Though each of us has the innate capacities to learn and understand new information, the difference then lies on how we utilize those tools. In the concerned module, much has been presented about how the brain works in when it comes to learning and understanding of which the processes involved are pretty much the same among all individuals. Now, let’s take a look on how a person’s practice affects these things based on how I understood the module.
- Attention and Concentration
As explained, we can always select which type of attention we are going to use in everyday encounter, be it selective or sustained. No matter how good the presenter or teacher in front is, if divided attention will be employed, then full understanding of the lessons at hand is unlikely to be achieved. In the previous discussions, I was enlightened about the negative effects that “multitasking” (which falls on divided attention) can bring us especially in the field of studying. Therefore, total focus is one thing that differentiates a good learner from the mere average ones. I believe if they will both employ total focus, then most likely the same outcome will be obtained. I remember most of the academically successful persons I encounter who used to say “stay focus” to become like them.
- Practice Application and Memory
It is not new for most of us that constant application of what you’ve learned will lead to better retention of those learned materials. Procedural knowledge for instance is likely to be retained in LTM if these are being applied often in the course of living, say cooking. We are all bounded by the physiologic limitation of our brain. We cannot remember everything and we will lose many memories whether we like it or not especially in response to aging. I remember in my topic Alzheimer’s disease in the review, it says that one good practice to minimize the risk for developing such illness is to keep the mind healthy by engaging in mind-stimulating activities like solving puzzles and novel situations. Therefore, if we will just rely on our seemingly good ability to recall things whenever we want to, then chances are not being able to do so and experience some frustrations.
- Personalized Techniques in Learning
Most of my classmates who are good in academics from memorizing to class reporting have their own unique ways of making things easier. Most of them are fond of suing mnemonics as an aid to better remember things especially the long ones. Others then prefer transferring the information on books to their own notes which I personally do as well. For me, I can grasp and understand the ideas easily if they are written in the manner I want to see them- bulleted, in two column format with highlights of varying colors. Further, I’m also into reciting what I’ve just learned as if I’m discussing in front of many, which according to the module is helpful in the retention of those information. It is not expected for all to share similar techniques or strategies. Learning styles for the most part can also account for this. The thing is to maximize the resources that we have to make the learning experiences enjoyable and fruitful.
- Seeking for Clarification
Lastly, I believe that the tendency of good students to seek for clarification whenever misperception or misunderstanding occurs is one more thing that separates them from the average ones. There are students who are very active in such scenarios. For instance, when they answered wrong in an exam, it’s not sufficient to accept the fact that you commit mistake but rather an explanation must be sought to clear things out. After all, the very reason you’ve selected that answer was because you’ve thought of it as the “best” answer among the choices. I can tell much about this as I encounter different kinds of students in the review classes I have handled. Those who consistently get high scores in post-tests or drills are also the ones who are very eager in seeking for explanation of why such answers are right. In the licensure exam for nurses (and most professions I think), the key factor is to select the “BEST” answer among the choices provided fir every item. More often than not, they select the 2nd best answer that makes them disappointed but which in turn results into further motivation to study further. This somehow gives us a hint on which group needs further focus and encouragement to succeed in the boards. 😀
These are just a few of those I can think and relate that distinguishes successful learning from failure in the context of cognitive theory. Any feedback will be highly appreciated. Happy learning! 😀