In the modern learning environment, it is desired that the learner approaches learning from an informed perspective. In that strain, the learner is supposed to conduct a thorough analysis of the learning models and settle on the learning approach that best satisfies his or her position. Ultimately, the learner is advised to follow an approach that blends well with his strengths while minimizing the weaknesses. It is this approach that informs the strategic learner. Literature is replete with approaches and methodologies that may be applied in the learning environment. The brief of this paper shall be to critically evaluate my critical learning strategies in relation to the available learning models and approaches. The paper shall be divided into several sections including aspects on the Kolb’s Theory of Learning, the VAK, SWOT Analysis and my learning journal. In overall, this paper shall be a brief analysis of the learning models and approaches that I use towards achieving my overall learning objectives. It is noteworthy that in the end I hope to consolidate these approaches and models into equipping myself with the necessary competence that would enable me attain the position of an Administration Manager preferably with JP Morgan.
My learning approach essentially mirrors Kolb’s four stage of learning. According to Kolb’s experimental learning approach, learners go through four main phases of learning. These are concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract conceptualization and experimentation. In essence, I would say that the learning processes I go through pass me through all the four stages. In addition, the phases occur in a step by step manner attesting to the learning cycle advocated by Kolb. In my own assessment, it is my observation that the experimentation stage is the most critical. This stage comes last and involves actual testing of the learning concepts with real and practical situations. This is much more intensive and interesting with overall positive feedback. It is essential to embrace the Kolb Learning Theory and practice the same in the learning environment. The four stages shall be briefly discussed in the ensuing section.
One begins with the concrete experience. In this stage, the learning occurs much through theoretical concepts and ideas. The learner consumes theories and concepts from a learner’s perspective. This stage often requires an inquisitive mind that is in pursuit of knowledge. I find this stage the consumption stage as it leaves me filled with loads of knowledge on concepts and ideas at least theoretically. The second stage is the reflective observations. In this stage, the main duty is to identify the relation of the learned concepts with the practice. This stage is relational in the sense that the learner is expected to draw the relationships between the theoretical content and the practical undergoing. Thirdly is the abstract conceptualization stage. This stage requires the learner to stretch the relationships observed further and anticipate what the position could be in a more abstract situation. The last stage is the most practical stage which I find most essential and interesting. This is the active experimentation stage. This stage involves actual experimentation in the fields. Unfortunately, as a learner, I do not get the opportunity for active experimentation as the models we use in class are mere simulations and do not afford me the opportunity of real time situations in the field. Suffice it to say that such that active experimentation is only available during the actual performance in the market.
My learning strategies equally follow the VAK model. Under the VAK, the learning of the student is assessed and determines as to whether it falls under Visual, Auditory and Tactile methods. Given my position and competencies, I believe I am an auditory learner. To that extent, I am good in hearing and listening as a learner. It makes me a strategic in learning aspects involving lectures and interactive class discussions. This is because with my hearing and listening ability, I am able to deduct more in the class teaching environment rather than the reading environment. However, despite my competencies in listening and hearing, I have come to appreciate the need to compliment the same, as in themselves I am still an inadequate student. For that reason, I equally engage in visual and tactile approaches. To this extent, I employ the learning approaches including reading, physical engagement and employ visionary reading. I have observed over time that the application of multiple methods enriches one’s comprehension in the overall. It is this multiple approach that has enabled me to achieve my learning objectives at least up to date.
In line with the strategy analysis, it is in order that I conduct a SWOT analysis. This will be an evaluation of my strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The SWOT analysis is intended to enable my identify my forte and capitalize the same while being keen to minimize my weaknesses. My biggest strengths lie in my hearing and listening abilities. It equally extends into communication. I am able to gather content and information from the conversations I engage in, the class discussions and the lectures I attend. I purpose to listen even more carefully and engage my lecturers during the class sessions. I appreciate the need for proper and effective communication and it is good that this forms one of my strong areas.
On the other hand, my weakness lies in research work. Looking for information and consuming the same through reading has not been any easy for me. Identification of the right sources and taking the divorcing relevant from irrelevant content has been hard. This is considered a weakness for I end up consuming so much time with little to no products from the time spent. In addition, this limitation has occasioned my slow progress in acquisition of knowledge. I do not have a strongly noticeable opportunity. However, I believe, I can employ my listening and hearing abilities to get opportunities for the betterment of my learning. Coupled with my ability to communicate, I do believe I have a chance to excel especially in the open discussion and lectures models of learning. My biggest threat is my inability to do my own research. Additionally, my negative attitude towards reading compared against the other learner’s abilities to read places me at a disadvantage especially given the competitive nature of the learning atmosphere where the market is ready only for the best. On that basis, I find myself in line for improvement and correction. I need to learn to read and do my own personal research. With an improved reading and researching ability, I can capitalize on my abilities of listening and hearing and make a good for the remaining time.
Lastly, on my learning journal, I must appreciate that learning in through this semester has been interesting. Through the weeks of learning, I found the International Business Couse illuminating and befitting me given my personal goals and objectives. In addition, I appreciate the learning steps we went through as a class and the fact that the course is structured in a manner that facilitates learning and appreciating the various dynamics on a day to day basis. It is my postulation that the approach I used given the resource constraints and my personal abilities, was the best approach and that I did not necessarily waste the opportunities at my disposal.
In conclusion, I wish to underscore my consistent pursuit for the goals. I believe the strategies I did apply this semester did contribute to the overall good performance. In future, I need to capitalize on my strengths and find ways of minimizing the weaknesses that conspire to derail me. In addition, I do believe the learning models, resources and other opportunities offered at this school are sufficient to enable me meet my personal objectives. It is on that premise that I intend to pursue my studies even with more zeal and determination and religiously practice an informed strategy that is multidimensional and comprehensive in nature. With the foregoing, it is my postulation that learning is not a one day activity. Learning occurs every day and it is incumbent on me as the student to ensure that every day’s opportunity is used well and for good course. On that context, I do appreciate my being in this particular University and believe ultimately I shall achieve my objectives.
Aamodt, M., 2011. Industrial/Organizational Psychology: An Applied Approach. New York: Cengage Learning.
Kolb, D., 2007. Experiential Learning. New York: Pearson Education, Limited.
Nelson, D. & Quick, J., 2010. Organizational Behavior.: Science, the Real World, and You. New York: Cengage Learning.
Pauline, D. & Florian , L., 2009. Teaching Strategies and Approaches for Pupils with Special Educational Needs: A Scoping Study, London: University of Manchester Press.
Phillips, J. & Gully, S., 2011. Organizational Behavior: Tools for Success. New York: Cengage Learning.