Attending digital workshops is a great way to learn and upskill during your free time. What’s more, attending workshops with instructors who are not only experts in their field and craft, but also attuned to the learning needs of their students, make the learning experience less of a chore.
Here are a few good-to-know tips that can help you make the most out of every 90-minute session at NewCampus.
Prime your brain for new knowledge
Imagine you’re having a job interview. Chances are that you’ve probably prepared answers to questions you expect to receive. So when your interviewer actually asks you a question you anticipated, your memory has already “warmed up” enough to give a confident answer.
In learning psychology, this effect of familiarising yourself with new information is called priming, and students immediately perform better when they know what they can expect.
You can prime yourself with learning material found in your pre-class emails sent to you the day before your workshop. They contain hand-picked material that won’t take more than 10 to 20 minutes of your time and could come in the form of an article, podcast or a short YouTube video.
And because you’ve already previewed some of the contents of the session, you’ll be in a better position to ask thoughtful questions and make deeper connections between what you already know and what you’re learning during the session.
Stay curious for an authentic learning experience
Did you know that our brains reward us each time our curiosity is satisfied? Researchers have found that our brains give us a burst of pleasure via our dopamine circuits whenever our curiosity is sparked, which in turn encourages us to explore the world around us.
Learners who are curious and inquisitive during sessions tend to ask questions and share their thoughts just so they can satisfy this intellectual craving for knowledge.
We might not be as curious as we used to be when we were children, but rekindling our innate desire to learn isn’t hard and it can be easily promoted when we understand the ‘why’ of what we’re learning and seek to understand it at a deeper level.
You can achieve this when you make learning personal, so don’t be afraid to share your personal experiences, thoughts and ideas about how the session relates to you.
As much as NewCampus and our instructors have prepared and curated content for you, your own personal experiences and participation are just as essential to shaping the workshop’s learning outcomes. All of these things enable our instructors to shape a learning experience that’s authentic and personalised.
Bonus tip: Turn on your video for others, but hide it for yourself. Our self-consciousness can be a barrier to us learning on Zoom and hiding our self-view can help us feel more at ease and focus on our contributions to the session.
Connect, consolidate and reflect
One-shot learning is not enough for long-term retention, so you should always aim to deepen your understanding through reflection, by connecting what you don’t know with what you do know.
Reflecting on experiences encourages new insights and complex learning, and when you can consolidate what you’ve learned, any newly-learned knowledge and skills are more likely to become long-lasting and reflexive when you need it.
So immediately after each session, take some time to fill in the NewCampus feedback and micro-reflection form. This helps you to connect the dots between what you’ve learned and how you can apply them in your day-to-day work.
Bonus tip: This one’s easily overlooked: sleep well! We sometimes like to say that learning never stops, and it’s also true when we sleep as our brains are still very much active. Our sleeping brains relive our experiences during the day, and not only subconsciously consolidates our learning, but also improves our learning performance for the next day.
Are you ready to kickstart your learning journey with these tips? Check out the NewCampus Managers Essentials Sprint, a 6-week online sprint designed for new managers who want to grow into people-leaders.