Promotion preparation is hard, you don’t need us to tell you that. It may be many years since you have studied for anything, so you may not be in the groove of how to be as effective as you can be when you are studying.
Many officers I speak with have great intentions with their revision plans, but when it comes to sitting at a desk and getting on with the work, they spend most time procrastinating, tidying their desks, or finding almost anything else to do rather than getting down to studying.
For most, the last thing on your to do list is use your precious time on promotion preparation, so you need to give yourself the best chance of using this precious time as productively as possible.
One way to do this is to consider your own learning style as this may make the grind of prep easier and more effective for you. One of the most accepted theories around learning styles is that people fall into one of three categories: Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic Learners.
These learning styles are expanded upon within educational theorist Neil Fleming’s VARK model of Student Learning.
The VARK model acknowledges that people have different approaches to how they process information, referred to as “preferred learning modes.” Its postulated that;
• Peoples’ preferred learning modes have significant influence on their behaviour and learning.
• Peoples’ preferred learning modes should be matched with appropriate learning strategies.
• Information that is accessed through peoples’ use of their learning preferences shows an increase in their levels of comprehension, motivation, and metacognition.
You may already have an idea of what style works best for you, but if not (or if you would like to confirm your suspicions) there are many sites that will identify this for you. Identifying yourself as visual, auditory, reading/writing, or a kinaesthetic learner, and aligning your promotion prep plan around this may help you succeed. Try these sites to identify your learning style:
By understanding what kind of learner you are, you can gain a better perspective on how to implement the most appropriate learning styles into your study techniques. As everyone learns differently, each individual has a preferential way in which they absorb, process, comprehend and retain information.
Keep in mind, sometimes you may find that it’s a combination of all styles that may be the best option for you.
We also kept these learning style in mind as we designed our online training programme, to make the experience as interactive, effective and enjoyable as possible.
We use lots of short explainer videos with voice overs– ideal for visual & auditory learners.
We supplement these videos with text to reinforce messages – ideal for reading preference learners.
And we include lots of ‘tasks’ and quizzes to complete – perfect for l kinaesthetic learners.
Our intention was to allow people to access information in terms that they are comfortable with to increase their confidence and help with the understanding of what is required for their success.
So What Can I Do To Help Myself?
Neil Fleming also provides advice on how people can use their learning preferences and skills to their advantage when studying. This is referred to as Study Without Tears or SWOT (yes really!). Below are a few ways, that once you have identified what kind of learner you are, you can implement to make your promotion preparation as productive as possible.
Visual SWOT Strategies
• Utilise graphic organisers such as charts, graphs, and diagrams.
• Redraw your pages from memory.
• Replace important words with symbols or initials.
• Highlight important key terms in corresponding colours.
Aural SWOT Strategies
• Record your summarised notes and listen to them on tape.
• Talk it out. Have a discussion with others to expand upon your understanding of a topic.
• Reread your notes and/or assignment out loud.
• Explain your notes to your peers/fellow “aural” learners.
Read/Write SWOT Strategies
• Write, write and rewrite your words and notes.
• Reword main ideas and principles to gain a deeper understanding.
• Organise diagrams, charts, and graphic organisers into statements.
Kinaesthetic SWOT Strategies
• Use real life examples, applications and case studies in your summary to help with abstract concepts.
• Redo lab experiments or projects.
• Utilise pictures and photographs that illustrate your idea.
Good luck in you promotion preparation, and don’t forget that are online learning programme can massively help you in your success.