No Nonsense Learning

Tell a real story about transformative learning

  • Where transformative means you not only confront a difficulty, seek an answer, and come up with a solution that you can put to use, but where as a result you become a different person
  • The enemy here is “message in a bottle” or “data dump” learning, where you simply spit back what you’ve been told and then forget about it
  • Your strategy should be not to do everything in tiny detail, but to find a challenging, meaningful part of the assignment and work on it strongly: scan the materials until something grabs you, then dig in
  • Explain your choice, what you’ve done, and what “digging in” means to you

Explain the problem in your own words

  • Where by putting things into your own words you remember, understand, and clarify your thought
  • The enemy here is copying, linking, and parroting what you think you are supposed to say, and can then forget about it
  • Your strategy should be to link to the things you have studied and then write for yourself a guide to what you have found interesting, useful, and fun
  • By “in your own words” in mean in both short and long sense of the term, including notes written as mere phrases or instructions as well as interesting description, analysis, chronicle, and/or reflection
  • For example, when you finally learn to work consistently within the Outline View because you have learned to appreciate the logic of tree structures and expect to see it everywhere and as you have mastered the shortcuts so that note-taking is easy and fun: what did you have to do differently to achieve this state of nirvana? s

Explain the principle

  • Writing up lists is easy to do once, but making a habit of list writing is larger, it changes your life: the technique is easy, the meaningful adoption is the point and a higher principle
  • Similarly, anybody can learn how to double-click into the header space and follow the method for adding a page number, clicking in its box, and adding “first name, date — “ before the number, and copying that, clicking “save as,” and pasting that header info as a file name, but building this into your daily routine is the point and a higher principle: why?
  • When studying BPMN, anybody can add a “swim lane”, but what is the larger principle here? How are they useful, why are they important, and how over the last days has your understanding of swim lanes changed the way you see organizations, business, your own study habits, etc?

Create working notes

  • The trick here is to recognize that you are indeed preparing a portfolio to be grades, but the assignment is to prepare notes for you, and simply not for me
  • Note-taking is among the most powerful tools for exploration, analysis, and reflection, and when editing your notes you really can check your understanding, clarify your thought, and so remember: examine your methods and those of others, change what you do, profit from it, and demonstrate your newer way

Identify one thing that someone else has done, and do it

  • From the homework last week, identify one thing that someone else has done that you learned from and do it: practice learning from your team