SGPsychStud: Finding the Fun in Studying and Learning

I just attended a gamification teaching aid during Wednesday and a corporate teambuilding training during Thursday and Friday.  This made me ponder over my experiences in those three days: 
"How can these be applied to one's learning process?  Have I applied these before in my own learning?"
This reflection (which is something I do quite often) has brought me to a revelation:
We need FUN  to be present in our learning.  This helps in the absorption of  knowledge, especially in the topics and subjects that are drier and more complex.
 Here is an fun example of how I use a combination of my previous knowledge to learn the model of operant conditioning below:
Image from: https://wikispaces.psu.edu/display/PSYCH484/3.+Reinforcement+Theory
Although I knew that positive reinforcement/punishment was the application of a stimulus and negative reinforcement/punishment was the removal of a stimulus, I often forgot whether the stimulus is a pleasant or unpleasant stimulus.  So I used this method...
As we all know, according to multiplication of Positive (+ve) and Negative (-ve):
+ve  x +ve  =  +ve
+ve  x  -ve  =  -ve  (and vice versa)
-ve   x  -ve  =  +ve
This results in:
A positive (+ve) reinforcement (+ve) would be the application of a pleasant (+ve) stimulus.
A negative (-ve) reinforcement (+ve) would be the removal of a pleasant (-ve) stimulus.
A positive (+ve) punishment (-ve) would be the application of a unpleasant (-ve) stimulus.
A negative (-ve) punishment (-ve) would be the removal of a pleasant (+ve) stimulus.
So do you understand this model better now???

Lorna Collier (as featured on the APA's June 2015 Monitor on Psychology) had provided some tips to increase engagement in students' learning, which I believe some of them are very doable and compatible to our learning if we are able to increase the fun in it.  So here are the tips by Lorna Collier and my suggestions in how they can be used to increase our learning!

1.  Create personal connections
Though Collier's tips of having personal connections were regarding having a relationship with the teacher, it applies the same way with your knowledge.  By coming up with your own fun (or even ridiculous) ways and methods of remembering stuff (like the above example), this allows you to have a feeling of ownership and a special connection with their theory that you are trying to remember.  This in turn helps you to remember that knowledge whenever and wherever you want to retrieve that knowledge.
 
2.  Focus on mastery (and have fun in the process)
More often than not, students tend to study for the pure reason that they have exams.  This is a very unhealthy mindset.  A better alternative is to learn materials and things for the pure reason of curiosity.  This is how young children learn things.  Having fun when learning allows you to turn your focus into trying to learn the materials better, which in turn makes you so much better at the materials!  

3.  Build experiences of success
Despite meeting with obstacles and hurdles in our everyday lives and experiences, we should take them with a positive mindset that we are given the chance to improve on these mistakes and obstacles when we experience them again.  Even when reaching the final goal seemed to be a huge task, we should enjoy every moment of fun and take each small success step as an encouragement that you are reaching the final goal.  With continuous self-encouragement and curiosity to explore forward all the time, it is very possible that you can reach your final learning goal!  

Finding the fun in studying and learning really complements well with the conditions of having new opportunities and experiences (as mentioned in my previous post, which are having (a) a thirst of knowledge, (b) curiosity, and (c) a positive mindset.  So Happy Learning and have a Good Weekend!

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