I came across, “The lesson you never got taught in school: How to learn,” in “Big Think” a blog devoted to empirical science and the study of the mind. The article summarizes a paper published in Psychological Science in the Public Interest which evaluated ten techniques for improving learning, ranging from mnemonics to highlighting and came to some surprising conclusions.
As you can see practice testing, and distributed practice received high ratings. From the article:
Research has found that the optimal level of distribution of sessions (aka distributed practice) for learning is 10-20% of the length of time that something needs to be remembered. So if you want to remember something for a year you should study at least every month, if you want to remember something for five years you should space your learning every six to twelve months. If you want to remember something for a week you should space your learning 12-24 hours apart.
I used to use mnemonics all the time to remember stuff for exams, it would get me through the exam, but I no longer remember the mnemonic or the information….wish I would have known about distributed practice…..
Do you use any of these methods yourself? Do you teach your students how to learn how to learn?
See the link for full details: