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Relearning the learning process: how modern methods can boost your blogging prowess

Relearning the learning process: how modern methods can boost your blogging prowess

Posted 19th February, 2019 by Janah

Traditionally, education always centred around rote reproduction of information. Whilst this has value, more and more people are now taking a more dynamic approach. And we don’t just mean education professionals like teachers and professors. We mean individuals as well.

Increasing numbers of people are turning to new methods of educating themselves, whether that be picking up an entirely new skill or improving an existing one.

Bloggers are amongst these self educators.

In this post, we’ll go over some modern methods of learning, and explore the ways in which they can boost your blogging career. Let’s get started.

A note on traditional learning

Learning has always followed a set trajectory – following instruction and repeating information until you’re able to recall it from memory. This is what we refer to as the ‘traditional learning process’ or ‘direct instruction’.

It has remained popular through its focus on guidance, although it doesn’t offer much room for variation or creativity. Generally, direct instruction falls under the 'passive teaching’ banner, whilst modern approaches tend to be more 'active'.

The 'learning pyramid' is often used to illustrate the overall effectiveness a method of teaching has, and is a good way to observe the differences between active and passive learning.

Whilst the linearity and numbers displayed in the pyramid have since been debunked, the overall concept still stands. Although there will never be a one-size-fits-all approach to learning, people generally respond more directly to active methods than passive ones.

Introducing modern learning methods and their benefits

Despite the learning pyramid theory being less than solid, it still gives a good insight into how people learn. Even broadly speaking, active learning techniques are deemed to have a higher success rate – most likely due to the way they directly involve the learner.

Whilst passive methods encourage you to listen, active learning encourages collaboration, discussion, problem solving, and critical thinking. As depicted on the pyramid, there are three primary active learning techniques to consider:

  • Gaining constructive feedback. This is arguably one of the most useful tools at your disposal. Feedback gives you the ability to have your efforts judged from another person's perspective, which opens the door to improvements you may not have previously considered.

  • Undertaking deliberate practice. We've all heard the saying popularised by Malcolm Gladwell – 10,000 hours of practice time will make you a master of your skill. Whilst the numbers may be questionable, it's no secret that spending a lot of time on what you do is bound to have some form of positive impact on the work you produce.

  • Teaching others. This is considered one of the best ways to retain information, even if you’re not an expert in your field. When we relay information to another person, we automatically pick out the most important points and organise them clearly in our minds, meaning you’ll often retain more information.

There are plenty more modern learning methods available. For example, many are turning to simply learning at the point of need. In other words, they’re utilising search engines to gather information on an ad-hoc basis.

You’ll also see cross-over with ’microlearning’ – a technique that involves short bursts of active learning through interactive sources such as instructional videos.

Summarising the benefits of modern learning

Overall, getting the most out of your learning means finding the methods that work for you and best suit your needs. Regardless of the ways you decide to further your learning, doing so is bound to be incredibly beneficial across your personal and business lives.

Implementing these methods will not only improve your critical thinking, and ability to deduce what makes a good blog post. There’s also a direct positive impact on your subject knowledge, which opens the door to learn about future content topics. What’s more, you’ll also get a confidence boost when a reader lets you know how your content has helped them in their own lives.

How to leverage modern learning methods to improve your blog and expertise

As your learning methods will no doubt evolve, so will the approach to running your blog. As such, you can apply the techniques we’ve discussed to various aspects of your blogging workflow.

For example, deliberate practice by consistently writing will open the door to more in-depth content, quicker turnarounds, and the freedom to research new topics.

SMART goals are a good way to help structure your deliberate practice. It may seem overkill to set goals for writing in this way, but as we’ve discussed, the results are worth it. Let’s break down what a SMART goal is very briefly:

  • Specific: You’ll want to state – in explicit detail – the goal you’re aiming for.
  • Measurable: You should be able to track your progress, in order to know when your goal has been reached.
  • Achievable: Of course, setting a goal that’s completely out of reach is only going to set you back.
  • Relevant: Remember to set a goal that aligns with your current focus, in order to maximise your efficiency.
  • Time-based: A good goal will always have a time limit, to help keep your focus.

As a real-world example, a common blogging goal may be:

Write two, 1,000-word blog posts on the subject of creating introductions and conclusions within the next 14 days.

It should be clear what you have to do, and the timeframe you’ve got. This is not only SMART, it will also help towards another active learning method – teaching others.

Of course, your blog is actually a great platform to use to help educate others in a multifaceted way. For example, you could post more educational content such as how-to guides, or even run online classes. The possibilities are near endless.

Once the posts are ‘in the bag’, you’ll want to find areas of improvement though getting feedback. Whilst your posts’ comments will provide some insight, you should also look for quality critique networks online, which will give you the opportunity to get advice and network at the same time.

Conclusion

How we blog is constantly changing, so recognising the need for further learning is vital. Fortunately, the possibilities for personal and professional growth are endless due to the glut of information at our fingertips.

In this post, we’ve looked at a few educational methods that may work for you, and how they can enhance your blogging prowess. Deliberate practice, gaining constructive feedback and sharing information are all ways you can do this effectively, enabling you to improve and learn concurrently. What’s more, you’ll likely retain more due to the nature of active learning.

Categories: Blogging, Marketing, Small Businesses

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