This is part of blog series on teaching aptitude In which we will cover learners’ characteristics of Paper 1 of the UGC NET Examination.
Since the last few years, there are many questions have been asked over learner ’s characteristic in the UGC-NET exam.
Teaching Aptitude Learner’s Characteristics
A Learner is someone who is consistently learning. We all are the learner at some or the other time in our daily life. To be precise, a learner at a particular time is that person who is learning about a particular subject.
For a decision maker, it is important to know the learner’s characteristics. It is essential to know what factors affect their learning. Learning can be described that the process of acquiring new or modifying existing knowledge, skill values, behaviour and preferences.
Learning is strongly based on the intellectual level, cognitive ability, perception, personality and attitude of a learner. As individual many factors affect the learning of a person. They are bound to get influenced by the social arena, cultural habits, and willingness of a person to adopt change.
Updated Syllabus Topics!
(Click on the link it will take you to the page which contains study notes of given topic)
- Teaching: Concept, Objectives, Levels of teaching (Memory, Understanding and Reflective), Characteristics and basic requirements.
- Learner’s characteristics: Characteristics of adolescent and adult learners (Academic, Social, Emotional and Cognitive), Individual differences.[This Post]
- Factors affecting teaching related to: Teacher, Learner, Support material, Instructional facilities, Learning environment and Institution.
- Methods of teaching in Institutions of higher learning: Teacher centered vs. Learner centered methods; Off-line vs. On-line methods (Swayam, Swayamprabha, MOOCs etc.).
- Teaching Support System: Traditional, Modern and ICT based.
- Evaluation Systems: Elements and Types of evaluation, Evaluation in Choice Based Credit System in Higher education, Computer based testing, Innovations in evaluation systems.
- Solved MCQ Based on last 10 Year Exam & Other Frequently asked questions
No successful outcome strategy can be expected without analyzing learner characteristics. Learner characteristics can be identified by collecting the information based on their cognitive, physiological, affective and social characteristics. Different methods are used to collect information about learners such as surveys, interviews, observation, current knowledge/ skill levels and performance result.
Learner’s characteristics are many such as personal, academic, social/emotional and/or cognitive in nature.
Personal characteristics can be defined as demographic information about the learner such as age, gender, cultural background, maturation, language, social economic status and specific needs of a learner group such as particular skills and disabilities for and/or impairments to learning.
Academics characteristics of respondents including the education type, education level, and knowledge. The learner has social/emotional characteristics.
Cognitive characteristics of learner can be described such as memory, mental pressure, solve problems, intellectual skill, remembers, organizes and store information in the brain.
Definitions of Learning
- Gardener Murphy: “The term learning covers every modification in behaviour to meet environmental requirements.”
- Henry P. Smith: “Learning is the acquisition of new behaviour or the strengthening or weakening of old behaviour as the result of experience.”
Learning means a permanent change in the behaviour of the learner through experience, instructions, and study. It is very difficult to measure the learning but the result of learning can be measured.
Learner characteristics can be described as measuring the characteristics of learners such as behavioural nature, attitudes and psychological towards everything related to learning.
In learner characteristics aptitude is defined according to Cronbach and Snow as “any characteristic of a person that forecasts his probability of success under a given treatment” or “whatever makes a person ready to learn rapidly in a particular situation (or, more generally, to make effective use of a particular environment)” Various components were described in learner characteristics such as gender, attitude, motivation, learner style and cultural background.
During a learning phase, a learner faces different issues such as doubts, fear of exam, exam pattern, study material and syllabus etc. These problems can be tackled through hard work, consistent efforts and more practice.
There are the few characteristics of learners given below-
- Good learners are curious
A learner is never satisfied. They are always hungry for information, love the discovery and try to find out the solution to problems. Learner collects the information about best study material and latest information which was provided by UGC.
- Carefully understanding
A good learner possesses the attribute of careful understanding. Most of the knowledge can be gained with the hard work and efforts. A learner should try to understand the subject matter carefully. An effective learner always tries to interpret the stimulus, combine and differentiate them and give them some meaning.
Learner’s characteristics are divided into following categories which are explained as follows:
- Social and Personal quality-
A learner who has personal quality understands subject matter easily and solves the problems very fast. Different learners have different personal and social cognitive power. A Learner who belongs to the different social structure may face the problem during the study at other place but a good leaner easily adapts and adjust environment of the class.
- Growth and development-
Learner’s characteristics are subject to his mental & intellectual growth and development. Education and training are helpful to positive growth and development. A good educationist takes the responsibility to himself of identifying the characteristics of the learner and developing skills into him/her.
- Willingness to learn-
A Learner is always willing to learn and open for information. He has a broad mental space and accepts the changes consistently. Inquisitive nature of learner develops an urge in them for acquiring more and more knowledge from their parents, siblings, neighbours, relatives, teachers, society and many more.
- Interests and attitude of learner
There is a difference between the interest and the attitude of leaner. A teacher always plays an important role to assess the learners for their interest and aptitude so that they can guide according to their aptitude.
- Easily Adjustment to Change-
Although, it is not possible to every learner to adjust in every situation as a different learner has different characteristics of adjustment. Some learner easily adapts classroom environment and some feel uncomfortable in the class environment. So, a good learner should adjust according to the situation.
- Internal Motivation-
Motivation is an important factor for a learner to achieve their goals. Learners differ in their capacity of motivation. Some learners are easily motivated while some feel hesitation for a long time before they get motivated by their instructors.
- Social-cultural background
Learners come from different culture, area and family background. These learners perform in a homogenous group. Learner takes some time to understand the class environment and adapt. It is very difficult for leaner to adapt, understand and merge the different disciplines in the beginning.
- Learning power
Some learners very quickly understand the questions and solve the problems. If the learners solve the problems easily, it means the understanding level of a learner is high as compared to another person who takes the more time to understand and solve the problems.
Nervousness is the natural attribute an of learners. If the learner feels nervousness, it means that they have lack of knowledge about the things. It can be removed with the help of teaching-learning process.
- Application of mind & Creativity
All Learners have the different approach to their lives. Most of the learners accept what is taught to them but there are have many creative abilities. They have the ability to explore the things and think innovations.
Moreover, application of mind is necessary to remain ahead. In society different person have the different profession such as doctor, scientist, innovators and discovers are from the categories of learner who are creative.
A few other important outcomes of learning are also-
- Learning is a blend of new or old learner
- It is helpful to develop learner as well as society.
- It enhances the purposeful ability of learners.
- It helps the learner in adjusting to his environment.
- It results in a change in behavior of the learner
- Learning is a product of heredity and environment
Learner characteristics which are discussed above in this article indicate that learners have different characteristics which are used to understand the subject matter and crack the exams. A good learner can adjust his/herself according to the situation and achieve their objectives.
In the 21st century, Digital sources also act as a significant learning platform. Effectively coordinating along with the group of learner characteristics, provides learners to enjoy a high quality of life and make a good relationship with resilient, international, creative and confident. A good Learner can understand the value of teamwork, the relationship of effort to output and at the same time, knows the need to be regularly learning and growing.