Do We Need a Broader Definition?
When people think of the phrase ‘learning success,’ most often it’s in terms of good grades. Grades are a reflection of how well students perform on exams and homework but not necessarily a reflection of how much they learned. Sometimes, students who earn good grades become frustrated in process and don’t have a desire to keep learning after they leave school. In that case, good grades don’t reflect successful learning at all.
True learning success is when students not only learn the curriculum but when they get excited about the process of learning. Education that instills a deep curiosity empowers students to become life-long learners. Successful learning isn’t restricted to the educational classroom but attitudes about learning are formed based on experiences in traditional academic settings. We’ve learned this as we see some students put education by the wayside once they leave school.
With this in mind, perhaps we need a broader definition of student learning success. As young people mature throughout their academic career we need to balance what they learn with how they learn so they not only master subjects, but become confident, empowered and excited in their ability to learn.
This balance starts with cognitive learning, the basics of problem solving and critical thinking and how well students learn specific curriculum. From there we expand into metacognitive skills. These abilities help people solve everyday problems, plan tasks and goals, understand the scope of their goals, look for solutions, and analyze and synthesize information.
Creativity, no doubt, comes into play at this point. This brings different approaches to thinking about goals to pursue, scoping them, solving problems, coming up with alternatives and adapting to different environments.
Self-awareness is a strong precursor to learning effectiveness. By taking time to reflect and understand their own behavior, students will increase the likelihood of directing their own learning. It’s through self-awareness that students will be able to move forward into self-leadership.
A flexible mindset means students will better adjust to changing environments. This can be subject matter, teaching style and learning environment (classroom and online). It also applies as students grow in their academic career and transition into the professional world. Did their student learning transition into success in the professional world?
What we teach students shouldn’t just be topics. We need to look at how we can teach them to learn so that they become successful in life. Certainly, there are more areas that could be added to this broader definition of student learning success.
HOW CAN YOU CREATE A BETTER EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE THROUGH PERSONALIZED LEARNING?
About Babak Khosravifar
Babak aspires to create a world where students can enjoy learning, excel through an environment that’s personalized to them, become stronger learners and, ultimately, empowered individuals. This leads his drive to unleash the combined potential of technology and education.
Babak, is putting his academic research interests in intelligent tutoring systems, machine learning, game theory and data analysis to work at Mentorina R&D. As co-founder and managing director, he investigates how technology can help create better learners who can excel and enjoy the process throughout their lives. He earned his PhD in Computer Science at Concordia University, and held two post-doctoral fellowships at McGill University.