During week one, my initial definition of learning was listening to an instruction, studying and then rehearsing that information in my mind, or categorizing it in a way so I could remember most of what was taught in the course. The class has opened a new dimension for me in the learning process; from understanding how I process information to deciphering which learning processes I use in intentional learning or metacognition. Understanding my learning patterns form dynamic learning relationship is a key element to my view of how and why I process the learning experience, even relating it to every day life.
Since discovering my learning patterns by administering the Learning Connections Inventory or LCI assessment, I have discovered my aptitude for using Sequence (20), Precision (23), Technical Reasoning (35) and Confluence (29) learning patterns. My “use first” patterns of Technical Reasoning and Confluence are now self-evident and shed light on why my career took the path it did, leading me to this point in life. Confronting each task as a Dynamic Learner, I subconsciously used my Technical Reasoning and Confluence learning patterns first and as needed used my Precision and Sequential learning patterns. Throughout my career in the Navy, Technical Reasoning was pronounced which led me to choosing a mechanical trade; then in the construction industry, using my hands as a carpenter to renew or erect buildings. Sequential and Precision patterns were used on an as needed basis when specific tasks required a structured approach like developing designs or repairing equipment.
Throughout this course, different quizzes took Sequential learning to complete. I found it difficult to only use this pattern and my strong Technical Reasoning pattern was evident by my moving from question to question if I did not immediately know the answer; then going back to answer the questions I skipped using Precision learning pattern. Reading assignments were a struggle as well; I was accustomed to using Technical Reasoning, briefly reading through the chapter to pick out phrases I knew were important. The critical reading process drew me back to basics by redirecting my use of Sequence and Precision learning patterns to become the predominant patterns used. Sequence learning pattern was needed in the completion of discussions; I needed to focus, not only on discussions but completing all my work and submitting it on time.
Having high technical reasoning and confluence learning patterns are what shaped decisions and tendencies in this class; procrastinating and being late with assignments started early in the course. Learning how to “FIT” my patterns together is a new concept which was difficult to introduce not only in my college course but in my daily life as well. Forging, Intensifying or Tethering my learning patterns are a continual activity and now that I have begun to understand how to decode a task, it will enable me to recognize the learning patterns to use, strengthen and reduce. This course was extremely interesting to me; discovering the four different learning patterns, how they influence college coursework and my career path. I appreciated looking at the inter-working of how I learn and what I can do to enhance my learning capabilities.
As the weeks went by, the on-line experience with Ashford University became easier to schedule; I used sequential and precision learning patterns to regulate my time, turning in assignments when they were due. In the past, on-line learning was tedious and difficult to manage. Ashford’s approach with an introductory course in personal learning is eye opening; understanding how and why I learn will carry over into future courses. The overall online college experience will be what I make of it. Interacting with instructors and peers is an aspect in my control. Challenging classes will be met with a different attitude and perspective, knowing the how’s and why’s of my learning patterns is key to being successful.