:
- Visual (diagrams, graphs, sketches, mind maps),
- Aural (focus on and record sound),
- Verbal (lectures, discussions, dramatic reading, creating recordings),
- Physical (incorporating movement, role playing, post-it-notes),
- Logical (analysis, playing with numbers),
- Social (group learning, role playing, involving others)
- Solitary (personal journal, reaction notes, etc).
It is important to move through the exploration phase in a way that enhances your immediate understanding of this material, and this is best achieved through the use of the above mentioned learning methods.
As a general rule, the more of these methods you utilize throughout the learning process, the more readily and easily you will absorb the material you are studying..
Step 3: Arrange
Here you are basically preparing your content for the process of memorization.
Firstly, analyze the content to get a feel for the type of material you are dealing with. Secondly, select the techniques you will utilize that will be most effective in assisting you with the long-term retention of the materials. Finally, you must now prepare the content in a way that will support the learning methods you have chosen.
Step 4: Reinforce
This is the point where you take everything you have done in the previous steps and begin converting this information into long-term memory. This is accomplished when use the seven intelligences, through varied and creative repetition, and by conducting regular reviews of your material throughout the learning process.
Step 5: eNquire
This process involves the act of measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of your learning. This can be measured in 4 ways.
- Firstly, through Immediate Reviews where you take in feedback on a continuous basis throughout the learning process.
- Secondly, through Lesson Reviews where you review the effectiveness of the previous steps when learning new material.
- Thirdly, you can apply Formal Reviews where you utilize tests and other grading methods to test your knowledge of these principles.
- And finally, conduct a System Review by over-viewing the entire learning process and looking at ways it can be managed more effectively and potentially improved in the future.
Six Ways to Become an Effective Learner
There are literally hundreds of creative techniques you can use to accelerate your learning immediately. The more creative you become, and the more variety you add to your learning methods, the easier it will be for you to progress towards your learning goals and objectives.
Here are some techniques and suggestions that will get you started along your journey:
Here you are using basic characteristics of memory to learn new material. Techniques include peg words, mnemonics and chunking.
Here you are using mental imagery and visual techniques to reinforce your knowledge of the material. Techniques include creative visualization and mental rehearsal.
Here you are utilizing words and writing to improve and accelerate your learning. Techniques include scripting and assertions.
Here you are using tools and people to simulate your learning in a variety of different ways. One of the most effective methods for simulation is to role-play your learning.
Here you learning through methods of anchoring and over-learning the material you are studying.
This is about focusing on strategies that will allow you to continuously repeat the information you are learning in a variety of creative ways that will enhance your retention and recall of information. This can be accomplished in many ways, however creating and referring to flash-cards seem to work well for many learners.
Fiding Your Preferred Learning Style
Everyone has personal preferences and methods of learning that naturally favor them both cognitively and physically. Although it is important to focus on a variety of learning styles and strategies throughout the learning process, you should however spend most of your time on your preferred learning styles for fast and effective results.
Here is a quick breakdown of the different learning styles for your reference. While you are reading through them, take note which learning styles most resonate with you, then zone-in on them throughout the learning process.
This learner prefers learning through the use of colors, pictures and images.
This learner prefers learning through the use of sounds and music.
This learner prefers learning through the use of words in the form of speech and writing.
This learner prefers learning through the physical use of their body, hands and via the methods of touch.
This learner prefers learning through self-study methods that don’t involve other people.
This learner prefers learning through working closely and interacting with other people.
This learner prefers learning through the use of reasoning and logic.
3 Critical Factors to Becoming an Effective Learner
This is quite an extensive topic, however for the point of this discussion we will keep it pretty straightforward and focus in on three important factors that are critical to your success as a learner:
Goals and Targets
Without a target you don’t know where to shoot. And if you have no idea where to shoot, than you will either procrastinate and hold back from shooting altogether, or you will simply shoot at everything hoping to hit something worthwhile.
Goals are absolutely critical to your success as an effective learner. They not only set you on target towards a desired destination, but they also keep you motivated and focused in on the bigger picture of your journey through this learning process.
As a general rule of thumb, make sure that your goals are achievable, yet slightly out of reach like a carrot on a stick. This will keep you inspired and moving forward towards the achievement of your desires outcomes.
If goals are the target you are shooting at, than your plan is the gap between where you are and where you want to be. Within this gap there will be obstacles, challenges and potential pitfalls and problems that may arise unexpectedly. You must plan and prepare for these surprises, and you must develop a strategy that will not only get you to your target, but get you there in the most effective and efficient manner possible. Your plan should essentially incorporate everything that has been discussed throughout this post, and direct you towards your ultimate objectives.
This is all about measuring the rate of your movement as you progress along your path towards mastering the material you are studying. Measure not only how well your successes panned out, but also take into account your failures and how they can be improved upon the next time around. How well and effectively you measure and track your progress will indeed determine how quickly you are able to reach your learning goals and objectives. Your progress meter will also get you back-on-track, when you recognize you have moved off the beaten path.
Potential Learning Challenges You Might Face
Along our journey of learning there will be times when things could get difficult, when we just can’t seem to make sense of the material we are studying, or when we simply become overwhelmed with the amount of information we are ingesting into our biological computer processor. The first step to dealing with these types of challenges is to simply recognize that they exist and that they might shake us up a little if we are not prepared for the consequences. Once you have mentally prepared yourself for the worst case scenarios, you can then move onto the final step which is working through them in a logical step-by-step fashion.
Here three potential scenarios you could encounter, and a few suggestions on how to deal with them:
Lack of Motivation
We can all suffer from a lack of motivation at one time or another throughout the learning process. Lack of motivation can be triggered through simple things as not getting enough rest, lack of adequate nutrition, not setting inspiring goals, talking to yourself in a pessimistic manner, or even through not having the full support of your peers. In fact a lack of motivation could also come from any number of factors that haven’t been listed here.
The most important thing to do when you sense that you are lacking motivation is to determine the source that is triggering this feeling. Check to see if it is coming from internal factors within yourself, or if it is coming from external factors within your environment. Once you have identified the source, work creatively to either alter your perspective of the situation or physically do something that will suffocate the trigger mechanism.
Overwhelmed by Fear
Whenever you feel that taste of fear starting to overwhelm you, you must at that very moment understand that fear only comes to those who live with uncertainty. If you are uncertain about something in the future, than you will likely be either fearful or excited about it. If you are afraid, than the only way to counter these feelings of fear is to collect a greater array of resources and information that will allay your fears. The more knowledge you have about something you fear, the greater courage and confidence you will muster to move through this crippling emotion.
Mistakes are simply a part of life. As a human race we have achieved technological success in today’s day-and-age as a result of the mistakes that we have made in the past few thousand years.
Be open to the idea that you will make mistakes, and when they do occur immediately focus in on suitable solutions that will keep you moving forward beyond you current experience. If you do this consistently, you will find that your momentum will tend to accelerate as you hike deeper along your journey of learning.
By sticking with these general guidelines you will set yourself on track towards accelerating your learning potential in many surprising ways.
As a final thought, keep in mind that the journey of learning is never over, and that the methods you use to accelerate your learning should always be changing and adapting with the content your are studying and with the person you are becoming.
I hope you enjoyed this post, and if you have any further thoughts, ideas, reflections or suggestions about this topic, than please feel free to comment below.
Time to Assimilate these Concepts
Did you gain value from this article? Would you like to keep these concepts at the forefront of your mind? If so, then you might like to download the accompanying mind map reference poster to your iPad, tablet or computer. The map presents you with a quick overview of this article. It’s designed specifically to help improve your memory and recall of this information so that you can better integrate these concepts into your daily thoughts, habits and actions. Your purchase will also go a long way towards supporting the further development of these maps.
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Gain More Knowledge…
Here are some additional links and resources that will help you learn more about this topic:
- 3 Ways to Become a More Effective Learner @ Entrepreneur
- 5 Things Smart Learners do that Others Don’t @ Life Optimizer
- 7 Secrets to Improve Your Ability to Learn for Students of all Ages @ Pick the Brain
- 10 Highly Effective Study Habits @ Psych Central
- Cheating Can be an Effective Learning Strategy @ NPR
- Effective Learning Strategies for the 21st Century @ Inc.
- Learning Styles and Understanding Learning Preferences @ Mind Tools
- Learning Through Visuals @ Psychology Today
- Seven Steps to Superior Learning @ Scott H Young
- The Best Learning Tools on the Internet @ Life Optimizer
- The Secret to Effective Learning May be Less Studying, Not More @ Forbes