Learning Strategies

"There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning."

- Jiddu Krishnamurti

What's your style?

You came to college to learn, right? Your learning certainly hasn't started here, however, and it assuredly will not be ending here. Nevertheless, even though you've been doing this for quite some time, and there's no doubt you're good at it, one thing we especially never stop learning about is ourselves.

Richard Felder and Barbara Soloman of North Carolina State University have created an Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire. This excellent resource asks you a series of either-or type questions, and then gauges where you lean on a set of four learning scales with a point rating. Each scale has two contrasting ends where your rating indicates a bias toward one side over the other. A higher rating indicates a more extreme bias with a lower rating following similar suit. Keep in mind, however, these are not absolutes. Even an individual with an extreme bias will still have tendencies that lean toward the other end.

Mastering your mind

Now that you've put a figure on your preferred approaches to absorbing and applying new information, give a listen to Dr. Barbara Oakley, Ph.D., professor of engineering at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Dr. Oakley attests first hand to the difficulty of learning the sciences and mathematics; she flunked out of them in high school. Now an established academic figure in a S.T.E.M. field, she offers valuable insight to overcoming self-doubt, struggles and weaknesses. After all, you're here to grow.