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Thread: Most effective study methods

  1. #1 Most effective study methods 
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    Hi all, just wondering if anyone has come across some insightful pieces of cognitive psychology literature, that assess different study methods and reveal a crown jewel, one to rule them all.


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    It seems that "reflective practice" is now the "in" thing, these are some of the things I've been set to read through before starting my teacher training course, you may find them useful:

    infed.org | Reflection, learning and education
    infed.org | Donald Schon (Schön): learning, reflection and change
    Kolb learning cycle
    Learning how to learn: 7.1 Reviewing - OpenLearn - Open University - LDT101_3
    Bloom's taxonomy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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    Ahhh you're just a bastion of useful information. I'll go through it all at a more reasonable hour *yawns* Thanks a lot!
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    No problem, I've only skimmed them myself (I plan to go through them in detail in the few weeks between finishing my current job and starting training in September) but they seem to be the "big thing" in the current education paradigm, here in the UK at least...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curiosity View Post
    Hi all, just wondering if anyone has come across some insightful pieces of cognitive psychology literature, that assess different study methods and reveal a crown jewel, one to rule them all.
    There's a lot of research in academia about this, unfortunately much of it doesn't get into the classrooms and few elementary or secondary teachers that I've seen spend much time on it or helping students organize, or time manage, something many desperately need. Others readily accept kids use of highlighting, underlining, or just rereading materials, which decades of research show amounts to wasting time (It's busy work that gives the illusion of learning).

    The most effective techniques are practice testing and distributed practise.

    For a pretty good summation of the past few decades of work as well as their own research results try:

    Improving Students
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    I actually came across a nice summary of that article just the other day Lynx, and I was surprised to hear about the keyword mnemonic. The fact that they suggest that the explanation for the poor retrieval after time, is due to decoding of images, seems to be completely wrong. Given that the entire point of mnemonics is merely as a tool to help initial coding of information, and visual imagery and mnemonic strategies that were initially used, don't take part in the retrieval process after time.
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    I think based on the literature, it's also been shown that studying whilst formulating test questions, improves learning almost equally as much as does practice testing.
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    Here's a nice little article. It says that it's not the total number of hours you spend thinking about something, but the number of times you think about it, don't think about it, and then think about it again. It's the "dredging" of information that turns it into long turn memory, the active practice of recalling it over and over rather than the time spent "learning" it. (At least for basic memorization of facts - probably not for learning creative or problem solving skills) The article says that many old fashioned techniques like quizzing one another with a study partner or flash cards really do work, but underlining a text and re-reading the underlining is not very effective.

    Psychologists Identify the Best Ways to Study - Scientific American
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    I can only see the preview of that, not the full thing unfortunately
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curiosity View Post
    I can only see the preview of that, not the full thing unfortunately
    Oh, sorry. Maybe if you google the authors you can find the original research the article is based on.
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  12. #11  
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    Haha it's actually based on the same article that Lynx posted :3
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    amphetamines?
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  14. #13  
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    There are many different ways of remembering things is psychology, I see Curiosity, you are already familiar with mnemonics. Another similar idea is called "chunking". Let's say we had to remember a string of 12 numbers:

    0991729102811278

    What we can do is "chunk" them into 4 groups of 4. What this is doing is instead of having to remember 12 individual numbers, we will instead have to remember 4 4-digit numbers. So, instead of:
    0991729102811278
    We can separate them into larger numbers. We can turn them into years for instance:
    0991 = 1990 backwards
    7291 = 1927 backwards
    0281 = 1820 backwards
    1278

    So, like I stated earlier, instead of remembering 12 individual numbers, we just have to learn these 4 numbers instead. It would take me 10 seconds to remember these 12 numbers with this method. This method is somewhat limiting to how you can use it but if you can find a way, it's very useful.
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