This is the second part of our Study Tips for Adult Learners series. You can read the first part here.
4. Be Prepared for Class
Always attend classes with some knowledge of what will be discussed that day. Read ahead or do some online research when possible and get familiar with the content, even if it’s only at a high level, before you attend the lecture. Doing this greatly reduces the pressure associated with learning a new topic and allows you to feel in control.
5. Take Relevant Notes. Always.
Always take notes profusely. You may think you will remember all that was said – but chances are, you won’t.
What is even more interesting about note-taking, is that research shows it increases learning, even if the notes are never reviewed after being written! That’s because taking notes is an active process that involves:
- Focusing your attention
- Watching and/or listening carefully
- Filtering to identify what are the important points to write notes about
- Thinking about the information in order to summarize and/or paraphrase it in your notes
- Using multiple parts of your brain (cognitive channels): auditory for listening, visual for writing & reading the words, kinesthetic for the physical act of writing or typing your notes.
The research indicates that hand-writing your notes is more powerful than typing them, but any kind of note-taking is better than none.
You can get even more out of your notes if you do review them later, and further still if you summarize or abstract them, eg. by writing key points onto index cards to use when preparing for exams.
6. Use Online Resources
Online resources are invaluable to an adult learner because of their convenience and flexibility. The beauty of online learning sources is that they are available whenever you are and are accessible wherever you are (provided you have an internet connection and a computer). If you think you are going to learn all that you are required to just from a textbook – think again! Online resources are necessary for a rounded understanding of any topic. The more widely you read and the more sources you are exposed to, the better you get at assimilating the knowledge.
If you are a student enrolled in an allied health program then the SIMTICS Simulator will prove to be an indispensable online resource for you. SIMTICS is specially designed as a low cost career education resource which enables learners not just to learn about a procedure – but also to actually perform the procedure online. While theory is great, the only way to truly learn effectively is by doing. The simulator lets you learn this way anywhere, even from home. The benefits of SIMTICS are powerful:
- The training can be accessed from any place where there is a reliable internet connection.
- You can experience the information in many different formats, which will help with your learning: watch the video, read the text, try a quiz, explore the 3D anatomy, and practice the procedure with the simulator.
- The very nature of the always-available online training allows you to develop a more thorough understanding of clinical procedures than using traditional methods alone.
- The online simulator allows you to get as much practice as you need without being rushed or feeling pressured to keep up with a class.
- You don’t need access to real equipment or consumables (eg. ultrasound machine, x-ray machine, EKG machine, syringes, blood pressure cuff, nebulizer, etc.) – SIMTICS lets you practice with virtual machines, on your own computer!
- You can practice as often as you like without needing anyone to assist you, and without using up consumables like swabs, needles, ultrasound gel, and so on.
- You can make mistakes without feeling embarrassed in front of others. SIMTICS will just record your score and let you try again.
- The scope is extensive – with around 100 SIMTICS modules covering a variety of allied health fields including medical assisting, medical and clinical procedures, ultrasound scanning, radiologic technology and radiographic positioning.
We hope you found these 6 tips useful. Happy studying – and enjoy your journey to academic success!