Characteristics of the Learner

Characteristics of the learner: 1 factor that influences active learning.

As a student, you bring a variety of unique characteristics to each learning situation. These characteristics play a key role in how well you will perform, your interest in the material, and the strategies you will select to learn the course content.

-motivation is one of the most important characteristics you can bring to a learning situation. Without motivation, you would find it hard to get out of bed each morning. And you will probably experience frustration and failure as a student. General interest in the topic being studied helps, but if you are open to learning new things and expanding your interests, you will be more successful.

-background knowledge plays a role because the more you already know about a topic, the easier it is to learn. This means that it might be a good idea to select at least some courses during your first semester or two that you know a lot about.

-your ability to concentrate on what you are reading or studying also affects your learning. Everyone has times when his mind wanders and concentration is difficult. But if you frequently leave class or finish reading a chapter feeling that you got little or nothing out of it, learning may be difficult. There are things you can do to improve your concentration, however.

-your beliefs about knowledge and learning is a characteristic that is rarely discussed, but is very important. What do you believe knowledge is? Do you believe that knowledge consists of information that is transmitted from your professor to you? Or do you believe that you can be a part of creating knowledge? How you answer questions such as these influences the way you learn.
Excerpt from College Success Strategies by Sherrie L. Nist and Jodi Patrick Holschuh.

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