Creating a roadmap can be an overwhelming task if you do not break it down into manageable pieces. Your Roadmap assists you in making shorter-term decisions, such as what steps you need to take to change careers, what projects to accept or not, whether that promotion makes sense, the possibility of changing industries, moving from public practice to industry, or improving specific skills for personal development. The Roadmap will help keep you focused on what is important, and make you happier in your career and your life. The planning process is not discrete. Rather, it is a continuous process that occurs throughout the life of your career.
As you might expect, Roadmaps vary a great deal in content and organization depending on the goal, person, career, or industry. Many people have very different learning styles and prefer different learning tools and techniques to foster change. Before we begin to outline the Roadmap, we want to provide you with information that will be relevant to the development of actions. First, we will evaluate different Learning Styles followed by an exploration of development techniques and tools.
Overview of Learning Styles
Different learning styles will need to be considered in establishing the most appropriate development activity, educational requirements, or reading to meet that style. Three different learning styles exist: visual, auditory and tactile/kinesthetic. Visual learners learn through seeing. Auditory learners learn through hearing. Tactile learners learn through touching, moving, and doing. Experts agree that we have all three styles within us, but that one is dominant. An overview of learning traits has been provided below to help you assess your personal learning style or styles.
- use visual materials such as pictures, charts, maps, and graphs
- have a clear view of instructors when they are speaking, so the learner can see the instructor’s body language and facial expression
- use color to highlight important points in text
- take notes or ask the teacher to provide handouts
- illustrate ideas as pictures or brainstorming bubbles before writing them down
- write a story and illustrate it
- use multi-media, such as computers, videos, and filmstrips
- study in a quiet place away from verbal disturbances
- read illustrated books
- visualize information as a picture to aid memorization
- participate in class discussions/debates
- make speeches and presentations
- use a tape recorder during lectures instead of taking notes
- read text out aloud
- create musical jingles to aid memorization
- create mnemonics to aid memorization
- discuss ideas verbally
- dictate to someone who writes down their thoughts
- use verbal analogies, and story telling to demonstrate points
- take frequent study breaks
- move around to learn new things (i.e. read while on an exercise bike, or mold a piece of clay to learn a new concept)
- work in a standing position
- chew gum while studying
- use bright colors to highlight reading material
- dress up your work space with art
- listen to music while studying
- skim through reading material to get a rough idea what it is about before settling down to read it in detail.