Here, We explained what learning is. We said the thing that distinguishes humans from animals is learning. We explained the three paths to what and how students learn, explained what effective learning really means and factors of effective learning and finally we explained the strategies for effective learning. Click the link up there if you have not gone through all those before so you can have an in-depth understanding of the process of ensuring effective learning.
In the previous post, a question was asked. The question is, what is the process involved in using such teaching strategies? Here, in this post, we will be explaining some basic processes of ensuring effective learning.
The Process of Ensuring Effective Learning
- Adequate Preparation: Ensuring that students learn effectively places a lot of demand on you as the teacher because you must invest a lot of time into preparing your teaching activities. The popular adage “To fail to plan is to plan to fail” also holds true here. If you desire to stimulate your students to learn effectively, you must invest quality time in preparing and planning what to do, what to use, when to use it and how to use it in the class. No doubt, lesson preparation may be time-consuming, but it really pays off in the amount of interest students will develop in your teaching and in the level of their participation in their learning over the traditional method.
- Use Integrated Teaching Strategies: Teaching must meet the individual needs of your students. Your approach must be to stimulate your students to think and not just to provide information. Consequently, rather than using only the traditional teaching method, incorporate challenging and interesting activities to engage your students and make learning fun for them. Such activities provide learners the opportunity for self-discovery, critical thinking and self-evaluation. Besides, learning becomes more concrete to students when they are able to apply what they learn to real-life situations. Therefore, assist students to see the practical application of whatever you teach them. As earlier stated, it is important to incorporate various activities such as short video clips. quizzes, group works, projects, simulation and demonstration into your teaching to stimulate your students’ interest in learning. As much as possible, however, you will need to be creative by varying your teaching strategies because monotony kills interest. Also, please note that there are still essential ideas and facts that students must learn. Therefore, the point being made here is that the traditional teaching method must be complemented, NOT substituted, with other methods of teaching to keep students actively engaged in their own learning.
- Set Ground Rules: Similarly, it is important to give clear instructions to your students as to what they are expected to do and how they are expected to comport themselves at specific times during your lesson to ensure effective time management.
- Set Learning Objectives: At the onset of every lesson, let your students have a clear understanding of what they are expected to learn so as to encourage them to develop their own personal study plans.
- Set the Right Learning Tone: To set the right tone for effective learning, the right classroom atmosphere must be created. One way to achieve this is to kick-start each lesson with an appropriate ‘ice breaker’ or introduction rather than traditionally starting your lesson by asking students what they learnt in the last lesson! ‘Ice breakers’ are exciting interactive activities that help students relax, get energised and positively motivated for their learning. Different ice breakers are described on the internet. All you need to do is simply Google ‘ice- breakers’ for those that may be appropriate for your lessons.
- Chunk Learning: Rather than presenting students with massive information at once, it may be more beneficial to present bits of information at a time so as to aid students’ understanding. In the same vein, it is also important that you point out similarities or differences between new and old ideas to facilitate remembering. differences
Summary and Conclusion on Effective Learning
Learning is the core business of students in the classroom but at the base of every learning is emotion. Emotions, positive and negative, give direction and quality to students’ learning. While positive emotions stimulate and enhance students’ learning, negative emotions discourage and inhibit their learning. The challenge of every teacher therefore, is to stimulate and nurture positive emotions through interesting and engaging teaching/learning activities and make them get rid of the negative emotions which hinder the students from learning. Learners exposed to interesting activities tend to stay focused on their learning. Effective learning is not determined by how much ground is covered (i.e. course outline) but by what is learned (i.e. what students know and can do). The human brain is not an “empty vessel” to be filled with information, instead, new information is linked with existing similar information in the brain. Therefore, it is extremely important to make use of activities that can stimulate students’ critical thinking, sustain their interest and keep them actively engaged in their learning so that learning, for them, can be fun, engaging and effective.
Let me ask you a question, can you describe, based on what you read here and based on your understanding, the concept of individual variances and learning style can impact your students’ learning?
Also, do you have any steps you take to ensure that your students’ learn new information effectively?
Drop your answers in the comment box!
If you have any questions or any suggestions on this post, The Process of Ensuring Effective Learning, kindly drop it in the comment box below.