How to get the most out of studying: Cognitive principles for Optimizing Learning

All my students should watch this.  Dr. Stephen Chew is a cognitive psychologist who translates what we know about how people learn, into clear, useful information for students to help them study better.  Note that this is the third presentation in a 5-part series so be sure to watch them all, and watch them more than once.

I think the key message about studying/learning is that there are certain ways to think while you’re learning new information to help you remember and understand better:

  • elaboration (make meaningful connections between the concept you are studying, and related concepts)
  • distinctions (think about what is different between the concept you are studying and other concepts)
  • personal (relate the concepts to your own experiences)
  • practice appropriate retrieval and application of concepts (ask yourself “how will I use this?”)

Note that Dr. Chew specifically mentions that learning effective college-level study skills is not easy!  It takes time and it takes effortful practice.  But it’s worth it.

To go back to the first presentation in the series, click here.  To go to the next one, click here.

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