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Why is lifelong learning so important? How do I actually learn properly? Are there methods that help me learn? Learning educates and opens up new perspectives in life. We show you how to make learning an integral part of your life. Why is lifelong learning so important? How do I actually learn correctly? Are there methods that help me learn? Learning educates and opens up new perspectives in life. We show you how to make learning an integral part of your life.
Smart & Productiv Studying
A constantly changing society and working world result in ever new demands and challenges that affect almost all areas of our lives. Education in schools and universities is no longer sufficient to meet these demands. For active and self-determined participation in society, lifelong or life-long learning is indispensable. We will show you how to integrate learning as an accompanying part of your life and how to use different methods.
Learning Strategies & Learning MethodsZuklappen
Learning Strategies & Learning Styles
For example, you may have heard that many people have a visual learning style, meaning they learn most easily by seeing (reading, looking at pictures, etc.). Others find it easier to retain what they hear, while still others learn best via haptic experiences (i.e., touching). While this sensory distinction is quite controversial in the literature, you can still consider how this plays out for you. Through which sensory channels do you best absorb information?
People all learn in different ways. Yet each and every one of us has individual preferences when it comes to learning methods. Do you like to write down what you're learning or do you prefer to listen to the last lecture again? Some of us already know our preferences and can learn according to them. Others have to discover it for themselves first.
How do you learn the best? Take the test Here and learn more about your personal preferences in learning.
This will help you identify your preferences for different learning methods in order to subsequently use them in a more targeted manner.
This method is very popular with memory athletes. You link the new knowledge with familiar places along a route. Think of a story to go with it. It does not matter if it makes sense. The only important thing is what associations you make. You can then walk the route linked to the story in your mind and when you pass the places, you will be able to recall the content that you have "stored" there more easily.
Do you need to memorize many terms?
This method will help you. You create an acronym from the first letter of each term or expression (possibly in a certain order). A well-known example is the acronym "SMART", which stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-specific.
Learning with Concept Maps
Are you dealing with a lot of text when learning and wondering how best to approach it?
Maybe concept maps are something for you. They help you to visualize what you have read and thus depict connections as well as the essential content. They are particularly suitable when it comes to structuring your thoughts and creating a relationship between them.
Writing dizzy notes
You may know from experience that writing "study guides" (read: dizzy notes) is where you learn the most. This is because in this technique you summarize, compress, and categorize content, which already actively helps with cognitive processing. You also use your hand to do this, so you also activate haptic senses in addition to the cognitive work done. Even if you are not allowed to use the dizzy note during the exam, of course, just creating it can lead to it not being necessary at all.
Your own Podcast
Another way to quickly and easily create learning materials is to record audio files. This preparation of the learning content allows you to appeal to the sense of hearing. The audio format allows you to listen to your learning material virtually anywhere. By moving around, e.g. during a walk in the woods, and listening to your own podcast, new links are created and you can recall what you have heard more easily. Likewise, waiting times can be shortened e.g. while waiting for the bus or at the doctor's office. Or you can listen in a comfortable position on the sofa.
Audio Recording with Sakai Rich Text Editor or Quicktime Player on Mac
Learning Tools - which one suits your learning style?
By using different media (paper, pen, tablet, internet, etc.), mutlimedial, interactive and mobile learning is possible. This allows everyone to choose the right tool for their own learning style.
The Internet is a wonderful place to research further material on the subject.
You remember things especially well when you hear them? Then this tool might be something for you. Podcasts are audio and/or video files that are distributed over the Internet. Many podcasters make their files available free of charge. Thereby, corresponding, high-quality podcasts can be found for almost all topics. By downloading them to your smartphone, for example, you can access the content at any time and listen to it while taking a walk or doing housework, for example.
You learn well when you see and hear things? Youtube or Vimeo are video portals on which content can be uploaded and viewed. Here you will find a variety of explanatory videos that help you to better understand complex content and to "get a picture" of the subject matter.
MOOCs (Massice Open Online Courses) are openly accessible learning opportunities that are developed by renowned universities and offered via a number of platforms. There are courses on a wide variety of topics, some of which can be used free of charge. Maybe there is also a course on your topic? The most important platforms are Coursera, EdX, FutureLearn, Udacity and in German-speaking countries also iMoox.
Do you prefer to learn from your own transcript? Do you write things down to remember them? Then your preference may be in the visual area. Here it is especially important to take good notes during the lecture. The words of the lecturer may not stick in your memory as well, but seeing what is written will bring it back to your mind. A good transcript is an art in itself and a basic study work technique. Learn more about this in the section "The art of good transcription".
When you think of index cards, the first thing that comes to mind is vocabulary learning? Index cards can be used in many different ways and are also ideal for learning content from a wide range of study subjects. You can work with both analog (paper) and digital flashcards, e.g. collected in an app on your smartphone. With tools like "StudySmarter" you can design the cards as you like and assign categories for the level of knowledge (unclear, uncertain, understood). The learning progress indicator helps you to always keep an eye on your learning goal.
Plan your LearningZuklappen
How to start?
Set realistic goals for yourself
Before you start learning, it is important to set realistic goals for your learning unit. Then focus on these specific goals and review them immediately after the learning session. This way, they can make sure they have achieved the learning goal. Dividing your learning into small "chunks" also helps you stay motivated and make digestible chunks out of a seemingly unmanageable amount of content.
- Identify your learning goals by writing them down.
- Set deadlines for each goal. By what date do you want to have learned chapter XY?
Plan the learning times
The to-do lists are long and the appointment calendars are full. To give yourself enough space to learn, it's important to schedule specific study times.
- Create a schedule for yourself in which you enter all the appointments where you need to be present (e.g. webinars, online group meetings, etc.). You can use a digital calendar (e.g. Outlook, Google Calendar, etc.) to do this, or you can use the calendar in Sakai.
- Now set fixed study times that you will need to complete assignments in each course. To do this, you will need a good overview of all assignments and deadlines, and a realistic estimate of how long it will take you to complete each assignment.
- Make sure you plan for breaks as well. It's better to plan shorter blocks of study and then take a short break rather than plan a very long period of study and then fail. Be sure to schedule breaks for eating, recreational activities, and social interaction (even if virtual).
- Reward yourself! A short walk outdoors, a coffee break or a meeting with friends - there has to be room for that, too. Give yourself a small reward in between, because that's how you stay motivated.
- Start the learning phase well rested
- Keep the learning goals in mind
- Find your ideal learning place where you are undisturbed
- Stay focused and do not get distracted
- Take regular breaks from learning
- Exchange information in the group, so you can see if you have understood the material and at the same time anchor it.
- Reward yourself for the learning goals you have achieved.
A lot of material, little time? Tips for a good learning plan
Exam preparation targeted and efficient
It's been a while since they last prepared for an exam? Are you wondering what learning methods are available and how you can learn more effectively? Especially at the beginning of their studies, they should take a closer look at their previous learning and working techniques.
How can I go about preparing for the exam? It is important to first get an overview of the learning material and divide it into smaller parts. Then create a schedule in which you break down exactly when you will learn which part. Do not forget to reward yourself in between!
The graphic on the right illustrates this possible approach.
Examination formats at MCI
At the end of a course, a student's performance can be verified by means of various examination formats.
Here you can see a list of the most common credits at MCI:
- Project work (a scientific paper with a practical background)
- Review - the "classic" exam with different types of questions (online or in presence)
- Online discussion - working on a question (forums)
- Assignment - written elaboration of practical exercises, tasks or questions
- Presentation / video (screencast) - independent processing of a topic
- ePortfolio - presentation of work results in "performance portfolios
Tcexam - das Prüfungstool am MCI
You will take part of your exams at MCI via the TCExam program. To give you a first insight into the program and the process in advance, take a look at the tutorial below.
What does efficient reading mean?
Do you wonder why some people can keep track even with so many pages of scientific text? Why others are faster at reading and can reproduce what they have read at the end?
What distinguishes you from these readers? Efficient readers...
- Are aware of why they are reading a text
- Make connections between what they already know and new information in the text
- Use context to understand unfamiliar concepts
- Take notes and underline passages in the text
- Evaluate the quality of the text and question it
- Can identify and reproduce important statements in the text
- Think about how they can apply and use the information.
Comprehension = active reading
Reading is often understood as a passive process that involves only recognizing and receiving words.
Efficient reading, however, requires active mental work if what is read is not only to be recognized and, at best, absorbed into short-term memory, but also retained and understood.
Activate your existing knowledge!
If you connect your existing experience and knowledge with the text to be read, you have a much better chance of remembering the new information more easily because you can classify it in already existing knowledge structures. To do this, you can, for example, do a short brainstorming session on the topic being discussed and write down and categorize the terms that come to mind. If you already know quite a bit about the topic, you can ask yourself a series of questions before you start working on the content and thus strengthen your focus. Feel free to write these down as well. A brief scan of the text can also help prepare you for the intellectual debate.
The SQ3R reading method for scientific texts
This method is not about increasing the reading speed, but rather about understanding the content and being able to remember it in the long term. SQ3R is derived from the initial letters of the4 phases in which this technique is run through.
Survey - Question - Read - Recite
The art of good transcriptionZuklappen
The transcript - a basic working technique in studies
A large part of the knowledge transfer in studies consists of lectures and seminars. In addition to the lecture notes, which you may receive from your lecturers, your personal notes are particularly important. This requires you to actively listen and think, but also to reflect on and structure what you have heard and seen. A good transcript is your basis for learning and is therefore also crucial for your success in exams.
- Come to the lecture informed and interested. What do you already know about the topic? Activate your previous knowledge to be able to tie in with it.
- Define your learning goal
- Do the lecturers provide lecture notes or handouts? If so, use this resource for your notes.
- Consider the form in which they will take notes - e.g. handwritten or / and digital, tablet, PC, notebook or pad. There is no right and wrong here and you can use whichever method suits you best or fits the lecture style. Do you write in hyroglyphs and can no longer read your transcript yourself? Then it's probably better to switch to a digital transcript.
- Create a template with date, page number, heading, etc. for your transcripts. This will help you keep track of everything later.
- For paper transcripts, plan space for post-processing and additions.
- Pay attention to the demarcation between your own notes and the lecture itself.
- Note down only the essentials! Do not try to note down every word spoken. Only record the main statements. This also includes explanations / consequences / causes of the main statements as well as formulas / data.
- Does your presenter speak in convoluted sentences or ramble? Note down only the key words - you will remember the connections later.
- Stick to your style of speaking. Try to reproduce what has been said in your own words
- Use abbreviations and clues to reduce your writing work. Symbols such as arrows, call signs, equal signs also help to make relationships and show connections
- You can ignore spelling and grammar for now. There will be time for this in the follow-up.
- Follow-up not only improves the quality of your transcript, it also serves as your first repetition and thus anchoring of the content
- Read through your transcript carefully. Is everything understandable? Are there any ambiguities or questions?
- Add information and highlight important statements in color.
- Make a note of keywords in the margin - this will help you later when learning.
- Cross out or delete unimportant information
- If you prefer visual learning methods, then create a mind map of the course.
Time - & Stress ManagementZuklappen
Time & Stress Management
Time management is an important success factor in online learning, especially when managing different online events, priorities and tasks across multiple courses. Only those who organize themselves can also study successfully.
First of all, here are some important first steps:
Define goals and deadlines
- Write down everything you have to do and by when you have to finish the tasks.
- Try to estimate as best you can how long it will take you to complete each task, and perhaps set milestones or intermediate deliverables.
- If you are working in groups, do the same as a team for the tasks to be completed.
Successful time management means that you can separate the important from the unimportant. For this, a very simple strategy can help you, the Eisenhower Method. Watch the video below, maybe this simple way will help you to separate important from not so important and thus work more efficiently
Procrastination is a phenomenon that most of us struggle with. Especially when learning online, the temptations of distraction e.g. social media, aimless surfing, emails, etc. are very strong. Try to arm yourself against this by
- become aware of the danger
- think of a few tricks to outsmart yourself (or your "inner slacker"). In the following article you will find a whole series of such tips: Proven tips for beating procrastination
Pay attention to health
Our most important asset is our health, so it's important to take care of it even when learning online. Give special consideration to:
- TAKE BREAKS, both longer breaks for rest in general, and short screen breaks to allow your eyes to regenerate. While you're at it, look far into the distance, air out the room, have a drink, and stretch and move around a bit.
- SPORT and MOVE - even if you can't or don't want to leave your home that often, make sure you give your body enough exercise. Be creative - the app store and YouTube have many offerings on aerobics, yoga, etc. that you can all do even in a small space. Climb stairs, do push-ups, or run in place. Exercise is good for you physically and mentally and is an important aspect in managing stress of any kind.
- ENOUGH SLEEP is an important prerequisite for successful learning, as is
- HEALTHY EATING. Eat colorfully! Vegetables, fruits and dairy products also help your brain cells and give you the energy you need.
Manipulate Time with this 20 powerful time management tips
How to manage your time effectively
Center for Online Education: Student Health and Wellness Guide