Creating a learning environment that works for you

Your learning environment can play a surprisingly significant role in your success as a student. Cengage Education’s Bevan McPherson reveals all in this issue of InformED.

Learning environments
Taking some time to think about what kind of environment would be the best for you to study in is time well spent. Choosing a space to study is important because a good learning environment can be the difference between a productive and not-so-productive study session.

In order to create a learning environment that works for you, you will need to consider:

• the place in which you study; and

• the sounds around you when you study; and

• what time you study; and

• how to set up a safe study space.

Thinking about your space

So what is a good learning environment? Somewhere quiet with no distractions or somewhere with music playing and people constantly coming and going? While the answer may seem obvious, studying in complete silence in an empty room is not everyone’s ideal learning environment.

Some people find that when they study in a really quiet environment, any little sound from outside attracts their attention and distracts them from their study. If this sounds like you, having familiar music playing quietly in the background can help conceal unfamiliar noises and improve concentration.

Other people find that they have difficulty tuning out background music, and so a completely silent learning space works better for them.

Movement and colour may also be very distracting for some people. For example, if someone walks past while they are trying to study or if they are surrounded by bright colours, their eyes may be drawn away from their studies. These people need to create a learning environment that is free from visual distractions. Others find that an environment that is busy and full of movement, colour and sound stops them being distracted by isolated movement or noise, and they can quite happily tune out the background activity.

The important thing is that you feel comfortable and relaxed in your chosen learning environment so you can concentrate on your studies without being distracted.

More on learning environments

There are lots of good learning environment resources if you’d like to learn more. Here are a couple of internet links that may be helpful.

Creating a space you want to study in

http://content.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=1614

Study spaces

http://homeworktips.about.com/od/homeworkhelp/a/studyspace.htm

About

Andrianes Pinantoan is InformED's editor and part of the marketing team behind Open Colleges. When not working, he can be found reading about two of his favourite subjects: education and psychology. You can find him on Google+ or @andreispsyched.

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One Comment on “Creating a learning environment that works for you

  1. I am lucky to have a bit of down time where i work and manage to get a little bit study in during the day…. 30 or so minutes a couple of times a week…….better still when the boss goes out!!. I always divide my study into checkpoint sections with paper clips, it makes it look far more managable rather than tackling a weighty tome

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