Learning Reprioritised: Supporting the ODeL Student by Developing a Personal Information Management Systems and Strategies Program (PIMSS)

Ignatius Gous
University of South Affrica, South Africa


Students do not know how to learn, and lecturers do not know how to teach their students how to learn, is what is being argued in this position paper. Learning is the process where the brain is changed by inputs which forms new or changed representations, which lead to changes in behaviour in specific contexts. Learning is the ultimate goal of teaching. If learning doesn't happen, then education, whether open, at a distance or face-to-face, has failed. This is even more of a problem for Distance Education learners and educators, because this lack of, or compromised ability is less visible than at contact institutions. What is therefore needed, is scientifically based support programs teaching learners of all ages how to become self-directed life-long learners, skilled to assess, manage and weigh masses of available information and the ability to keep up with a super-fast changing reality. This is a program aimed at providing student support, by developing the person in terms of personal development (identity), lifelong learning skills (mastery), and making a meaningful contribution (legacy). It is similarly also aimed at continuing personal development of lecturers and staff, for their own lifelong learning as well as empowering them to support their students’ learning. Addressing these issues, a Personal Information Management Systems and Strategies Program (PIMSS) was developed. It is based on recent and valid Mind, Brain, and Education Science principles, and is made available on mobile devices for the sake of conciseness and optimal availability. The theoretical basis of the PIMMS Program is indicated as Neuro- constructivism, and the rationale and content of the program is briefly explained. Learning needs to be prioritised, if teaching is to be effective.

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