Almost every action taken by a student is the result of a decision.
Some decisions are made quickly, others are a reactive response, and some decisions are complex and require purposeful thought.
Every aspect of a student's progress in class is also the result of a decision.
Students decide what their involvement in class will be, the amount of time they will allocate for their studies, and how much effort they will put into their academic skill set development - and the result will be their grades and progress in class.
The outcome of these decisions may produce a result that was hoped for, where everything went according to plan, or the result may have been less than what was expected. If you want a better outcome, you need to make well-informed decisions through a focused decision-making process.
Break It Down
Many students approach their work, which includes assignments and class discussions, from a reactive perspective. This means that they begin crafting their response or paper as soon as the instructions have been read, and it is based upon their knowledge and/or opinions. But that is only a starting point.
When you decide to make an intentional decision about your school work or participation, you have to consider if there are any internal filters such as biases or beliefs that can influence your perspective.
You should also consider if you are having an emotional reaction to what you have read or observed as that can also influence any decision you are going to make and any action that will be taken.
In addition, you may want to consider the result of prior decisions made and break down the steps that were taken.
Build from Your Foundation
If you have decided to make better decisions for any aspect of your school work, start by writing down what it is you need to address. Try to determine what the real issue is and the result you hope to accomplish.
For example, if you have a written assignment that is due and your past performance has not been its best, start by conducting a self-assessment.
Take into consideration what you are expected to demonstrate with this assignment, your current level of knowledge about the topic, and the skill sets that will be required to complete it.
From that point you can then make a decision about the amount of time this assignment will require, the need for additional research, and the academic skill sets that will be needed.
As you build from your foundation do so from a positive perspective and remember that you always have an ability to make better decisions.
Making a well-informed decision is an ongoing process. As you consider perceptual filters and internal factors that may influence how you approach the decision-making process, you can also determine if there is anything else required to make a sound decision.
In other words, it is possible that you can make a quick decision based upon what you know or your gut reaction; however, if you want to improve your results and make better decisions it is possible that you may need additional information.
You can utilize higher cognitive functions or critical thinking and process your thought process intentionally by analyzing and evaluating the situation.
For example, if you find that you are not working on an assignment until the due date, then a better decision needs to be made concerning the use of your time. Analyze your activities each week and establish priorities for your tasks and responsibilities.
Every aspect of a student's involvement in the learning process requires sound decision-making skills through careful and intentional reflection prior to taking action.
It requires understanding what internal factors can influence the process, an examination of the foundational knowledge held related to the topic or issue, and a willingness to gather additional information or research as necessary to become well-informed.
This is an ongoing process because decisions must be made almost daily and the more time devoted to making purposeful decisions, the more likely the outcome will be aligned to your expectations or needs.
Dr. Bruce Johnson has had a life-long love of learning and throughout his entire career he has been involved in many forms of adult education through his work as an educator, trainer, career coach, and mentor. Dr. J has completed a Master in Business Administration (MBA) and a PhD in Education, with a specialization in Postsecondary and Adult Education.
Presently Dr. J works as an online college professor, faculty developmental workshop facilitator, faculty mentor, faculty peer reviewer, and professional writer. Dr. J's first eBook, APPRECIATIVE ANDRAGOGY: TAKING the Distance Out of Distance Learning, is available for sale now in paperback, and also available for Kindle, Nook, and Kobo devices. Learn more by visiting http://www.affordablequalitywriting.com
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