P.O.W.E.R Learning – successful learning strategies: 5 Key Steps to Achieving Success
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“The key to success is to make sure that planning is systematic. The best way to plan systematically is to use goal setting strategies.”
- Robert S Feldman - American Psychologist and Author
From the above section we saw the principles surrounding success. In this section we are going to look at the strategies developed by an American Psychologist and teacher – Robert S Feldman called – strategy for successful learning.
What does this acronym mean?
Simply it means:
Prepare Organise Work Evaluate and Rethink
How does it work?
You are the one to make it work. This means that it requires the investment of your time and effort. P.O.W.E.R Learningis a process and you are the only one who can make it succeed.
Prepare is key to success in any endeavour. If you are going on a journey, you need to apply yourself thoughtfully to it through careful preparation. It requires goal setting. Goals can be long term or short term.
Set both long- term and short-term goals
Long-term goals are aims relating to major accomplishments that take sometime to achieve. Short-term goals are relatively limited steps you would take to accomplishing your long-term goals. The idea here is the activities and tasks of the short- term goals all add to realise the long- term objective.
Set SMART goals
SMART is an acronym for goal setting strategy which describes the step you need to achieve the result you desire. It helps you to work through clear goals and outcomes since they are written outlines for plan of action.
In setting SMART goal you start with the aim in mind. An aim is an objective, a marker, an outcome on the way to final achievement. Each outcome is made consists of sub-outcomes which helps on the journey to the final achievement. An end is the final outcome or goal.
Rules for setting out clear objectives
Ø Objectives are very specific. They tell exactly what you will do and when you will do it
Ø When you think about what you will do make a commitment to it. Objectives are written. “I will …” Do not use words like “try or may be” which is uncertain.
Ø Be sure that your objective can be measured. Every day. Every week; I can say. “Did you do this?” and you answer with either yes or no. You need not leave room for any excuse. You need to follow through!
Ø If for example you said you want to make a “B” in each subject. You objectives can be as follows:
Ø I will go to every class every day
Ø I will sit in the middle of the class.
Ø I will re-read my notes from every lesson everyday
Ø I will begin every assignment the day it is given
According to the SMART model your goal should be:
A short, specific, simple description of the outcome you want.
Goals should be measurable, meaningful to you. There should be more than one way to achieve it.
Describe the goals in the present tense, as if they are happening now and are achieve able.
Your goals should be responsible, realistic and right for you
State a time frame in which you will achieve your goals.
Source: Coombes, F (2008), Teach Yourself: Self Motivation, Hodder Education London
The follow up to the preparation stage is th organisation step. This could mean gathering the things you need to make the achievement of your goal a success, to thinking about your techniques as well as the condition of the physical environment where he activity takes place. Organisation provides a context for when you actually begin to work.
After organisation of your activities for moving forward in your goal, you need to work at it so as to accomplish your ideal. This requires motivation and great effort on you part. Motivation is the inner power and psychological enrgy thet directs and fuels behaviour. Your ability to succeed apart from your motivation depends on the effot you put on the job at hand..
Effort is the cause of success
You also need to take:
· Responsibility for your failures – and successes – this requires that you take ownership of your learning.
· Think positively – faith and purpose will always deliver the results. You need to be passionate for the work and be determined to complete it by acting vigorously despite the challenges you face.
· Accept that you cannot control everything – you have to accept the fact that certain elements necessary for your work to be carried out effortless may not be on your side. Seek help from those who can help you and add the experienced to your repertoire of new knowledge and experience.
After your work is completed, you need to evaluate the outcome. Evaluation is the assessment of the match between a product or activity the goals it was intended to meet. You can use the PMI strategy devised by Edward de Bono to help you in your evaluation.
· What is plus about the work?
· What is minus about it?
· What is interesting about it?
Moving forward then; how can you make this work better?
To rethink is an opportunity to critically appraise (bring a fresh eye to) your work. Rethinking involves using critical thinking; which is made of reanalyzing, questioning and challenging underlying assumptions. Critical thinking focuses on the ideas and process you have used to do your work.
Why do I need to use it?
It helps you to create a strategy in form of a structured plan so as to enable youtoaccomplish your desired goal.
Who can use it?
Anyone who desired direction and success towards a certain goal – a task, revision, completion of assignments or course work to purchase of weekly groceries.
When and where can I use it?
It can be used at anything where you need to meticulously plan for realisation of any desired outcome.
Do you have any other strategy to improve your learning outcome? Share it!
☺2012 Benjamin S C Ugoji
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