If you are preparing to earn your online degree, much of your success will depend upon understanding yourself as a learner. Some people naturally learn better and easier than others, but we all have the ability to improve our learning capabilities by adapting and internalizing certain traits.
Qualities of an Effective Learner
Regardless of an individual’s learning style, there are five qualities that define effective learners. Effective learners are inquisitive, self-directed, open-minded, self-aware, and unafraid of taking a risk. If you do not possess these qualities, you can train yourself to.
Becoming a Strong Learner
Of these, self-direction is possibly the most important because it takes a great deal of mental effort to truly master a topic. If you have a solid sense of self-direction, you will be able to see your classes in terms of the big picture, or where you are going in your life and how the classes will help you get there.
It is also important that you be inquisitive about your learning. When you learn something new, an inquisitive nature will help you connect that learning to things you already know. These connections allow you to internalize the learning so you can retain more of it and reach a deeper level of understanding.
Another vital part of learning is to be honest with yourself. If you are unclear on a topic, it is easy to skim over it and move to easier things. By being honest, you will admit and acknowledge your difficulties so you can get the help you need to master the material. While it can be difficult to admit your weaknesses, doing so will make you better in every aspect of your life.
Any time you learn or try something for the first time, you are taking the risk that you will make mistakes. This is a scary idea for many. If you want to be a truly effective learner, you must overcome your fear of mistakes and realize that you learn from mistakes as well as successes. Embrace your mistakes and use them to make you a stronger learner.
Finally, you need to keep an open mind if you want to be a truly effective learner. Many of the concepts you will learn may be difficult to understand. To truly learn the material, you must be open to seeing things from all angles and perspectives, even if the ideas do not match your personal beliefs.
By developing these traits of highly effective learners, you can maximize the time you spend studying for your online courses and ensure that you will get the most value from your online degree.