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The BYU-Idaho Learning Model: Prepare

A student's personal insights on the steps of the BYU-Idaho Learning Model


This is part one of a three part series regarding the Learning Model.

When I started my degree with BYU-Idaho, I was introduced to an innovative way of learning called the Learning Model. This model was a bit of an adjustment at first, but it eventually helped me see how I could apply what I was learning in my daily life. So what exactly is the Learning Model?

The Learning Model brings a proactive and positive approach to learning that helps students make the lessons applicable to them. It is presented early on in the PathwayConnect curriculum to help students understand its importance and internalize the coursework for themselves.

The three-step process includes:

  1. Prepare
  2. Teach One Another
  3. Ponder and Prove

Although this Learning Model was initially created for BYU-Idaho students, it’s innovative qualities of learning helps students involved in BYU-Pathway personalize lessons and improve learning skills.

Attending BYU-Idaho as an online and on-campus student myself, I have learned how to implement the Learning Model in my various classes, and even in my “real-world” experiences. I have come to understand and appreciate the educational, social, and spiritual benefits of applying the Learning Model to my academic, professional, and personal life.

I want to share with you some personal insights and understandings I have gained from applying these principles of the Learning Model.

Let’s start with the first step: Prepare.


woman praying and studying scriptures
Praying and studying your scriptures regularly can help you as you spiritually prepare for your PathwayConnect gatherings and courses.
“Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself…” 1

The first part of preparation requires an ongoing spiritual and intellectual development. Preparation is essential to help you learn by faith and be guided by the Spirit. In order to feel spiritually prepared, pray and study to have the Spirit with you.

The second part of preparation requires intellectual actions. To better expand your knowledge and understanding, read and complete the homework assignments. By putting forth these efforts, you can have a better understanding of what is being taught in the gatherings, and you will be able to help others understand the course material as needed.

My Personal Insights

I have often taken the first step of the Learning Model for granted. I can think of a handful of classes I would have done better in if I had just taken the time to prepare for each class.

During Spring Semester 2016 at BYU-Idaho, I took a math class on campus. Algebra had always been easy for me to comprehend, so I went into the class not expecting to learn much. I was doing really well in the class, so I began to slack on my preparation. Within a few weeks, my grade dropped dramatically just from the lack of preparation. It was then that I realized the need for preparation in every aspect of my life — even for those classes that seem easy.

As I have come to understand the Learning Model, I have come to appreciate the divine role that preparation plays in education and in my everyday life.

man doing work in kitchen
During your preparation, think about a question you can reflect on over the course of the lesson and PathwayConnect gathering.

Make It Personal

Before and during your preparation, think of a question that you can reflect on over the course of the lesson. This will help you focus on what you are studying, and when the time comes to ponder and prove what you have learned, you will be amazed at the answers you receive. Some of these questions could include:

  • How can you apply this principle in your social, spiritual, or academic life?
  • How can someone you know benefit from you sharing this information?
  • How does this principle relate to what you already know?
  • How will applying this principle bring you closer to Christ?

When you sufficiently prepare yourself for each lesson and gathering, you can feel confident in your learning, actively participate in discussions, and help others to learn. If you do not yet feel that preparation or the Learning Model can help you, I encourage you to pray to gain that understanding and appreciation. This understanding might not come immediately, but I promise it will come over time — it has for me.

Looking for more about how preparation can benefit you? Watch or listen to “ A Time to Prepare ,” a talk given by Elder Ardern in the October 2011 General Conference.

Stay tuned for part two of the series about Teaching One Another , which will be published in the coming weeks.

To learn more about the courses and curriculum in PathwayConnect, visit the  BYU-Pathway website !