By Joseph M D Johnson | Marketing 2013’
DAFI Students at GIMPA are always on the outlook in prioritizing academic Excellency. Learning is not only limited to education for DAFI students at GIMPA. Learning transcend acquiring knowledge of diverse subjects of our careers, modifying our behaviors in a new environment, expanding our skills, values and at times involve synthesizing different types of information towards a brighter future.
The intent of these “7 Smart Learning Tips” is to provide our readers with insight into how we as DAFI students at GIMPA significantly strategize towards achieving high academic performance by simply “Learning How to Learn.”
‘Today, GIMPA has transformed itself into the leading management development institute in Ghana with a vision of becoming a world class Centre of Excellence for training in Leadership, Management and Administration, Policy Analysis, Consultancy and Research, Distance Learning, Gender and Development programmes.’ DAFI students at GIMPA reflect a significant share of this transformation. The key to GIMPA’s success over the years has been consistency of purpose, having students to understand and apply what they have been thought.
However, our focus is to help provide our readers with smart tips to excel in their careers, increase academic performance and personal success. The question is: Are you a slow learner? Do you want to improve your learning skills? Are you looking for the best solution to a learning problem?
Strategy One: At GIMPA We Prepare To Learn. The first step to learn is to prepare. To use your memory effectively you have to prepare yourself mentally. In fact, with learning any skill, your intention, attitude, and motivation are fundamental to success. Learning preparation must include your ability to have the right tools, face challenges, have study environment, handle health and stress and time management. They are fundamental and are worth all the time you can put into them!
William A. Ward Quote: “Recipe for success: Study while others are sleeping; work while others are looking; prepare while others are playing; and dream while others are wishing.”
Strategy Two: At GIMPA We Explore How We Learn Best. Always bear in mind that there is no best way to learn. As a person who seeks knowledge, you learn by building on the knowledge you already have. 70% of a lifelong learner’s knowledge is thought by himself/herself. We take into high esteem how our DAFI finance student, Andra Flora Grant always talked about paying attention to her lecturer as teaching goes on. Andra learn by listening. It is important to understand and maximize your learning potential, explore how you learn best, and use this knowledge to your advantage. And the best way out is to discover your learning style. Are you a reader, a Listener, or a Doer? There must be an inventory that can categorize how you learn best.
Mark Victor Hensen Quote: Thought and ideas are the source of all wealth, success, material gain, all great discoveries, inventions and achievement.”
Strategy Three: At GIMPA We Understand How Our Brain Works. Once, Mr. Mike Awuah reflects, “The major tool we need to learn is our mind.” We are convinced that the brain work on principles. So “It is natural to forget then to remember,” and “It takes repeated efforts and exposure to information to learn thoroughly.” Get rid of the habit of studying for a very long time i.e. over 2 – 3 hours without taking a break. Take the advice of Sharon K. ferrtt, “When we perceive information with our senses, important information is processed into short-term memory and eventually into long-term memory. By using memory strategies and techniques, your long-term memory can improve.” In our opinion, the best memory techniques contribute a series of shorter study sessions which is definitely preferable for students or employees who are determine to achieve higher goal.
Abraham Lincoln Quote: “Always remember in mind that our own resolution to succeed is important then any other one thing.”
Strategy Four: At GIMPA We Practice What We Learn. It helps us make good marks in the final exams. As the famous saying goes, “Practice makes perfect.” Good learners are those who constantly practices what they learn. I personally admire the young economist, Emmanuel Zeeco Cisco, how he discipline himself to study, write and help teach others what he learn during lectures. This habit have helped him to retained almost 50% of what he learn in class, from speakers and reading. It works!
The motivation of writing this article was inspire form Mr. Mike Awuah when he thought on the theme: “Principles of Learning,” during an inspiration section of the Hud Group monthly youth meeting at the University of Ghana, Legon. When Mr. Awuah esthetically spoke, I jotted in my notebook, “Learners become better at what they practice. Adult learn best through practice and participation. It is good to learn but wiser to review what you learn at least five times a month.
Aristotle Quote: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but habit.”
Strategy Five: At GIMPA We Take Control. DAFI students are 100% responsible for our academic performance. We keep at the back of our minds that learner really value knowledge and information so we are fully responsible to focus, think about it and create new ideas. I previously read, “One of the reasons people may not succeed in school or in their careers is a lack of willingness to make the necessary effort.” You are special –Don’t quit. If success does not come quickly, examine the real reasons for not succeeding. Taking control over things you learn is base on your ability to keep handling failure and focus. You are to discuss what you have learned with someone, teach it to someone, ask question, write it (take action-note), visualize it. Test yourself, use multiple sources, make flash card, etc. Most importantly, talk your problem out, eat well, get plenty of exercise and rest (your health says a lot about you), and create a balance of work and play.
Rob Gilbert Quote: “losers visualize the penalties of failure. Winners visualize the rewards of success.”
Strategy Six: At GIMPA We Team Up To Go Up. Being part of a team or study group is a reflection of who we are and how well we work with others. Team work help! You will be able to ask questions, suggest and understand your lesson and duties. The motivation to attend lectures regularly, participate actively in class room, review study materials frequently and practice what we learn has always better our chance to perform better in the final exams. It may be difficult to be controlled, supervised, or given order. Successful learners change their perception and begin to look at instructors, advisors and supervisors, as part of their learning process. They deserve your tolerance and willingness. Establish your team relationship based on respect; it is possible that most team mate will go extra mile to help you if they know who you are and if you show interest and willingness to apply yourself. Spend your time to gain!
Peter Druckek (Management Theorist) Quote “A worker needs one thing only: Learn how to learn.”
Strategy Seven: At GIMPA We Read Widely. Readers are Learners. Are Learners Readers? Excuses are many. For the past years, Joshua E McKay and Henry J. S. Mah Jr, young economist found it challenging to stick to their books. At the moment, they have perfectly adapted a reading habit. We do not find excuses either, as DAFI students. Rather, we are making proper use of our time by sitting in our hostel rooms reading and writing. We are an example of reading because every word you read in this article is written based on our curiosity to read widely. Reading has given us ideas and improved academic performance. Read novels, classic literature, biographies, and newspapers and get on the Internet. Read other students’ papers or employers’ proposal and exchange papers with your study team. Make use of the 21st century’ books! Reading widely enables learners to be certain or positive of their purpose, goals and objectives. Your skill level, vocabulary, ability to concentrate, handle distractions, and your state of mind all improve your learning ability to recall what you must achieve whenever you read. The more you read the better you become. Andrew Gide (a writer) said, “To read a writer is for me not merely to get an idea of what he says, but to go off with him, and travel in his worm company,”
Nathanael A. Laryea Quote: “Poverty is optional, prosperity is a choice, but wisdom is a need to all mankind.”