Learning tips: every day a little helps!

Jul 27, 2015 | Trainer's advice

Are you using the learning techniques scientifically proven as being the most effective?

Absolutely! By regularly logging onto your favourite “Teach on Mars” apps which are based on thorough, efficient learning methods developed, tested and approved by cognitive and educational psychologists.

Ever highlight? Reread? Self-test? Summarize? Procrastinate? Check out the top 5 below… to get on the right study track!

  1. Every (day a) little helps! Hardly known outside the psych lab, the spaced practice aims at spreading out study sessions, rather than engaging in one single marathon session. Cramming before an exam might help you pass the test, but you won’t remember what you learned! Studying in intervals over time works best. The longer your intervals are, the longer you will remember the information!
  2. Practice makes perfect! Studies have found that a practice test can double free recall! The act of calling information to mind strengthens that knowledge and aids in future retrieval. No need for formal exams to profit from practice testing: flash cards, challenges and various mobile “low stakes” assessments will do the trick perfectly. Performing (an activity) or exercising (a skill) regularly improves and maintains proficiency.
  3. Bend the rules, random practice! Alternate rather than segregate practice of different skills. This method, along with spaced practice, boosts test scores by improving the ability to pair each problem with its solution.
  4. Elaborative interrogation, or asking yourself “why” (rather than “what”) as you read and writing down your answers. It is quick and easy (32 min for elaborative learning vs. 28 min for standard reading); Anyone can do it though this method may be best for proficient learners, as it does require enough prior knowledge to generate relevant Q&A.
  5. Self-explain! Take the edge off and … Analysis has shown that explaining a text to yourself in detail instead of passively reading through it improves problem solving skills during learning, rather than after it. Like elaborative interrogation, self-explaining is very simple!

Highlighting and underlining are on the winner’s platform of ineffective learning strategies! Closely followed by “low utility” rereading and summarizing, which are said to bring no value beyond just reading the text. To broaden your learning, ditch your highlighter, keep calm (acquiring valuable new habits takes time) and get a new “Teach on Mars” app!