Motivation and Learning Strategies for College Success: A Self-Management Approach

By Myron H. Dembo | Go to book overview

7
Management of Physical and Social Environment

An important aspect of self-management is the ability to restructure or modify, when necessary, one's physical and social environments in order to learn more effectively. Therefore, it is important to understand how environmental and social factors influence learning, and how you can become more resourceful in making the necessary changes in your environments.

You can take actions to adapt to your environment as well as change your environment to fit your needs. For example, although you cannot control the room assignment for a course, you often can determine where you sit as well as your level of concentration during the period. If you sit near students who are carrying on a conversation during a lecture, you can move your seat. If you are in a discussion and there is considerable noise outside, you can ask to shut the window or close the door. In other words, even when you cannot select the optimal learning, you can take steps to adapt or modify the physical environment. Even when you do select the environment for learning, modifications to the environment can be made by disconnecting the phone, allowing the answering machine to pick up messages, or placing a "do not disturb" sign on the door.

Some of the students in my classes are athletes and fraternity or sorority members who are required to attend a "study table" for a number of hours per week to study under supervision in a specific location. Because of their many time pressures, the requirement of a specific place for study is not a bad one. However, many students report that their mandated study environ

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