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Study Skills


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Some thoughts about studying for those new to university

Some thoughts about studying for those new to university

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  • 1. Study Skills & Learning Styles
  • 2. Objectives
    • Thinking about how you will study
    • Knowing your own preferred way of learning
    • Give you some starting points for your own research and study into learning for your assignments.
  • 3. Study: Starting Out
    • Be Regular
      • Make study a habit
      • Same time, same place
    • Accept responsibility for your own learning
    • Plan your time
      • Long term & short term
      • To do lists
    • Keep the end in mind (remember why you are doing this)
    • Location, Location, Location
  • 4. Study: Keep Going
    • Look after yourself
    • Reward yourself to maintain motivation
    • Study to your strengths
    • Break the work down into parts
      • focus on one task at a time
    • Recognise when you need help
      • and ask for it
  • 5. The Assignments
    • Make sure you have all the resources before you start
    • Get something down, anything will do
    • You can always edit out the bad stuff
    • Answer the question
    • Check with your tutor that you are taking the right approach
    • Write with the assessment criteria in mind
  • 6. Summary
    • Be positive
    • Remember why you are doing this
    • Plan your study
    • Plan your assignment
    • Remember people are a great resource
  • 7. Learning Styles
    • Do you know your own learning style?
    • Do you know what methods of learning work best for you?
    • Are you: visual (VAKT), musical (multiple intelligences), activist (Honey & Mumford)…?
    • Do you work in short bursts or long sessions?
  • 8. Module 1 Assignments
    • Ask you to consider a learning experience, reflect on it and explain it using theory.
    • Two-fold aim of presentation
      • To get you thinking about how to maximise you time studying
      • To introduce you to some ideas about learning that might feed into your assignment.
  • 9. What is learning?
    • Saljo classified respondents ideas of learning into five groups.
    • Learning as a quantitative increase in knowledge . Learning is acquiring information or “knowing a lot” 
    • Learning as memorising. Learning is storing information that can be reproduced.
    • Learning as acquiring facts, skills and methods that can be retained and used as necessary.
    • Learning as making sense or abstracting meaning. Learning involves relating parts of the subject matter to each other and to the real world.
    • Learning as interpreting and understanding reality in a different way . Learning involves comprehending the world by re-interpreting knowledge.
  • 10. Some Schools of learning theories
    • Behaviourism – Stimulus & Response
      • Skinner, Pavlov
    • Cognitivism – Mental processes
      • Piaget
    • Humanism – Learner centred
      • Carl Rogers, Knowles’ Andragogy
    • Social / Situated – informal occupational learning. Communities of practice
      • Lave & Wenger
    • Constructivism – Personal constructs
      • Kelly
  • 11. Learning to learn – why bother?
    • Lifelong learning is becoming an important issue in society as a whole.
    • Manufacturing and now service industries are cheaper and often better abroad.
    • Western Europe needs to develop knowledge workers to keep their place as economic powers.
    • We need to learn smarter and faster.
  • 12. Some learning to learn theories
    • Bateson’s levels of learning
      • Deutero-Learning – developing strategies for maximising learning
    • Argyris & Schon double-loop learning
      • ‘ Doing the right thing’
  • 13. How we Learn – ‘Learning Styles’
    • A continuum of models
    • Learning styles are inherent features about us.
    • Learning styles are deep-seated cognitive features.
    • Learning styles are part of relatively stable personality types
    • Learning Styles are flexibly stable preferences
    • Learning Approaches & Strategies
    • Stable in-built styles
    • Readily changed styles
  • 14. Type 1: Largely born with certain preferences that can’t be changed
    • VAKT (Visual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic, Tactile)
    • Gregorc’s 4 channel learning styles model
  • 15. Gregorc’s 4 channel learning styles model
    • Instrument: Learning Style Delineator
    • The concrete sequential (CS) learner is ordered, perfection-oriented, practical and thorough.
    • The abstract sequential (AS) learner is logical, analytical, rational and evaluative.
    • The abstract random (AR) learner is sensitive, colourful, emotional and spontaneous.
    • The concrete random learner (CR) is intuitive, independent, impulsive and original.
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  • 16. Type 2: Learning styles reflect deep-seated features of the cognitive structure
    • Riding’s Cognitive Styles Analysis
    • The verbaliser-imager dimension is intended to measure a natural tendency to process information quickly in verbal or in visual form.
    • The holist-analytic dimension relates to cognitive organisation i.e big picture / specifics.
  • 17. Type 3: Learning styles are one component of a relatively stable personality type
    • MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator)
      • 4 Dimensions: Extrovert (E) – Introvert (I),
        • Intuiting (N)– sensing (S),
        • Thinking (T)– Feeling (F),
        • Judging (J)– Perceiving (P).
      • So there are 16 personality types e.g. INTJ
    • Jackson’s Learning Styles Profiler.
  • 18. Jackson’s LSP
    • Conscious learning, 4 scales (low to high):
      • Goal Oriented Achiever: Planning, Assertiveness, Decisiveness, Adaptability, Resilience, Achievement motivation .
      • Emotionally Intelligent Achiever: Analysis, Decision making, Interpersonal sensitivity.
      • Conscientious Achiever: Practical, Realistic
      • Deep Learning Achiever: Strategic perspective, open to new ideas.
    • Instinctive learning, 1 scale (low to high):
      • Sensation seeker: Energy and Initiative .
  • 19. Type 4: Flexibly stable learning preferences
    • Kolb’s Learning Styles Inventory
    • Honey & Mumford’s Learning Styles Questionnaire
      • Activist, Reflector, Theorist, Pragmatist (closely linked to Kolb’s learning cycle)
    • Herrmann’s ‘whole brain’ model
  • 20. Kolb’s learning styles
  • 21. Herrmann’s Brain Dominance Instrument
    • A Theorists (cerebral, left: the rational self)
      • Learn by acquiring facts, applying logic, forming theories
    • B Organisers (limbic, left: the safe-keeping self)
      • Learn by sequencing content, practicing
    • D Innovators (cerebral, right: the experimental self)
      • Learn by self discovery, taking initiative
    • C Humanitarians (limbic, right: the feeling self)
      • Learn by listening and sharing ideas, emotional involvement
  • 22. Type 5: Learning Approaches and Strategies
    • Vermunt’s framework for classifying learning styles.
    • Instrument: Inventory of learning styles
    • 4 learning styles:
    • Meaning-directed : Looks for links between key concepts.
    • Application-directed: Relates topics to everyday experience.
    • Reproduction-directed: Selects main points to retain.
    • Undirected: Finds study difficult.
  • 23. A word of warning about learning styles
    • There is limited research into the validity and reliability of learning styles and their instruments.
    • The field is a bit of a mess because there is little collaboration.
    • Selling a product has become more important than trying to make sense of learning styles.
  • 24. At the end of the day
    • They are useful tools to get you thinking about how you learn best.
    • In most cases, they are well intentioned efforts to help people learn to learn
    • Use those that suit you.
    • But take it all with a ‘pinch of salt’.
  • 25. Bibliography
    • ARGYRIS M & SCHON D (1974) Theory in Practice. Increasing professional effectiveness , San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
    • BATESON G (1973) Steps to an Ecology of Mind London, Paladin
    • COFFIELD F (2004) Learning Styles and Pedagogy in post-16 learning: A Systematic and Critical Review , London, LSRC
    • GARDNER H (1993) Frames of Mind: the theory of multiple intelligences (2nd edition) London, Fontana
    • HERRMANN N (1996) The whole brain business book . New York: McGraw-Hill.
    • HONEY P & MUMFORD A (1982) Manual of Learning Styles London: P Honey 
    • KELLY G (1955) T he Psychology of Personal Constructs New York: W W Norton
    • KNOWLES M et al (2005) The Adult Learner: The Definitive Classic in Adult Education and Human Resource Development London: Butterworth Heinemann
    • KOLB D A (1984) Experiential Learning: experience as the source of learning and development New Jersey: Prentice-Hall
    • LAVE J and WENGER E (1991) Situated Learning: legitimate peripheral participation Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • 26. Bibliography
    • MYERS IB & McCAULLEY MH (1998) Manual: a guide to the development and use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.
    • PAVLOV I P (1928) Lectures on Conditioned Reflexes, Vol. I London: Lawrence and Wishart 
    • PIAGET J & INHELDER B (1969) The Psychology of the Child London, Routledge and Kegan Paul
    • RIDING R (1994) Personal style awareness and personal development Birmingham: Learning and Training Technology.
    • ROGERS C R (1980) Freedom to learn for the 80s New York: Free Press
    • RYLATT A (2003) Winning the Knowledge Game: Smarter Learning for Business Excellence   London, Butterworth Heinemann
    • SÄLJÖ R (1979) "Learning in the Learner's Perspective: some commonplace misconceptions" Reports from the Institute of Education , University of Gothenburg, 76.
    • SKINNER B F (1973) Beyond Freedom and Dignit y Harmondsworth: Penguin
    • VERMUNT JD (1994) Inventory of Learning Styles (ILS) in higher education Tilburg: University of Tlburg.