Learning in a world of information excess

CA student representative Angie Wan shares her experiences about how to find suitable learning to stay motivated.

In brief

  • Technology facilitates a multitude of learning choices
  • How to find information that you can easily absorb
  • Angie Wan discovered her preferred learning style is informal learning

What is an informal learner?

Angie is a classic informal learner. She’s discovered what works for her, and sitting in a lecture theatre definitely doesn’t make the cut.

“I can’t concentrate or absorb the information that way, it’s not the best use of my time. I like to be able to access learning when I need it.”

For Angie, continuous learning has to fit around her 9-5 job as an intern. She prefers informal learning because of the convenience of being able to fit learning online into her busy schedule, on weekends and in the evenings.

Angie Wan, Intern at Macquarie Bank


Transforming information into knowledge

“Informal learning helps me learn content. Accounting and finance require technical knowledge, learning online helps me process the information better, allowing it to settle into my brain.”

Relevancy and relatability are important to Angie in “being able to see the relevance of what I’m learning and applying it to what I’m doing in life.”

How do you stay motivated and curious about learning?

In order to stay motivated and curious, collaborative learning through discussion is imperative. As a lot of that discussion is done through informal sessions and on the job learning, which employers are now recognising as valuable for personal development.

“Part of staying curious is innate. It’s who you surround yourself with, engaging and discussing with people from different backgrounds who hold different perspectives.

“For learning to be a priority we always have to question why. And be comfortable with not knowing everything, you can do further research to deepen your understanding.”

What makes a memorable learning experience?

Angie described her most memorable learning experience when her teacher utilised technology by setting up a Facebook group for students in the lead up to an exam with daily practice question tasks for completion. Each day individual feedback was provided and suggested areas for improvement.

“It was amazing, I’ve never seen a teacher put so much effort into learning. It was so valuable to have that opportunity to practice for the exam, and it exemplifies what a powerful tool technology is to facilitate rich learning.”

Coping with information overload

With access to more information than ever before the challenge, according to Angie, is to stay focused and use time efficiently.

“With so much information it can be overwhelming, but with technology at your fingertips you can access apps and tools to help synthesise and make the information concise.”

Aspirations for future learning

In the future Angie believes formal learning will still have its place, depending on individual learning styles and the subject matter while the move towards less formal and less rigid learning is something she would like to experience.

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