Seven Steps for Effective Learning
Charles L Flatt, 2020-01-12
Warning: Learning Ahead! (plus science)
The steps below are based on dozens of science-based articles on effective learning. I've written a fuller article with more details, How To Learn.
I hope this helps you on your learning journeys!
- What's the next physical action to take, and when will you?
- Choose what you want to learn based on excitement and utility.
- Choose your goal, then narrow using research.
- Choose your first target.
- Define success.
- When beginning, focus on commitment and process.
- As you advance, focus on progress.
- Do not share your goal, especially if it's tied to your identity.
- Beginners need praise for commitment, and should seek positive feedback.
- Do something small and useful, give yourself easy wins.
- Learn enough to self-correct.
As You Advance
- Experts need praise for progress, but also should seek negative feedback.
- Share your goal, but...
- Only make yourself accountable to people you trust and who have no stake in the outcome.
- Make the practice hard enough that you have to work to get better. Too easy and you'll just keep doing the same easy thing. Too hard and you'll give up.
- When faced with barriers, try WOOP (I love this technique!)
- Space learning: 30-50 minute bursts, take progressively longer breaks between learning
- Self-test: put away the material and work to recall. Use flash cards.
- Change it up: practice the same thing slightly differently
- Interleave: practice something else, then come back.
- Connect new ideas to prior knowledge.
- Students have different "learning styles," i.e. visual, auditory, reading, kinesthetic.
FALSE, people learn using all these senses, and often don't know which they're using well.
- Humans only use 10% of their brains.
FALSE, humans use 100% of their brains each day.
- People are right- or left-brained.
FALSE, the differences between the left and right side of the brain aren't this simplistic, and the connection between the two halves is normally strong.
- Novices and experts can think in all the same ways.
- Cognitive development progresses via a fixed progression of age-related stages.
FALSE, cognition develops in fits and starts.
- Amazon.com: Outliers: The Story of Success - Malcolm Gladwell
- I haven't found Ericsson's original study yet, but here are two interviews with him, plus an overview article.
- The first 20 hours -- how to learn anything | Josh Kaufman | TEDxCSU I'm still searching for Kaufman's supporting research.
- Hidden Brain: Why our memory fails, and how to improve it : NPR
- "Yes Or No?" -- A Classic And Effective Book For Decision-Making | Software Meadows
- Developing a Growth Mindset with Dr. Carol Dweck - YouTube
- Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us: Daniel H. Pink
- The Science-Backed Reasons You Shouldn't Share Your Goals
- WOOP my life In research, WOOP is usually examined under the scientific term "mental contrasting with implementation intentions", abbreviated “MCII”. Here's a site devoted to the technique.
- Effects of person versus process praise on student motivation: stability and change in emerging adulthood: Educational Psychology: Vol 31, No 5
- Six Brain Hacks To Learn Anything Faster
- Brief diversions vastly improve focus, researchers find -- ScienceDaily
- Sleep makes relearning faster and longer-lasting | EurekAlert! Science News
- Want to Learn a New Skill? Faster? Change Up Your Practice Sessions
- Are 'Learning Styles' Real? - The Atlantic
- Do People Only Use 10 Percent of Their Brains?
- Why the Left-Brain Right-Brain Myth Will Probably Never Die | Psychology Today
Comment for me? Send an email. I might even update the post!