Learning to Learn: Getting started

Learning to learn is about taking ownership of your own learning processes. This means becoming more aware of your abilities and needs. It also means managing your time and actions in ways that will enable you to extend your abilities and fulfil your needs. A useful way to start learning to learn is to approach each task you have to do as a cycle of activities.

larningcycleFig. 1.1: The Learning Cycle
 

The task might be something set by your tutor, such as an essay, a design brief or preparation for a studio crit, or it might be something you set yourself, such as the production of a piece of studio work. By working consciously on the task using the four headings of the learning cycle – plan, explore, do, reflect – you will be using and developing skills to help you with your studies and enhance your prospects for employment.

Plan

  • work out what the task is
  • work out what you need to do
  • work out how long it might take
  • work out what materials and resources you will need, where to obtain them
  • work out what sort of help you may need and where to obtain it

Explore

  • do visual and/or library research and make notes
  • experiment, try out techniques, ideas and strategies
  • talk to other students and tutors, debate, discuss, brainstorm
  • decide on possible strategies, produce drafts, sketches, models
  • seek help or advice

Do

Complete the task to the best of your ability in a way that fulfils the requirement either that
you have been set or that you have set for yourself.

Reflect

Once you have received feedback from your coursework, analyse and evaluate your actions and decisions in order to improve your performance.

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