Ways to effectively learn have always been interesting to me. In my quest for information/validation for the way I personally choose to gain new knowledge and skills I came across some pretty interesting material.
Make it Stick by Peter C Brown.
As I started reading finals week at the U of I was just beginning. Every day students were in the library pouring over materials from the semester. I was learning that cramming was a pretty ineffective method to really learn. Making errors was cited as a particularly lasting learning tool IF timely corrections are made.The author points out that the more effort that is put forth during the acquisition of new material, the better the retention and ability to apply the knowledge will be in the future. If this is valid, I will have a better retention of this book because I retrieved the information from my head for this blog post.
One example given is that of a professor who changed his class structure to several periodic quizzes rather than a final exam at the end of a course. He (and researchers) discovered that by retrieving information throughout the semester that students were better able to retain what was covered during the course and as a byproduct, increased their grades by a significant amount.
He also discusses and pretty much debunks the whole theory of learning styles (visual, auditory, kin-esthetic) from the angle that one style suits an individual for all types of learning. Research indicates that successful teaching/learning methods depend much more on the material/skills being taught than on what an individual perceives to be “their” learning method. I know that this is certainly true for me.
This title in ICPL’s collection is available in both print and audio.