Blogging 101

Blogging 101 – Day Eleven

What’s My Learning Style?

I learned in college that I preferred interactive small groups or one-on-one settings. When the opportunity arose for course projects that required groups, it wasn’t surprising that I gravitated to like-minded individuals, and vice versa. Although in hindsight, it started much earlier.

While I can retain information through nearly every possibly means, something that allows me to visualize or read works best. When I was in high school, I wanted to take a speed reading course.  Within the first thirty minutes of the start of the class, I was back in the admin office, searching for a new class.  Why? Because the class wasn’t going to help me–not my thinking, but the teacher’s.

The objective of the course was to be able to read 1,000 words a minute with at least ninety percent accuracy.  We were tested to determine our speed reading ability–I read 990 words a minute and had ninety-five percent accuracy. I ended up in a bookkeeping class.

Shortly after I met my wife, she asked me to read a two-page letter she had received.  I glanced at it and handed it back.  Boy, was she mad!  She thought I wasn’t interested in helping her respond to the letter.  She changed her mind when I was able to tell her what was each paragraph–not verbatim, but the gist of every one.

As I mentioned earlier, I can also learn one-on-one.  When I attended the Washington Language Center in the mid-80s, I was surprised to learn I was the sole Turkish language student for that year.  While it was tough being the only student, I did well. Onun icin Turkcem fena degil (as a result my Turkish isn’t bad), thirty years later.

As I progressed through my professional life, learning was a constant requirement. I attained a MBA and a Master of Science in Strategic Focus, both from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland.  I have no idea what the campus looks like–I never stepped foot on it.  Both degrees were done entirely through distance education, with proctors monitoring my exams.

When I watch the news, I find listening to the “talking heads” usually a slow and painful process.  It amazes my wife that I’ll watch the news with the sound off, but in reality I’m reading the text scrolling across the bottom.  When it becomes repetitive I switch news channels or move onto something else.

I still read–a lot.  Between the two online writing groups I participate in, I’m reading 50-60 novels at one time, moving between books, chapter by chapter. Not only does this provide me an opportunity to assist others with their writing, it also helps mine and aids in generating ideas when my brain cells are on empty or just too stubborn to work.

So how do you learn?


21 thoughts on “Blogging 101 – Day Eleven”

  1. I combine different aspects of learning styles depending on my interest. I learn by reading and jotting notes. Visuals help me to understand practicalities better. And of course the interactive sessions enable me to ask my questions and get answers instantly. It’s nice to read your take on the prompt. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  2. Hi, Randy. I always seem to learn best by small group instruction and then immediately putting into practice that which I’ve been taught. If I can “do” it, I feel that I’ve learned it. And as I’ve grown older, I’ve accomplished quite a lot by distance learning. I’ve taken several online courses, and I’ve enjoyed being able to glean much from them. Of course, it helps to be able to attack them at my own pace, in the comfort of my writing room, without having to leave the house. On another note, I’m struck by the fact you read so many books at the same time. That feat, in itself, would make for a good blog post, I should think! 🙂

    1. Hi Mark,
      Agree with you. Being able to work at my own pace in a location of my choosing also made the distance learning a good choice. Exams had to be scheduled in advance based on a worldwide schedule but it worked okay.

      I may have that many books underway at the same time, but certain ones draw my attention more than others. Because these are people who are reading The Kurdish Connection, I’m compelled to read their works in progress. Usually it’s a review per review, so if someone is slower to respond I focus my reading on those who respond quicker. In fact, I have about a dozen followers who always end their reviews with “where’s the next chapter” 🙂

  3. I remember things when I begin to teach them to others. Reading helps, but I easily forget things unless I start sharing the info to others, then it gets stuck on my head. 🙂

  4. Speed reading is an interesting subject – especially the idea of breaking the link to the speed at which we can sound out the words in our heads which I discovered via a search after reading this post. I can’t imagine reading 50-60 books at the same time! I’m not sure I’d enjoy that.

    1. If I wasn’t a member of the two writing groups I wouldn’t be reading so many at the same time. One of the requirements of both sites is you must read and review other writers’ works in order to have them review yours. I do concentrate on a core group as they read as fast as I post a chapter, while others are a bit slower. I still find time each evening to read my favorite authors:)

  5. I rely greatly on the (literally) printed word. By “literally” I mean that actual print on paper, not text on a screen, is the best way to get data into my head. I sometimes print out web-pages and articles if I care more about learning the content therein. I, too, am usually in the middle of multiple books (not 50-60, though, not anywhere close to that!); although I read far more non-fiction (history and political commentary, mostly) than fiction.

    The “how do you learn” question, however, also brings to mind what I learned about Gardner’s theory of intelligence while I was studying to be a teacher. Many teachers and schools misinterpret Gardner to mean that different people have different forms of intelligence (textual, musical, physical, mathematical, etc.); and that teachers should tailor their lessons toward students with more diverse forms of intelligence. Gardner himself has criticized this interpretation of his work, saying that his studies demonstrated that all people have some of all of the different forms of intelligence (even if our capabilities in the various categories reflect different sets of strengths and advantages); and that we learn best when multiple forms of our intelligence are utilized and tested simultaneously (using a combination, e.g., of text, imagery, sound, etc. to get the same lesson across and to register in our memories on multiple levels at the same time).

    1. Hi Paul,
      Great assessment. Like you, I used to read primarily non-fiction and never had any idea I’d turn to fiction and begin to write it as well. Just shows we never know how things can switch:)

      1. Now that I finished my creation
        I think I can vent some of my frustration
        Distant learning is not a piece of cake
        Sometimes I feel that my head will break
        Learning for me is a great deal of fun
        One thing I never learnt how to fire a gun
        Assignments are finished now time for a break
        Need to figure out how to get my pingback
        Mack to @michelleweber I need to run
        Distant learning is not always fun

  6. I like one and one and small groups settings the best, but I don’t think I could have finished any of my degrees as a distance learner. That said, some of the novels I’ve read have led me to led me to endless hours of research and learning on my own.

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