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How we learn : expressed in a mind-map

Fig.1. How you learn!

The Holy Trinity of learning.

2 years and 4 months it has taken me on a Masters programme called ‘Open & Distance Learning’ to realise that this is what it takes for a person to gain knowledge.

Of these three, I’d put motivation first, and put intrinsic motivation above extrinsic.

If you want to learn you will and can.

Does it help to have a classroom? A library? Some books? Do you need a computer, or smartphone, or laptop? 

You need a teacher. Present is best, small groups or one to one. A teacher who motivates.

Your ‘teacher’ in the first instance, and the greatest motivation or de-motivation, is a parent or immediate family member or guardian, your mum, dad, a grandparent or older sibling.

I stumbled upon a bits and pieces that my father had kept (he died a decade ago) and found a couple of my school reports from when I was ten; and some old school photos. I’ve been online remembering school with half a dozen old classmates from when I was 4.11 to 16.

An unpleasant experience with a teacher killed a subject, while a positive experience and even where I didn’t excel I was happy and got good reports. A subject I may have enjoyed and came to via the back door by going to live there, French.

Where is the teacher in e-learning?

In the instructional design and the team of content creators, in the way software recognises and rewards, in the vital involvement of an e-moderator, who like the ‘good teacher’ know how and where to step in to initiate, to support, encourage, encourage and motivate.

Funny that this should come to me during the vacuum of a Bank holiday. (or not so funny, the last module I did ‘creativity, innovation and change B822 gave me the green light to empty my head, go for walks even to dream on it. Which of course I did last night, bobbing around in a world of classes).

There is a paper I am picking my way through too, from ALT- C  2007 and some papers from the Open University’s Institute of Education I am glancing at, so I’ve hardly stopped feeding my mind.

Effort and Time speak for themselves

I’m not suggesting that everyone can get A grades, there is more at play. The effort benefits from guidance. Consistency is required too, and not always in a person’s mindset. Either way, for anyone, it takes time. The day (or night) will never come where you can go to sleep wearing a headset and wake up  after an 8 hour mind dump and ‘know stuff’) But then again, who ever thought a driverless car would become feasible?

I set out with the idea of doing nothing more than making a face out of time, effort and motivation.

But of course, how, what and why we learn is a rather complex affair.

The influencing factors given above carry different weighting and change through time as events play out.

(This should be interactive so that you can adjust the size of each factor to suit your current circumstance, or circumstances you recall from past experience, at school say … or that you hope for in the future. With this in mind I’ll give the above a second shot in Bubbl.us)

Do we define ‘success’ as individual happiness or achievement through the education process and beyond?

Mess happens.

To study learning we rock and roll between simplification and complication, in an effort to understand we create models, but the reality is always as messy as the individual, their mind and circumstances, when and where they were born and so on.

  • An uncle takes the kids to a show, and one of them take as shine to performance.
  • A child breaks an arm and goes to hospital and takes an interest in working in a hospital.
  • A teacher makes and illustrates and interesting point about landforms and calls one an isthmus and another a peninsula and the idea of naming forms and understanding how they take place takes root.
  • Then along comes World War 1, or you are hit by a bus and hospitalized or fall in love 🙂

And in all of this, some of us to respond to many of these external stimuli while other of us take a focus and lasting interested, whether as a hobby or career.

A work in progress!

I rather like the idea of trying to create the kinds of infographics produced by David Mcandless illustrated in ‘Information is Beautiful’.

Please suggest factors and weightings!

If you are studying education or learning is there research on these factors, surveys that give weightings and importance to the different factors, or is everything a subset of something else?

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