Concepts of Learning

Applications for Effective Learning

Concepts of Learning Knowing Yourself as a Learner:
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  • Know how you learn best and adapt the study strategies that work best for you.
  • Choose the best learning strategy for the task at hand.
  • Monitor your understanding and progress as you go along.
  • Adjust strategies when appropriate.
  • Websites on learning styles, metacognition (knowing how you know) and learning disabilities.
  • Find out more about the Study Skills Course.

Getting the Big Picture & Dealing with Details:
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  • Read the course syllabus for an overview of the course.
  • Preview the whole text to get an overview of course content.
  • Outline (Cornell notes) or map each chapter before you read in detail or go to class.
  • Read/listen for the introduction and summary.
  • Review your outlines or maps before tests.
  • Preview the test before starting, then plan your strategy.

Breaking Tasks into Meaningful Chunks:
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  • Break up study into 45 minute to 1 hour chunks.
  • Break up reading or study by units of information ( i.e., chapters or topics).
  • Label information in text books and in your notes.
  • Connect new information to maps or outlines to keep it connected with other related information.
  • Look for relationships-- i.e., categories, cause-effect, similarities/differences, etc. Use cognitive questions and visual organizers to assist understanding and memory.
  • Study by reviewing main ideas and details from flash cards and Cornell notes.

Questioning and Using Cognitive Structures:
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  • Determine your purpose for reading or for the task.
  • Ask, "What do I already know about this task or subject?"
  • Use questions at the end of the chapter or develop questions from headings to focus on important information as you read.
  • Monitor your understanding as you read or listen to lectures.
  • Use questions at all cognitive levels to help yourself process and remember information.
  • Ask: "Does this answer make sense?"
  • Ask for help if you need it.

Memory and the Importance of Review:
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