After reading the articles on learning styles and after participating in two learning style assessment tests, I have found out that I am a reflective, intuitive, visual, and sequential learner who prefers learning alone by assimilating and converging. By Kolb’s descriptions of assimilating and converging, I prefer to study theories and concepts rather than social and interpersonal issues. I also do not prefer studying with a group and I am not good in brainstorming.
These preferences post a challenge for me when it comes to the open forum discussions and commenting on my classmates’ posts. I have been amazed at how my classmates seem to easily come up with good discussion questions. What usually happens is that I would read posts and try to answer the ones whom I can easily relate to. Even that is a challenge because of the many questions and replies posted.
I am also a visual learner, I learn most by studying graphs, charts, maps, etc. In most articles where I have to read long texts, I usually have to picture the ideas in my head or correlate it to past experiences (which also comes in pictures) for me to have a deep level of understanding. This usually takes time and eats up my study time.
Classmate Catherine helped me out with these challenges. Her reply was:
As I read your post about your difficulties on giving comments to some of our open forum discussions, I can see that this is my strength and allow me to share my suggestions on how I give comments the easy way. Based from Kolb’s Experiential Learning, experience determines Learning. Just like what you said choose a topic that you can relate to and then give comments according to your experience. Relating your past or present experience from the topic you choose makes it easy for you to share ideas and it will give you spontaneous thoughts because you have learned from that kind of situation. Using Kolb’s Learning Style Grasping Experience, how we feel or think on a certain task, relating to a certain topic is already having a FEELING to that situation and then comes the THINKING in which how you share your thoughts or ideas to the discussion wherein some may learn from your experience or ideas as well.
I hope that I have helped you in my own little way. Thanks!
In the same way, classmate Adrian has this to say:
I have the same view Ma. Lissa, I am feeling rather overwhelmed with how our other classmates come up with pretty straightforward responses yet still precise and clear. They all seem to be very quick-witted. In the end I feel very apprehensive whether my response would just turn out to be relatively generic.
Also, I can really identify with your learning style, I tend to read over and over again in order to have a deep understanding about a certain topic and it really does eat my time also.
Here are some of my suggestions for you and me:
Read and Pause- Of course, careful reading is really crucial for us be succesful with this subject. We should read carefully to fully understand the subject matter at hand. Next, we should pause before we respond so that we can collect ourselves and thoughts.Burting out a response without thinking it through just makes us look insecure and anxious.
Be organized- I found this structure very useful.
PEP- Point, Example, Point (PEP).
In this one you start by briefly making a point or stating a key idea or objective. Then you give an example or story that proves your point. Then you wrap up by restating the main idea, or your main point. When you are short on time, this is the way to go.
Time management- Juggling between and study is really hard so we really need to find the best time of the day for us to study.
Practice- this is pretty self-explanatory and a cliche but practice really makes perfect.
I hope this could help us both. Thank you!
Then, I also helped out Cathy with her personal challenges.Turned out we both experience difficulty with loads of modules to read. My advice to her and to myself:
Hi Cathy. Like you, I also experience difficulties coping up with the loads of modules that we need to study on our own and coming up with ideas to support answes on discussion fora. I may have some tips for both you and me. After reading an article, we may pause and reflect on what we have studied, then write a short summary, or take down important points or think of possible applications or connections to the real world. Our journal or a notebook/ notepad will be a good vehicle for this. Then, when writing answers to the discussion fora, it is easier to refer to our summaries than to go back to the long articles to find the answers.
And, like you, I also want a quiet place to study. So minimizing distractions to maximize focus and concentration is the key.
Lastly, Adrian needs my help too, so here’s what I told him:
Hi Adrian. Since you mentioned that your learning style varies depending on your personal feelings and state of mind, I would suggest that before you start studying, take a rest and collect positive thoughts. Reflect on your motivations in taking up this course. I know this is hard, especially after long hours of work and stress, but resting and doing stress-free activities may recharge your energies. As for me, I prefer watching TV while taking a snack first. Then start your studies with positive emotions, they really help you process informations faster.