In our last blog post, we looked at some ways to become a more effective learner. We summarized 5 main points. They include the following:
1. Memory Improvement Basics
2. Keep Learning and Practicing New Things
3. Learn In Multiple Ways
4. Teach What You Have Learnt To Another Person
5. Utilizing Previous Learning To Promote New Learning
In this blog post, we will be looking at five more ways to becoming a more effective learner. The points will be summarized as it was in part 1. Follow through to the end because these tips will be helpful. Below are the remaining tips.
6. Gain Practical Experience
For many students, learning typically involves reading textbooks, attending lectures, or doing research in the library or on the Web. While seeing information and then writing it down is important, actually putting new knowledge and skills into practice can be one of the best ways to improve learning.
If you are trying to acquire a new skill or ability, focus on gaining practical experience. If it is a sport or athletic skill, perform the activity on a regular basis. If you are learning a new language, practise speaking with another person and surround yourself with language-immersion experiences. Watch foreign-language films and strike up conversations with native speakers to practise your budding skills.
7. Look Up Answers Rather Than Struggle To Remember
Of course, learning isn’t a perfect process. Sometimes, we forget the details of things that we have already learned. If you find yourself struggling to recall some tidbit of information, research suggests that you are better offer simply looking up the correct answer. One study found that the longer you spend trying to remember the answer, the more likely you will be to forget the answer again in the future. Why? Because these attempts to recall previously learned information actually results in learning the “error state” instead of the correct response.
8. Understand How Best You Learn
Another great strategy for improving your learning efficiency is to recognize your learning habits and styles. There are a number of different theories about learning styles, which can all help you gain a better understanding of how you learn best. The concept of learning styles has been the subject of considerable debate and criticism, but many students may find that understanding their study and learning preferences can still be helpful.
Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences describes eight different types of intelligence that can help reveal your individual strengths. Looking at Carl Jung’s learning style dimensions can also help you better see which learning strategies might work best for you. Other models such as the Vark learning styles and Kolb’s learning styles can offer more information about how you prefer to learn new things.
9. Use Testing to Boost Learning
While it may seem that spending more time studying is one of the best ways to maximize learning, research has demonstrated that taking tests actually helps you better remember what you’ve learned, even if it wasn’t covered on the test. The study revealed that students who studied and were then tested had better long-term recall of the materials, even on information that was not covered by the tests. Students who had extra time to study but were not tested had significantly lower recall of the materials.
10. Stop Multitasking
For many years, it was thought that people who multitask, or perform more than one activity at once, had an edge over those who did not. However, research now suggests that multitasking can actually make learning less effective. In the study, participants lost significant amounts of time as they switched between multiple tasks and lost even more time as the tasks became increasingly complex. By switching from one activity to another, you will learn more slowly, become less efficient and make more errors.
How can you avoid the dangers of multitasking? Start by focusing your attention on the task at hand and continue working for a predetermined amount of time.