Active Learners

Motivation and Procrastination

Studying requires persistent activity and meeting goals. Whilst the goals (or assessment deadlines) provide a reason to keep applying yourself, applying yourself takes effort and commitment in order to sustain it.

High effort levels are required on difficult tasks and sustained effort is required across the trimester in order to be really successful. Effort levels can be different for individuals at different times and factors such as health, stress levels or gaps in skills can cause a task to be high effort. However, choice and persistence are two of the main variables that affect motivation.

Ten tips to assist your motivation for study:

 

1. Set goals that will help your time management and keep you motivated, focused and on track.
 
2. At the beginning of term familiarise yourself with the assignments and when they are due. Set yourself a time line as to when you will work on them.
 
3. Spend some time familiarising yourself with the unit outcomes before you start. Ask yourself what do I know already, what life experiences can I bring to this topic, and what are the gaps in my understanding?
 
4. As you learn, either in class or by reading, make connections and look for relationships between the theory and how it applies.  Try to apply what you’ve learned in one context to other contexts and real life situations.

5. Rather than copy notes neatly, active learners read through and rework their notes. Look at what you have written and consider how you can make them clearer.
 
6. Read with purpose and utilise a range of reading strategies. Don't just read with the hope that an answer will appear. Use basic reading strategies such as skimming, scanning and reading for detail.  Academic texts are not meant to be read like a novel, but rather dissected and explored for pertinent information. 
 
7. When you come across a passage that will be useful for your study, re-read it a couple of times, then close your book and make notes in your own words (don’t forget to make a note of the text and page number for referencing purposes).
 
8. Engage with the text you are reading by applying critical reading techniques – ask yourself questions to stimulate your thinking. This will assist you in understanding and retaining the information.
 
9. When possible discuss what you’ve learnt with others. Vocalising what has been learnt or read will help you think through your ideas.  This is particularly useful if you’re a kinaesthetic learner.
 
10. Don’t just read your educator’s feedback, use it constructively to identify your strengths and areas that need development. 

 Motivated learners are active learners.