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Types of learning

All students need to develop their learning skills to be successful in their studies.  It is important that you gain an understanding of how you learn as this will help you to make the right learning choices, improve your ability to learn and help you to develop your study skills.

Learning is not just by memorizing facts, it includes the development of skills, knowledge, critical thinking and power of argument. Learning also helps us to carry out tasks more successfully and efficiently. 

There are three main types of learning:
  • Learning that helps to improve your physical abilities.  For example, at school you may have been taught how to play basketball or tennis, or you may have been taught how to swim as a child.  Indeed, as a very young child you learned how to stand, walk run and skip.
  • Learning that helps you to develop and increase your knowledge.  Everything that you know has been learned at some stage in your life. 
  •  Learning that helps you to change your attitude and beliefs.  This could be in formal learning setting, such as school or college, or you may have experienced a situation that tested your existing assumptions, helped you to learn something new and changed your attitude.

Through your own experience you will be able to relate or identify in which you consider your learning to have been successful or unsuccessful. Here are some reasons for success and failure of learning:

Succeeding to Learn 
  • It is clear that for successful learning to take place, the following should occur:
  • The skills to be learned are relevant to you and your needs
  • You are interested in your learning
  •  You are motivated to learn
  •  You can learn to use skills in different contexts and activities
  • You are actively involved in the leaning process
  •  You are able to think, develop ad work at your own pace.
  • You feel comfortable in your learning environment
  •  You are comfortable with the teacher, teaching method and teaching materials
  • If you are studying a course that meets the criteria for successful learning, you will find that you enjoy the course and are motivated to learn, as a consequence you should be more successful in your studies.
Failing to Learn
Some reason that have been identified for unsuccessful learning:
  • Poor teaching method or teaching materials
  • Uncomfortable learning environment
  • Lack of time
  • Lack of confidence
  • Low opinion of self and ability
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Lack of motivation and interest
  • Irrelevance to life and interests
  • Being forced to do something you don't want to do
  • It is important to be aware that some of these reasons are due to external factors that may be difficult for you to overcome. If this is the case you have to discuss the issues with your tutor or teacher.   



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