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Seven key techniques to facilitate learning

  • Learning does not have to be, and it isn't, a tug of war. It is fun! Or what can be more fun than getting to know new things which previously you know nothing about? More so, learning comes with numerous advantages: 

    • It makes one knowledgeable and skillful.
    • Learning enriches and improves one’s perspectives of the world.
    • It allows us to connect with people and understand the world better.
    • It prepares us for opportunities.

    However, learning becomes frustrating and boring when the learner finds it difficult to have a full grasp of whatever he is learning. So many factors can be responsible for this:

    • Learning without specific goals.
    • Not having the right attitude to learning.
    • Lack of conducive learning environment.
    • Unqualified or inexperienced learning facilitator/teacher.

    To make learning productive, rewarding and fun for you, here are some important steps or techniques you need to consider:

    • Active listening

    Listening is an essential part of learning. When you listen carefully and actively, you block out unnecessary distractions and get a full understanding of what your lecturers teach, minute by minute.

    • Voracious reading

    As an active learner who wishes to get the best out of learning, you must read beyond what you’re taught. Read wide to have multiple perspectives on what you learn.

    • Asking questions

    Don’t assume what you don’t know, ask questions! Your facilitator has a lot for you within a limited time. So, often times he ends up teaching a minute fraction of what he plans to teach. To get to know other important information he might have skipped, you have to ask questions. Experience reveals that asking questions ensure students/learners drill out comprehensive information from tutors.

    • Notes taking

    Don’t merely rely on your memory while receiving lectures, take notes. Your memory sometimes can fail you, but you always have your notes to refer to. Besides, notes usually facilitate the understanding of complex concepts complexly discussed in textbooks and other primary texts.

    • Personal reflection

    During study time, don’t just read your notes and textbooks for reading sakes; reflect personally on what you read. Think about their essence and applicability. Understanding the applicability of concepts beyond verbal explanation makes learning productively rewarding. Also, while reflecting on what you have studied, try to verbally explain what you have learned. If you cannot do this, it means you haven't fully understood what you learned. So, you may have to revise.

    • Relevant/familiar comparisons

    No matter how abstract a concept is, try and relate it to something concrete; something visible. It helps to solidify your understanding.

    • Critical discussions

    Engage your colleagues in critical discussions. Critical discussions facilitate knowledge sharing and retention as it provides the platform to display/practice the acquired knowledge/skills.

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