Learning How To Learn

The education system has, over the centuries, taken a formal and structured approach to teaching and learning. Classes are arranged to accommodate timetables and resources while addressing student needs. There is, however, a growing trend towards a different approach to teaching and learning more suited to the student.

A tailored approach to teaching caters for the individual and allows for and complements their strengths and style of learning, regardless of background, skills or experience.

It allows people to learn at their own pace and comfort level and use computer and computer-based gaming programmes to improve specific learning characteristics.

The challenge, of course, is to capture the best of the traditional approach to teaching while embracing new technology and the insight it provides to improve student engagement and performance.

Students learn in many different ways and at different speeds depending on their aptitude, types of intelligence, degree of motivation, experience of education, and degree of comfort with direct instruction.

Some students prefer a formal approach and need a high level of supervision coupled with hands-on instruction; others like to explore issues on their own in a flexible way that enables independent and self-directed learning.

Understanding the different ways and speeds at which students learn is essential, as it provides a platform from which to develop more effective approaches to learning.

Some students prefer to find answers to pre-set questions on their own, others learn better from worked examples, others prefer to solve problems in groups, while others benefit from a mix of everything.

In an attempt to improve teaching and learning, computer programmes and gaming strategies of all types are increasingly used to teach students.

Similarly, new and different computer aids and approaches are available to help teachers get the most from a blend of traditional teaching and new modes of learning.

The Internet, similarly, provides web-based programmes that include basic instructional information, multimedia presentations, video tutorials and even learning through the use of animation.

Many Internet and computer-based programmes provide feedback to students and identify their strengths and weaknesses, as a way to encourage and accelerate learning.

Research into how we learn is providing insight into how the brain works and will inform and fine-tune ways to improve individual learning styles.

Further developments in teaching and learning will happen, as technology progresses and enables people from different disciplines to collaborate on new approaches that provide better understanding.

SO, the traditional approach of education to teaching and learning is undergoing significant change, as cross-disciplinary research and technology combine to provide greater insights into how we learn.