Independent learning and thinking

Report
GET AHEAD
UNDERGRADUATE SUMMER PROGRAMME 2014
Independent learning and thinking
Sara Steinke
[email protected]
Aims of the session
• Importance of being an active and reflective
learner
- C.R.E.A.M. strategy
• Value of being organised in your studies
time management
3 Ps - procrastination, perfectionism and
prioritisation
• Becoming a independent critical thinker
Cottrell, S. The Study Skills Handbook
C - Creative
have the confidence to use your individual strategies and styles, apply
imagination to your learning
R - Reflective
sit with your experience, analyse and evaluate your own performance
and draw lessons from it
E - Effective
organise your space, time, priorities, state of mind and resources to
the maximum benefit
A - Active
be personally involved, do things, physically and mentally in order to
make sense of what you learn
M - Motivated
be aware of your desired outcomes using short and long-term 'goals'
5 reasons to be organised
1. Adult learners have many, often competing,
demands on their time; work, family, friends and
studying
2. Poor organisational skills prevents students from
achieving their best, NOT ability
3. Related to other study skills
- study space/resources, essay writing,
presentation, exams, revision, reading for academic
purposes, note-making
4. Helps you to achieve your goals - S.M.A.R.T.
5. Link to employability - transferable skill
"Time management is the skill which
above all others can make the difference between
graduating and drop out.”
Ruth Pickford and Sally Brown, Assessing Skills
and Practice
• What is meant by time management
• Where your time goes
• How well you use your time
What is time management
• Time management is about organising your
competing priorities in the limited time
available
• Time management often has very little to do
with time
• It is about organising your life around what is
important to you, dealing with and confronting
more emotional issues like fear, inadequacy and
other people’s demands on you
What current pressures
are there on your time?
Studying
socialising
Have you thought
about how you
are going to fit
travel
studying into
your wider
schedule?
work
Can you foresee
any problems
which may arise?
lectures,
reading,
writing
sleeping/
eating
exercise/
relaxation
home/
personnel
1. Small pockets of time - around 45 minutes - are more
productive; short portions of time soon add up; take
frequent breaks
2. Recognise and deal with procrastination; set goals; identify
your time wasters (self-inflicted and given)
3. Pareto Principle - roughly 80% of results/effects come from
20% of effort/causes; 20% effort delivers an acceptable
result, not perfect, but good enough
4. L’Oreal principal - ‘because you’re worth it’; educate your
family, friends and colleagues to respect your study
space/time
5. Use one diary to create a ‘to-do list’; prioritise tasks; note
deadlines; write down dates you must begin working
towards the deadlines, establish study timetable
Mon
Tues
Wed
Thurs
Fri
Sat
Sun
am
8-12
Gym/
Work
Work
Gym/
Work
Work
Work
House
work
and
errands
House
work
and
errands
pm
12-6
Work
Work
Work
Work
Work
Study
Family/
Friends/
Fun
Eve
6-9
BBK
BBK
BBK
Gym
Family/ Study
Friends/
Fun
Night
9-12
TV
Library
Key
reading
Key
reading
Family/ Family/ TV
Friends/ Friends/
Fun
Fun
TV
• Use one diary, carry with you at all
times
• Enter deadlines, lectures,
appointments, including extra time
needed to complete these tasks
• Check diary everyday
• Do not schedule 100% of your time,
allow for emergencies/the
unexpected
• Plan time for family, friends, eating,
shopping
• Create to-do list, using prioritisation
• Record follow up tasks
1. Have you created a dedicated study space?
2. Are you comfortable?
3. Have you enough space to work in?
4. Do you have all the equipment that you need?
5. How are you going to organise your notes/
books?
• The 3 Ps
• What is prioritisation
• How to prioritise
The 3 Ps
• Avoid PROCRASTINATION
• No such thing as PERFECTIONISM
• Learn how to PRIORITISE
Procrastination
• Avoid lots of displacement activities
• Check that your study goals are realistic are you trying to do too much? - S.M.A.R.T.
• Know yourself
• Reward yourself
• Just do it - something is better than nothing
• Talk to your family members/friends, ask them
to respect your study time
• Identify your time wasters
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Procrastination
Perfectionism
Lack of self discipline
Worrying
Personal disorganisation
Lack of priorities
Inability to say ‘no’
Indecisiveness
Socialising (too much)
Intrusions (visitors, calls)
Not finding resources
Excessive family demands
Not able to contact people
Facebook/Twitter/internet
1. Which of these
time wasters apply
to you?
2. How are you going
to deal with these
time wasters?
What is prioritisation
• Quadrant A - Urgent and Important
The Quadrant of Necessities - reactive tasks
that need to be done, often at the last minute.
Crises, 'fire-fighting' and looming deadlines
are typical examples.
• Quadrant B - Important but not Urgent
The Quadrant of Quality - proactive tasks, often
habitual, that maintain or improve the quality of
your work and life. The more you expand this
quadrant, the more you reduce the other three,
particularly 'pseudo-emergencies' that should
never have been allowed to become so.
• Quadrant C - Urgent but not Important
The Quadrant of Deception - plenty of people
have gone home in the evening wondering where
all the time went. Well, it was here! It's so easy to
get sucked into doing things that are the wrong
side of the 80-20 rule.
• Quadrant D - Neither Urgent or Important
The Quadrant of Waste - you know what it is and
you know when you've been in it. The trick is to
know when you're in it. Often, it starts out as
restful time (which is Quadrant B).
List of things to
do
1. Print/submit
essay for today’s
deadline
2. Start to prepare
presentation for
next week’s
seminar
3. Sick child
requiring urgent
doctor’s appt.
4. Plan for work
meeting taking
place tomorrow
5. Book holiday
for next summer
A
Importance
Need to do
scale 6
(unimportant)
to
10 (essential)
B
Urgency
Do now
scale 1 (must be
done at once)
to
5 (it can wait)
C
Subtract the
score in column
B from column
A.
The higher
scores in column
C are priorities.
D
Order of
priority/
When to do
Number the
order of
priorities
List of things to
do
1. Print/submit
essay for today’s
deadline
2. Start to prepare
presentation for
next week’s
seminar
3. Sick child
requiring urgent
doctor’s appt.
4. Plan for work
meeting taking
place tomorrow
5. Book holiday
for next summer
A
Importance
Need to do
scale 6
(unimportant)
to
10 (essential)
B
Urgency
Do now
scale 1 (must be
done at once)
to
5 (it can wait)
C
Subtract the
score in column
B from column
A.
The higher
scores in column
C are priorities.
10
1
9
8
3
5
10
1
9
9
2
7
6
5
1
D
Order of
priority/
When to do
Number the
order of
priorities
Time management and organisation
Do you:
have strategies to help you plan and organise
your time?
know how much time you have available for
your studies?
know what makes studying more effective for
you (i.e. when and where you study best)?
keep a diary or calendar so you know when to
attend lectures and when assignments are due?
Useful resources for organisation skills
Cottrell, S. (2008) The Study Skills Handbook, 3rd
Edition (London, Palgrave) chapter 4 ‘The
C.R.E.A.M. Strategy for learning’ pp.70-79
http://www.palgrave.com/skills4study/studyskills/learning/time.asp
helpful information on organisational skills on
the Skills4Study website
http://www.bbk.ac.uk/mybirkbeck/studyskills/course timetable
academic skills workshops which deal with
organisational skills - and other study skills - in
greater detail
http://www.bbk.ac.uk/mybirkbeck/get-ahead-stay-ahead/academicsupport/organisational-skills
20 minute interactive tutorial supporting this
Student Orientation programme
• Everyday critical reasoning skills
• Importance of critical thinking skills at
university
• The process of critical thinking
• Critical thinking questions
Everyday critical reasoning skills (1)
You think critically all the time for example
when:
- deciding whether or not to buy a particular
product
- telling your friends why you like/dislike a
film/book/piece of music
- reacting to a news story
- deciding which school to send your child to
Everyday critical reasoning skills (2)
You can react in many different ways to a (new)
idea or proposition:
- reject it
- accept it
- half believe it
- believe aspects of it
- investigate further, find evidence for or
against, ask probing questions and come to
your own conclusions
Think about the following
a) Job opportunities
/promotion
What factors were
involved in your
decision to study a
particular course at
Birkbeck?
b) Desire to return to
learning
c) Financial concerns
d) Time constraints
e) Course subject
f) Other reasons
Importance of critical thinking at university (1)
• Occurs across all teaching/learning/research
activities - cornerstone of academic study
• Involves thinking analytically about yours and
other peoples work/ideas - adopting a critical
distance
• Pushes the boundaries of knowledge forward examines the grey area, rather than providing
black or white, yes or no answers
• Transferable skill to the workplace
Importance of critical thinking at university (2)
• Not simply related to academic content; also
involves the journey of discovery - a process
• Involves a variety of academic skills
- reading, note-taking, essay/report writing,
revision strategy, exam technique, presentations,
organisational skills, time management
• Requires an active, independent and reflective
approach to learning - C.R.E.A.M. approach to
learning (Stella Cottrell)
12 things a critical thinkers can do
1. Summarise complex ideas
7. Solve complex problems
2. Evaluate arguments and
evidence
8. See connections between
subjects
3. Understand opposing
positions
9. Distinguish between
emotive and neutral
vocabulary
4. Draw reasonable
conclusions
5. Predict logical
consequences
6. Devise sensible
alternatives
10. Distinguish between
theory, fact and opinion
11. Recognise and resist
manipulation
12. Read ‘between the lines’
In the process of critical thinking you:
• Analyse (take apart)
- Look at the key points, arguments and underlying assumptions
- Comprehend the key points and arguments
- Compare and contrast arguments
- Look at the different components of the argument and how
they relate to each other
• Synthesise (put together)
- Pull together different arguments to express a proposition/idea
- Make logical connections to serve one argument
• Evaluate (create your own)
- Criticise views you do not agree with/arguments that do not
hold up
- Weigh up and come to your own judgement
- Justify your view with the evidence you have found and
develop your own arguments
Think about the following
You have been asked
to read an article in
preparation for a
lecture.
What questions might
you ask in order to
think critically about
the article?
1. What is the main
argument of the article?
2. What are the reasons
given to justify the
argument?
3. What evidence has been
used?
4. What do you know about
the author?
5. What audience is the
author addressing?
6. What sources has the
author used?
Critical thinking
Can you:
distinguish between fact and opinion?
draw conclusions based on evidence?
account for different points of view and detect
bias?
see the wider picture?
do you know the difference between
description, analysis and evaluation?
Useful sources for critical thinking
Cottrell, S. (2005) Critical Thinking Skills (London, Palgrave)
http://www.palgrave.com/skills4study/mp3s.asp#Critical
12 minute audio file based on Cottrell’s Critical Thinking Skills
http://www.palgrave.com/skills4study/studyskills/thinking/index.asp
helpful information on critical thinking skills on the Skills4Study
Website
http://www.bbk.ac.uk/mybirkbeck/get-ahead-stay
ahead/skills/critical-thinking
5 minute interactive tutorials supporting this Student
Orientation programme
http://www.bbk.ac.uk/mybirkbeck/studyskills/course_timetable
academic skills workshops dealing with critical thinking skills –
and other academic skills - in greater detail
Recap of the session
• Importance of being an active and reflective
learner
- C.R.E.A.M. strategy
• Value of being organised in your studies
time management
3 Ps - procrastination, perfectionism and
prioritisation
• Becoming a independent critical thinker
Presentations can be found at
http://www.bbk.ac.uk/mybirkbeck/services/
orientation/get-ready-to-study-at-birkbeck

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