Susan Ambrose, senior vice provost for undergraduate education and experimental learning at Northeastern University, uses 3Ms Mindfulness, Motivation, Mindset as three pillars of learning new skills. According to her, these can help the members of the Northeastern community to follow up on their resolution to learn anything. She gave five tips on how to make that declaration stick.
- One should consider their motivation and the kind of learner they are. Consider why one wants to learn this particular skill and what one needs to be able to do so. For example, I wanted to learn the German language. The reason behind it was my interest in foreign languages and for that, I’ll need a platform to learn the language from.
- One should consider this as an exploration but not the risk. Here the words “Mindfulness” and “Mindset” come in the picture. How one perceives the new endeavor can make a major difference while learning. One should think of the entire learning process as a way of expanding the vision.
- One should start smaller rather than leaping to the next level. At Northeastern University, they arranged for a global experience through study abroad programs. So they started with a 2 weeks program. When students were comfortable and interested, the duration was extended to 6 weeks and later on a 4 months program was arranged. This will not only help them broaden their horizon but also help in meeting new people of like mind. Similarly, gaining mastery of skills also follows the same trajectory. For example, while learning volleyball, first you will learn how to serve, volley, lob, move around the court, relate to the net. Then you practice, practice, practice. Then you integrate the components and take on a game.
- While learning new skills, feedback forms the base of improvement and brushing them to skills.
- At times you will find yourself stuck, but one should remember that learning takes time. You might have to go backward to go forward but remember you will be perfect one day if you remain patient.