A successful learner is one who has special knowledge and skills; which in turn can be translated into more effective and efficient learning strategies for the access and use of their knowledge, are able to motivate themselves, and can monitor and change their behaviors in response to their learning needs (Dembo, 2004).
Some students are less successful learners than others and this can be accredited to several reasons. They have skewed views and beliefs about motivation, learning and the ability to learn. Some students believe that ability and aptitude is fixed. That is, people are born with a particular amount of ability and that not much can be done to change this. This causes students become content with grades thinking that higher grades are reserved for “brighter” students (Lynch, 2006). This forces students to spend huge chunks of time using strategies like copying off their friends to avoid failure.
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Some students are not aware of their unproductive learning and studying methods. This means that they may spend a lot of their time studying and in the process, might forget to focus on the quality of the study methods that they employ. Various methods like summarizing, organizing and outlining school work would be better ways of studying and remembering course work. The failure to sustain these strategies, even though they might have already been learnt, tends to also work against some students. Many students fail to complete their assignments in good time, whilst a few others even forfeit their classes and are usually unable to maintain effort and motivation throughout the school year (Tuckman & Kennedy, 2011).
A large number of students believe that they do not need to change any of their study habits or learning behaviors in order for them to register exemplary academic performances. They are convinced that since the same methods that got them through middle school and high school could as well account for their successful completion of college. They accept the notion that it takes too much work to discover new methods of studying. There is no incentive for this to be amended, and it causes a plateau in terms of the academic performances registered (Kim, Newton, Downey & Benton, 2010).
There are methods of self-regulation and organization that can be used to develop better learning methods and studying that will advance performance of the students. Motivation is an important facet of self-management. If a student can change their perceptions and negative beliefs about academic performance and learning methods, then motivation can be altered and focused. Personal and environmental distractions are a major issue that interferes with motivation. Students can deal with this issue by setting goals and striving to achieve them. This can improve attentiveness and forces greater effort and improves confidence. A second method that can be employed is giving self-talk. This can be used to encourage, congratulate or correct one’s self when needed. This method helps the students remain focused and motivated (Radovan, 2011).
Any of the techniques of learning that are used by global student communities are of utmost importance to the learning process. Students who perform better in school employ more learning strategies than their lower achieving counterparts. In general, students do not perform better academically by acquiring new study skills. They must also work on their motivation with regards to the completion of assignments and general tasks, and attendance of classes so as to attain the same (Lightweis, 2013).
Time-management is an important contributor to academic performance. Students with better time-management skills tend to perform better in class as opposed to their counterparts who have very little regard for time consciousness. This can be attributed to the higher levels of motivation and to the employment of better learning strategies on the part of all concerned students. Successful students are able to mould their environment to meet their optimum needs to excel in their performance. They can manipulate their physical environment by looking for areas with no distraction like the library to study. This will help the students to concentrate on their work effectively. Social environment like the friends they keep and seeking help from teachers is a huge contributing factor as this helps with motivation of the students. This learning technique will help the student grasp concepts faster with teaching that is tailored for them.
Students should learn to manage and control their performance so that they are able to manage themselves. When they have set goals, they should push to achieve these goals and grade themselves. This provides an opportunity for a student to appraise their o work and strive for better academic performance.
Dembo, M. H. (2004). Motivation and learning strategies for college success: A self-management approach. Mahwah, NJ: Taylor & Francis [CAM].
Lightweis, S. K. (2013). College success: A fresh look at differentiated instruction and other student-centered strategies. College Quarterly, 16(3),
Lynch, D. J. (2006). Motivational factors, learning strategies and resource management as predictors of course grades. College Student Journal, 40(2), 423-428.
Kim, E., Newton, F. B., Downey, R. G., & Benton, S. L. (2010). Personal factors impacting college student success: Constructing college learning effectiveness inventory (CLEI). College Student Journal, 44(1), 112-125.
Radovan, M. (2011). The relation between distance students' motivation, their use of learning strategies, and academic success. Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology - TOJET, 10(1), 216-222.
Tuckman, B. W., & Kennedy, G. J. (2011). Teaching learning strategies to increase success of first-term college students. Journal of Experimental Education, 79(4), 478-504.