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January 9, 2017

The 4 study skills every learner needs

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Study skills. Pile of textbooks

Motivating yourself as an adult learner is different to being at school or university. You might be more focused, but you’re more likely to be juggling family life and a full-time job. At Stonebridge, we tap into the ambition that we know many mature students have and give them the help they need to return to education.

The Stonebridge learning experience is unique. We combine tutor guidance with online study materials and employability features, to create a full package of support. Yet to really get the most out of your qualification, you must also have the right approach to working from home.

A successful student…

Knows that learning isn’t always fun

Even if you love your subject, there will be days that you find hard. Planning your new career path is much more appealing than putting in the work to get there and we understand that. All of our courses come with interactive resources and access to expert advice, to ensure that you have a clear idea of how to reach your goals. Don’t forget that if you’re finding a module challenging, then it simply means that you’ve come up against something new.

Our top tips:

    • Mix things up by skipping a question or topic and coming back to it at a later date. Our digital programme enables you to dip in and out of course content to suit you.
    • Not everyone learns effectively through reading and writing, so using your knowledge in a practical way can help. Signing up for voluntary work, or even acting out elements of your course, can keep you engaged.
    • Use a reward system to set and meet targets. Stonebridge’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) PEARL comes with achievement badges and student leaderboards. It’s a fantastic tool for monitoring your progress and setting your own deadlines.
    • Invest in study aids that make you feel good. One of the best things about starting a school year was always the new stationary. Treating yourself to folders, pens and desk accessories can help you to recapture that September buzz.
    • Don’t forget why you started studying. Several units in, it’s easy to lose track of your ambitions. Engage with your subject again through videos and inspiring stories, or talk things through with your personal tutor. We’re always here to help.

Study skills. Box of stationary

Learns from their mistakes

As surprising as it sounds, getting things wrong is good for you. Studies have shown that we often retain information better once we have made a mistake. At Stonebridge, we encourage communication between students through our online forum. This welcoming digital space is the ideal platform for discussing setbacks and solutions. We also give you as much time as you need to pass your course. Feedback from your tutor provides a chance to see where you went wrong and give assignments another go.

Our top tips:

  • If you aren’t confident when you submit an assignment, that’s fine. Identifying areas that you struggled with can only help you to build a deeper understanding of your subject in the long run.
  • Keep reviewing your progress and regard errors as an opportunity to develop your skills. The ability to keep going will benefit you in every area of your life.
  • Remember that some of the highest achievers in history were also famous failures. It’s okay to get it wrong. Many of our students, who made a career change later in life, have gone on to write their own success stories.
  • Talk to friends and family and find out more about their career paths. Sometimes the motivation you need can come from seeing how other people have overcome obstacles, to grow their own business or secure a promotion.
  • Don’t wait too long to go back to your studies after making a mistake. The best way to progress is to resubmit your assignment as soon as possible, without losing your momentum.

Keeps questioning

We want you to put forward your own ideas and ask questions. Our student community can produce many different interpretations and we’re keen to hear your thoughts on a range of topics. Active learners are always looking for more information and developing their skills. PEARL has a suite of Continued Professional Development (CPD) courses that provide insights into specialist areas and can add to your CV.

Our top tips:

  • Read around your subject to expand your knowledge. Find some books in the library, or read recent news articles. This is especially key to prepare you for future job interviews. Start learning more about your industry now and you’ll be ready to hit the ground running in your new career.
  • Talk to your tutor and share your own opinions. Having a discussion with an expert in your field will help you to see things from new perspectives.
  • As you take in information, question how you can apply it to your own life or career. Thinking about how facts are relevant to you, and could be used practically, will make them more meaningful.
  • Discuss your subject with your family and friends. Sometimes it’s only when you have to explain something, that you discover where you lack information.
  • If something doesn’t make sense to you, or you don’t agree with it, then it’s always worth discussing it with your tutor. We rely on your feedback to continually enhance our course content.

Study skills. Sign saying ask more questions

Asks for help if they need it

One of the most important study skills is being able to ask for support and guidance. Every good learner knows that at times, outside advice is needed. Talking to your tutor will help to put to rest any concerns you have about how you’re progressing. You’ll work faster if you’re getting constructive feedback and you’re less likely to procrastinate when you get stuck, if you know you can quickly find a solution.

Our top tips:

  • Going online and reading reviews is a great opportunity to hear from Stonebridge graduates who have gained their qualification and started a new career.
  • Communicate with other students on your course and arrange to be study buddies. You can swap ideas, update each other on your progress and find motivation when you’re struggling. Staying connected makes a difference.
  • Get a second opinion. If you don’t know where you’re going wrong, then a friend or family member can provide a different view on a question or assignment.
  • Stay in contact with your tutor by email, phone, or Skype for support on any element of your course. Just remember that there are no stupid questions.
  • Speak to our friendly customer service team by phone or email if you experience any problems, or need to take a break from your course.

Completing a qualification can be simple if you seek help and follow our tips for staying motivated. Don’t forget that getting things wrong is a fantastic way to remember information. Mistakes also reveal where you need to update your study skills. Make 2017 your year for career change.

 

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