Monday, February 15, 2010

Something Different

This semester is turning out to be more different than I expected. For example, my classes are usually lectures (or labs) with a paper or two due sometime during the semester, a couple of exams and a final. However, I have a couple of classes that are something different.

In my Asian Studies class, a seminar, we have assigned readings. Nothing unusual there. One or two students present the readings each week - their opinion, what they got out of the readings, how they interpreted the information presented. Nothing unusual there. What is unusual is that the exams are a single essay question. I have never had an exam like that. But there is a first time for everything. How does one study for an exam like that? One goes back through the readings and back over one's notes. This is another example of why good notetaking skills are so crucial in college - whether one is just beginning one's college career or returning to one's college career. I have had several classmates over the past couple of weeks request my notes (I take notes in outline form).

My Philosophy class is also something different. We have quizzes instead of exams. We also have discussion days on which we are graded for our group participation and the answers we give to the group questions. It would help if I understood Philosophy!

I am finding out that I am not the only one in class who is having a hard time in my Philosophy class with the subject matter. To me, Philosophy is rather abstract. I am more of a concrete person. This is another reason to get to know one's learning style. I am visual and hands-on and concrete. I don't do with with auditory and abstract. Words are good for me - they are visual, hands-on and concrete. Numbers are bad for me - too abstract.

Your personal learning style is a whole different subject for a whole different blog. But, if you're interested in finding out what your personal learning style is, I recommend, "The Way They Learn" by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias. Tobias' book has more to do with children, but can be applied to adults as well. Learning styles are more than just audio, visual and hands-on. Learning styles can also be something different.

This semester is proving to be a challenge - just like all the previous semesters. I wouldn't have it any other way! Challenge is good! Stay tuned . . .

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