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Learning successfully

Learning is an individual process. No universal learning strategies work equally well for everyone. That's why we’re going to introduce you to a variety of learning methods. In this way, you can try out different things and find your own personal learning style.

Try out different learning methods and combine them, because learning is most effective when several sensory channels are involved in the learning process. It pays to make your personal learning process as diverse as possible.

Learning through different sensory channels

Recognising your own strengths and weaknesses

Becoming aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your own learning style will help you learn as efficiently as possible and achieve your goals. Discovering and being aware of strengths is important. This knowledge will enable you, among other things, to:

  • Use your strengths consciously,
  • Become more self-confident,
  • Be more structured and clearer in your assessment of your own abilities,
  • Be more courageous in finding learning partners because you know what you have to offer.

The weaknesses will give you clues as to where you should make improvements, initiate changes or try out new forms of learning. You may also be able to draw on previously practised learning methods that may have been forgotten but were quite successful at the time.

You can also be inspired by the experiences, unusual strategies and insider tips of your fellow students.  

Setting up the workplace

As well as the use of individually adapted learning strategies, the layout of the workplace and the choice of work location are also decisive for learning success.

  • For auditory learning, for example, you need a quiet workplace, otherwise your concentration might be disturbed.
  • For communicative learning, it is worth looking for a suitable learning group in order to ensure the exchange about the learning material that is so important.
  • For learning via the locomotor learning channel, on the other hand, it is important to choose a place of work that also offers room for movement.
  • Visual learning is supported, for example, with colourful markers, post-It notes, flashcards and paper in different formats.

These remarks clearly show that it is well worth organising your personal learning process in as many different ways as possible. Do not hesitate to use unconventional learning methods!

Phases of information processing

In the course of your studies, you will deal with complex learning content. This means that you will have to build up your subject knowledge slowly over a longer period of time. This means that learning takes on different dimensions in terms of time and content than you are familiar with from secondary school. You can think of your learning process as information processing.

At the beginning, the learning material may seem complicated and overwhelming. However, in the longer term, you will ideally be able to put the content into a form that is coherent and individual for you. This enables your memory to store and recall the important information.

In the process, you go through different phases, starting with your first confrontation with the learning material and ending with the successful oral or written reproduction of your knowledge.

We classify the following four phases of the information processing process:  

This YouTube video from the University of Bern explains the information processing that takes place in the brain during learning in a way that is easy to understand:

You can also find tools and work aids to help you learn successfully on the webpage of the University of Bern:

We also recommend the free learning tool UniBrain, which provides you with efficient learning techniques and tips in 8 modules:

Helpful learning strategies

It is best to build up subject knowledge slowly and over a longer period of time. So-called bulimic learning, where you cram as much as possible into yourself in a short time, is less sustainable. Learning research has provided some well-researched strategies for effective learning.

We have compiled the following helpful learning strategies for you:

On time planning

For successful learning – especially for exam preparation – it is advisable to make a weekly schedule. You can find more information about this on our website under the heading «Managing your time».

  • Managing your time

  • General work techniques (overview) 

  • Coping with exams

  • Counselling services (overview)

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