Cognitive Cross Training

DaynaBlog1A note from your Academic Coach on Cognitive Cross-Training

Think about yourself and how you learn. What do you read, think about and pursue when you “don’t have to”?  How do you learn this information?  What resources do you tap into?  What learning style do you employ?

You may notice that learning is easier when you are genuinely interested, when your natural curiosity is peaked.

Now, think about your college classes.  How is information shared with you?  What can you do if the teaching style of your instructor is a bit different than your learning style?  And, how do you make seemingly uninteresting material engaging. How can you make it your own?  Because, at the end of the day, you want to incorporate your brain’s natural learning preferences into your studying approach.

You can repackage the material

How can you repackage your material?

Mix things up! What does your study time look like?  Is it a repetitive & predictable exercise?  If so, string together a series of varied, but related activities.  Begin by learning through your natural learning style and then incorporate an activity from each of the remaining 3 learning styles.  Because, encountering the same material in different ways can help cement knowledge as you activate different parts of the brain.

Visual (V)
Learn information from charts, graphs, flow charts, and other symbolic means.

Aural/Auditory (A)
Hear what you are learning. Learn from lectures, pod casts, group discussion, YouTube videos, web chats, and by talking things through.

Read/Write (R)
Receive your information through words, reading, and writing in all its forms.

Kinesthetic (K)
Learn through hands-on activities, either in real-life situations such as work-based learning, or in simulated lab environments.

Interested in knowing your learning style & finding out great tips on how to study using this learning style?  Check out:

http://www.rrc.ca/files/File/lac/learningstyle.pdf

What can I do today?
Take it outside.  Done your cable-knit sweater and walk on an autumn trail.  Pose study/review questions to yourself and answer them as you walk.  There is a school in Canmore, Alberta which is built on the model of a “Forest School.”  Students spend at least one 45-minute block learning outdoors.  Sometimes our best ideas come to us when we leave the 4 walls and synthesise information in nature.

In the final analysis, challenge yourself to synthesize information, apply it in new ways, be innovative, think about what you’re learning and apply it to future thinking.

Submitted by:  Dayna Graham,  Adult Learning Facilitator, Academic Success Centre

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