HOW TOP STUDENTS STUDY? - PART IIStudents don’t create deep and lasting learning by passively listening to a lecture, casually skimming a textbook, or having a tutor solve math problems for them. In order to create strong neural networks, they’ve got to participate actively in the learning process.
Although we may sit in the same classrooms or log on to the same websites, we don’t all learn in the same way. Instructors are well aware of this, and most students have at least a vague sense that this is true.
Instructors don’t all teach in the same manner, and students don’t all learn in the same way. There are numerous channels for teaching and learning. Some, like words and images, whereas others, like group work and hands-on learning.
Top Students exercise - PRIOR LEARNING.Brain research reveals that when you connect what you are learning now to previously stored information, you learn the new information or skill faster and more deeply.
The contribution of past learning to new learning helps explain why some learners have difficulty in college with academic skills such as math and science. If their earlier learning was shaky, they’re going to have difficulty with new learning. They don’t have strong neural networks on which to attach the new learning. It’s like trying to construct a house on a weak foundation. In such a situation, the best option is to go back and strengthen the foundation.
Top Students exercise - QUALITY PROCESSING.How you exercise affects your physical strength. Likewise, how you study affects the strength of your neural networks and therefore the quality of your learning. Some information (such as math formulas or anatomy terms) must be recalled exactly as presented. For such learning tasks, effective memorization strategies are the types of processing that work best. However, much of what you’ll be asked to learn in college/university is too complex for mere memorization (though many struggling students try). For mastering complex information and skills, you’ll want to use what learning experts call deep processing. These are the very strategies that successful students use to maximize their learning and make it stick.
Highly effective learners put in sufficient time on task. The traditional guideline for a week’s studying is two hours for each hour of class time. Thus, if you have fifteen hours of classes per week, the estimate for your “sufficient time on task” is about thirty hours per week.
Many struggling students neither study very often nor very long. However, some fool themselves by putting in “sufficient time,” but spend little of it engaged in effective learning activities. They skim complex information in their textbooks. They attempt to memorize information they don’t understand. Their minds wander to a conversation they had at lunch. They play a video game or two. They send a couple of text messages, and the next thing they know, it’s time to go to bed. Some students have a chemical imbalance that prevents them from focusing for long periods of time and their learning suffers. But the reason most struggling students don’t live up to their potential as learners is fully within their control. You don’t need a genius IQ to be a good learner and do well in school/college. What you do need is a learning system that employs what we now know about how the human brain learns.
How do you spend your time? You may not remember everything you do in the course of the day, but there are 24 hours for everyone! Some events are routine and occur daily or weekly, while some events are special and only occur occasionally. Some events happen in just a few minutes while others can take several hours. How you spend every hour that all of us enjoy the equal share will determine whether you succeed or fail in you learning process.
HOW TO PLAN YOUR REVISION - Getting Ready For Exams