12 Power Tools for Learning

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Learning is a very important skill. I believe that these 12 well-tried tips will improve your ability to learn.

1. What's in it for me

What are the benefits to be gained from improving my ability to learn? How will it help me to improve?

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2. Visualise success

See yourself tackling situations with confidence. Hear the approving comments. Feel the pleasure and pride.

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3. Get the big picture

Get an overview by looking ahead and creating a general outline of how a subject fits together - like looking at a map.

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4. Sketch out what you know

Consider or jot down what you already know about a subject and what you need to find out more about. This helps give you confidence and also identify things to learn

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5. Ask questions

"I keep six honest serving men; they taught me all I know. The names are: What and Why and When and How and Where and Who."

Rudyard Kipling

6. Small steps

Don't be discouraged by the size of a task. Take things one step at a time and experience several small successes.

A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.

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7. Regular breaks

Most people find it difficult to concentrate for long sessions. Stop frequently for a break - it will improve your ability to learn.

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8. Get the facts

Get the facts in a way which suits you best; for example, reading, listening or practical experience, or more likely a combination of all three.

9. Explore the subject

Think about the facts you have learned to gain a deeper understanding.

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10. Memorise key points

Remembering key points will help to 'trigger' your memory for the whole subject.

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11. Show you know

Use your knowledge. Demonstrate that you understand what you have learnt.

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12. Reflect

Ask yourself how the learning task is going. What's going well - how could it go better?

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