Author:
Anna McCollum
Subject:
Marketing
Material Type:
Textbook
Level:
High School, Community College / Lower Division
Tags:
License:
Creative Commons Attribution
Language:
English

Learning Hacks

Learning Hacks

Overview

Provided by: Lumen Learning. LicenseCC BY: Attribution

Introduction to Learning Hacks

THE HACK

Knowing just a little about how you learn can save you time

 

The Story

We know that you’re not always interested in learning for the sake of learning. While you probably find many of your classes interesting, there may be some that you’re just trying to get through because you have to take them. We also know that many of you are trying to balance your class work with a job (or jobs!), childcare, and other responsibilities. We get it. We want to help you learn what you need to learn to achieve your goals in the most efficient manner possible.

Understanding a little about how you learn can save you time.  We’re not going to make you dig into the research; rather, we’ve done that and are going to summarize the research for you in a way that hopefully enables you to put it into action.  Remember, we’re trying to save you time, not cost you more time!

You’ll see these learning hacks sprinkled throughout the course – no more than one per module.  If you are curious to see what’s coming, we’ve provided the complete list of them below.  Hopefully these hacks help you not just in this class, but in all of your coursework.  Good luck!

  • What’s the Best Use of My (Limited!) Time?
  • What is Mindset and Why Does It Matter?
  • How Often Should I Study?
  • Should I Ask for Help?
  • How Should I Study Across Topics?
  • The Myth of Multitasking
  • Learning Styles
  • Don’t Bother Highlighting

 

 

 

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What’s the Best Use of My (Limited!) Time?

THE HACK

The most efficient way to learn something is by practicing.  This turns out to be a much better use of time than other study techniques like rereading or highlighting.

a student answers a question on a test

The Story

It turns out that human beings learn by doing.  You’ve probably experienced this yourself – you might feel like you understand something when you’re sitting in lecture or reading about it in your textbook, but then you start doing the homework and realize that you haven’t quite gotten it yet.  It’s not until you actually practice the concept that you’re learning that it really starts to stick in your brain.

Your experience is backed up by tons of research on learning.  Over and over again, learning science research has shown that people learn by doing.  While reading or watching a video about a concept may make you feel like you understand, it’s the act of practicing the concept that actually creates the connections between neurons in your brain.

Practice can take many forms.  For example: answering the practice or self-check questions in an online course like this one, or answering homework questions or working problems at the end of a chapter in your textbook.  Even making up practice questions for yourself after you read a page of content is effective practice!

The Research

When researchers compared practice with other study techniques like rereading and highlighting, here’s what they found:

Study TechniqueUsefulness
Doing practice questionsHigh
Spacing out your practice over timeHigh
RereadingLow
HighlightingLow
SummarizationLow

We talked about practice in this learning hack.  We’ll tell you about how to space out your practice over time in an upcoming one.  We’ll also talk a little bit about why techniques like highlighting are not as useful.

The Source

Dunlosky, J., Rawson, K. A., Marsh, E. J., Nathan, M. J., & Willingham, D. T. (2013). Improving Students’ Learning With Effective Learning Techniques. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 14(1), 4–58. doi:10.1177/1529100612453266

Hattie, J. A.C. (2009). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. New York, NY: Routledge.

Ambrose, Susan A.. (Eds.) (2010) How learning works :seven research-based principles for smart teaching San Francisco, CA : Jossey-Bass,

 

 

 

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