People like to be in control of what they do. It applies to learning as well. One way to make your learning experience more meaningful to you is to take time to reflect on the learning process itself. Imagine that you want to go to Paris for vacation. To see the city, you can either choose to go on a group tour with a guide or you can create your individual sightseeing agenda. If it’s your first time in Paris, you don’t know anybody there and you don't speak French, a guided tour may be your best option: you will be shown all the main points of interest and receive the basic information about the places. However, if you are familiar with the city enough to decide what to see and how to organize your trip, you can create much more personal and meaningful experiences in Paris.
How does it apply to learning? Law school is in many ways like a guided tour with a busy schedule. But when you get off the bus and have some free time, consider a few questions to orient yourself towards better learning experience. What kinds of questions should you be asking? Here are some examples for a weekly review:
- What confused you most in class this week?
- What is the best way to resolve your confusion?
- What key ideas and information did you learn?
- What was the most important idea you learned this week?
- What surprised, dismayed, delighted you most in class this week?
- How does your learning relate to the larger context of your life and work goals?
- Have you learned any practical skills, ideas, tools, techniques that you can easily apply to real-life situations?
- Have you learned anything new about yourself, your interests, feelings, values?
- What helped your learning?
- What interfered with your learning?
- What should you do more of? What should you do less of?
- What is one thing (skill, habit, activity) you want to focus on next week?