LIFELONG LEARNING FOR JEWISH WOMEN

Self Regulated Learning, Rosh Hashanah and the digital age.

While there are many fascinating areas being studied in the field of education research today, one
particularly useful topic is self regulated learning.

What is self-regulated learning? And how can it impact daily living?

Self-regulation, as defined by researcher Barry Zimmerman, is “not a mental ability or an academic performance skill; rather it is the directive process by which learners transform their mental abilities into academic skills.”

Various self-regulation strategies, as it pertains to learning, are: seeking help, setting goals, planning, motivating oneself, evaluating oneself and focusing on the task at hand, amongst others.

When learned, these skills provide individuals with myriad benefits, both personally and professionally.

Even spiritually, we can see how utilizing these strategies can enhance our growth. As Rosh Hashanah approaches, a person may seek help by finding a Rabbi, Rebbetzin or trusted mentor. They can then evaluate themselves honestly and come up with realistic goals and a plan to tap into their true potential.

From an educational standpoint, a 2002 study by Harris, Graham, Mason and Sadler demonstrated that students who are taught how to self-regulate have better learning outcomes and are more likely to persevere in the midst of challenging circumstances.

Educational institutions that have seen the value in developing a student’s ability to self-regulate have employed a variety of teaching methods to promote this skill.

One method that allows students to plan and organize their ideas in a thoughtful manner is “mind mapping”.

Mind mapping is a visual representation method wherein a primary concept is listed in the centre of a page, enveloped by ideas on interconnected branches.

Its uses can be for taking notes, brainstorming and organizing information in a clear manner, among other things.

In a study by Adodo on students’ use of mind maps in a Basic Science and Technology course, it was found that their academic performance was improved. Their ability to think in creative new ways was stimulated, and they retained information in a more lasting way.

With these ideas in mind, CyberSem is building into its very foundation the use of visual representation methods. In each course, one assignment per semester will be completed by students in the form of a mind map. Students will gain an understanding of how to use mind maps and they will be able to apply this to other areas of their life where it is needed.

We are excited to create a curriculum that caters to students’ diverse learning styles, and we will be further integrating other applicable techniques which enable students to reach their full potential.

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