Understanding The Learning Process
Most of the tasks you will have to undertake as part of your learning will involve four essential processes:
- Synthesising (bringing together information internally).
- Organising (making sense and ordering this information).
- Memorising (holding on to this information in order to use it at will).
- Communicating (making your ideas available to others).
Most dyslexic students experience difficulties with short-term memory. This, as you probably already know, can be quite frustrating. When it comes to the processes listed above, difficulties with short-term memory can affect our ability to carry out tasks as effectively as we might. Even more importantly, the study methods we have used at an earlier stage might actually work against us, by putting too much stress on our short-term memory. When this happens it can often make it much harder to feel successful about the fourth of the processes listed above: 'Communication'.
Strategies for learning will extend your learning experience, because they can help you to take in new information and help to reinforce it in your memory.
If we employ strategies to strengthen our ability to remember relevant information:
- the 'global' or 'bigger picture' in our heads
- the 'detail' recorded for easy reference
then we can concentrate on the process in hand and develop our communication skills.
Synthesising, organising, memorising and communicating are all processes which often require hard work and a great deal of concentration. This can be the case of dyslexic and non-dyslexic people.
Learning a new strategy
If we are used to working in a particular way, learning a new strategy can, at first, involve a certain amount of 'unlearning'. It also takes a while before we feel completely comfortable with a new way of working. However, the strategies described below would not be worth mentioning if it wasn't known that they can make an enormous difference to many dyslexic students' experience of learning.Finding out which strategies will work for us and which won't, often involves a certain amount of trial and error. The process of trying out new ideas and adapting them to suit your own needs is, in itself, a natural part of the learning process. Understanding the process of learning means that you can take ownership of the process. By so doing you will be able to make use of strategies as tools in this process.