Learning Strategy 11: Maintaining Interest 

Robert Harris
Version Date: February 27, 2014


If you're not paying attention in class or to an online presentation, you won't learn anything. If you're paying attention--or trying to--but just can't keep interested or focused, you will learn a lot less than if you could maintain interest. Lack of interest flirts witih boredom, and boredom produces a loss of attention. Now, all of us occasionally experience a wandering mind, especially if the instructor or presentation is not very compelling by itself.

The good news is that there are many techniques to help you keep focused on the subject, both in class and when you're reading or studying. And more than just keeping focused, you can actually increase your interest in the material with these techniques.

Maintaining Interest in Class

Use some of these techniques ot keep  yourself interested and motivated while in class:

One of the secrets of maintaining interest with your mind is to bring your body to your assistance. The more alert your body is, the more alert your mind is. You've probably found it difficult to concentrate when you felt sleepy in a warm room just after lunch. That's your body affecting your mind. So, get your body on your side with some of these techniques:

Maintaining Interest When Studying

When you read, study, or review your notes, try some of these techniques to keep yourself alert and interested.

High Performance Learning

You really can "psych  yourself up" and increase your interest in a topic you might otherwise not be very excited about. Here are two ways to do that.
The bottom line is to do what works best for you. If playing a song or card game breaks your concentration, then don't continue it. Find another motivating practice.

Concluding Personal Story

When I was an undergraduate studying for finals at the university, I started building  little houses out of toothpicks and white glue, attached to my study lamp. I would read a concept or a vocabulary word,  and then recite or think about it while I glued one more toothpick to the structure. It really helped me stay put and stay focused. This was good, because I usually found studying for finals (history, German, anthropology, political science) pretty boring.

A coworker friend had a large nut and bolt that he would fidget with while he was thinking. If you need a fidget tool, try it.

VirtualSalt Home
Learning Strategy 1: Mnemonics
Learning Strategy 2: Paraphrasing
Learning Strategy 3: Summarizing
Learning Strategy 4: Self Monitoring
Learning Strategy 5: Self Explanation
Learning Strategy 6: Mental Rehearsal
Learning Strategy 7: Self Assessment
Learning Strategy 8: The SQ3R Reading Method
Learning Strategy 9: Note Taking
Learning Strategy 10: The Leitner Flash Card System
Learning Strategy 11: Maintaining Interest
Learning Strategy 12: Conversation
Learning Strategy 13: Group Interaction
Learning Strategy 14: Idea Mapping
Learning Strategy 15: Drawing Pictures
Learning Strategy 16: Study Cycles
Learning Strategy 17: Sleep and Rest
Learning Strategy 18: Fluency / Automaticity
Learning Strategy 19: Learning Strategy Checklist
Learning Strategy 20: Asking Questions
Learning Strategy 21: Idea Linking
Learning Strategy 22: How to Use a Book
Learning Strategy 23: Active Listening
Learning Strategy 24: Close Reading
Learning Strategy 25: Fluency / Automaticity
Learning Strategy 26: Power Thinking
Learning Strategy 27: Planning for Learning
Learning Strategy 28: Outlining
Learning Strategy 29: Analogies
Copyright 2014 by Robert Harris | How to cite this page
w w w . v i r t u a l s a l t . c o m
About the author:
Robert Harris is a writer and educator with more than 25 years of teaching experience at the college and university level. RHarris at virtualsalt.com