To be successful, a student learner must know so much more than the topic they are studying. The first thing they need to know is what type of learner they are and the best strategies to use for their learning style. Next, they need to be aware of what types of learning resources are available to them. Once they know what is available, they need to know where (i.e. library or internet) and how to find it. Once they have found the information they are looking for, they must know how to evaluate the information for accuracy and reliability. Finally, they need to be able to use the information correctly and effectively.
There are resources available today that provide a wide array of opportunities for learning. The most important being the internet, which makes almost anything available to anyone at any time. The variety and amount of information available on the internet can be extremely daunting to any learner particularly to a ...view middle of the document...
Our learning is less effective than it would be if we adapt our approach to the type of learning called for” (pp. 161-162). If a learner learns best by reading a book than watching a video or listening to a lecture is not going to be the best resource for them. In the same way, a learner who learns best by listening is going to respond better to a lecture or audio recording than to reading a book. Determining which available resource is best to use for learning can be determined by knowing what learning style the learner is. There are hundreds of tests, surveys, and questionnaires available to determine this; each giving its own name to learning styles and interpretations of what qualifies one style from another.
One of the most popular, contemporary learning methods incorporates teams or groups. According to Bruffee (2004), “collaborative learning gives students practice in working together [while] the stakes are relatively low, so that they can work effectively together later when the stakes are high” (p. 175). Robert Smith (2004) explains that a learning team should work together, while compensating for each other’s weaknesses, to achieve a common goal (p. 172). Learning teams only work if all members participate, and if team members allow open participation by all members.
To be a successful learner at any age, the learner must know how they learn best whether that be by reading, watching, listening, individually, or in a group setting. They must then discover what resources are available to them and how to find and use each resource. With these foundations, a learner will not only become knowledgeable about their topic, but about themselves as well.
Bruffee, K. A. (2004). Collaborative learning. In E. Steltenpohl, J. Shipton, & S. Villines (Eds.), Orientation to college (2nd ed., pp. 175-178). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.
Chickering, A. W., & Schlossberg, N. K. (2004). Your preferred learning style. In E. Steltenpohl, J. Shipton, & S. Villines (Eds.), Orientation to college (2nd ed., pp. 161-166). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.
Smith, R. M. (2004). The learning group. In E. Steltenpohl, J. Shipton, & S. Villines (Eds.), Orientation to college (2nd ed., pp. 172-174). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.