I’ve started a MOOC (massive open online course) on Coursera : What Future for Education? and the first topic is ‘How do we learn?’. There is a reflection before accessing the materials as follows:
Reflect on previous successful learning experiences and unsuccessful ones and what it tells you about your prefered ways to learn.
I’ve had a lot of learning experiences these are some recent ones.
Through The VRI project, I learn so much, trying lots of things and acting on the feedback. I consulted brilliant people from a wide range of our community. I made lots of mistakes in all kinds of ways and had to reflect and ask for help. People helped me to learn how as well as assisting me with that project. I’m writing the experience into a book and as I go through my journals and memories, I’m reflecting on how fortunate I have been to have this experience, how generous people around me have been with listening and assisting me to grow through it.
An unsuccessful learning experience I’ve recently had was a course I started that I quit. I quit because the teacher wasn’t engaging and I felt I had already heard what was being covered. It wasn’t right for me so I stopped. It may have been a good piece of paper to add to my resume, but there are many choices of things to learn, I said no so I could say yes to another choice.
I completed an online course recently called ‘Theory of Enchantment‘. I did the novice course and took a while to complete it because there was a lot of reflection to do. I enjoyed the course material, which came from popular culture. I feel like I am continuing to appreciate what I learnt and I know I want to practice from spending time with that course.
Sometimes when I’m learning something new I feel like I’m not making much progress. I’m trying to learn Portuguese because I have a new family member from Brazil, who speaks great English and I would like to speak to him in his language too. I’m learning via Duolingo and some days I am absolutely distracted but I intend and mostly do at least one exercise everyday. Until I quit, I will keep learning more. Sometimes I cheat and in messages use Google translate to pretend I’ve learnt more than I have. I always let him know eventually.
This tells me I like to have a purpose for my learning and a desire or need to learn it. I like learning by attempting and getting feedback, learning from mentors or people who have different expertise and experience. I like learning in a team and alone. Reading or finding more information is usually a part of my process that I enjoy. Reflection deepens the learning for me, I need to have time and space to review what I’ve learnt and have a good think about it.