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The key to learning efficiently

Have you ever asked yourself the question ‘’How can I learn effectively’’? From childhood to adulthood, people have asked this question and wished there was a ‘miracle answer’.

Dennison & Kirk (cited in Chris W et al., 2002, p1) identified a model of learning process that follows these four steps: Do, Review, Learn and Apply. The authors shaped these four steps into a circle called the learning cycle.

The authors describe each step as follows: as activity in learning (Do); the need for reflection and evaluation (Review); the extraction of meaning from the review (Learn); and the planned use of learning in future action (Apply). In this model, there is an active nature of the process where learners cannot only keep chasing tasks passively but need to reflect and define the meaning of their learning activity.

Now, to answer our initial question, understanding the psychological states of a learner can also bring an element of the answer.  The state of “conscious incompetence” in which a learner is "conscious of a need to learn a specific skill or knowledge" is explained as one of the most important learner’s states (Chris W. et al., 2002). Understanding the competitiveness of the environment is also an important factor.
People who tend to give up learning or who get irritated by their outcome often lose the purpose for which they learn the skill or knowledge. It is also explained that being in a competitive environment would make learners lose the meaning of learning by distorting the personal satisfaction to a satisfaction focused on competition.
Ultimately, when learners do not have the purpose of learning and seek only competitive satisfaction, it is difficult to pursue the essential meaning of learning.

Therefore, adapting the Do-Review-Learn-Apply learning cycle model with a conscious-incompetence state could be one of the answers to the question ‘’How should I learn effectively?’’.