3 Learning to learn
3.1 Learning styles
Not everyone learns in the same way. We have all had different experiences of learning – whether these were at school, college or elsewhere. To find out a bit more about what kind of learner you are, try this Learning Styles Questionnaire [accessed 3 October 2006]. Once you have submitted your answers you will see a feedback page which allows you to draw some conclusions.
Now read the document below about learning styles. If you want to, this would be a good opportunity to practise making notes (either on your computer or on paper. Remember you can write linear notes or try using the mindmap or spray diagram method.
Click on the 'View document' link below to read Jon Rosewell on 'Learning styles'.
Activity 5 (exploratory)
The feedback from the Learning Styles questionnaire gave you your total As, Bs, Cs and Ds, and related this to your style of learning.
The Learning styles document identified four styles: activist, reflector, theorist and pragmatist.
How do you think the As, Bs, Cs and Ds relate to the four named learning styles ?
Comparing the two sources I thought that:
A=activist: The section on the website for 'Mostly As' talks about doing things quickly rather than spending time weighing up the consequences. The 'Activists' section in the Learning Styles document mentions acting first and considering the consequences later.
B=reflector: The 'Mostly Bs' section mentions pondering over experiences and taking time to draw conclusions. The 'Reflectors' section talks about observing and thinking before coming to a considered opinion.
C=theorist: The 'Mostly Cs' section highlights analysing, problem-solving and being systematic. The 'Theorists' section mentions questioning, probing and understanding.
D=pragmatist: The 'Mostly Ds' section mentions being practical and experimenting. The 'Pragmatists' section talks about being practical and trying things out.
While this is still fresh in your mind, it would be useful for you to do Activity 6.
Activity 6 (exploratory)
Make some notes about your own learning style. Are there types of learning that you think you will need to improve to help you in studying this course?
When I did the Learning styles questionnaire I scored 1 on Activist, 4 on Reflector, 5 on Theorist and 3 on Pragmatist. I would note this and perhaps return to the questionnaire later to see if there were any changes. Mulling over the implications of these scores (which agree with what I thought I would get) I would also note that deadlines might cause me some problems. I might have a tendency to spend too long thinking what to write for a tutor marked assignment, rather than getting on with it. So that would be an area to focus on.