MONAD 6 - Page 26

Integral Learning Study Tricks of the Trade Article by Niloma Emmanuel I’ve studied for several exams as a student and throughout my career. I also have experience as a teacher in a college teaching maths and spent a lot of time trying to understand the most efficient methods of study. This is the first article in a series on Integral Learning, beginning with general tips as well as wider well-being and lifestyle tips. Yes, they all impact your process of learning. Once we’ve covered the basics, the next article will continue with the theme of learning, going deeper into techniques that experts in the field of education claim to be the most efficient. Study tips Firstly as you learn new information, certain practical tools can enhance your productivity. The list below is not exhaustive, but are my personal favourites. Use flashcards – you want to exercise your ‘recall’ memory as much as possible. Write a word or phrase on one side and the answer on the other. This has a two-fold benefit. The kinesthetic motion of writing will help you memorize and the use of the flashcards will give you an opportunity to recall your knowledge. Note taking – it’s easy to think that taking copious notes when a speaker is presenting will aid understanding. A court stenographer can note down every word spoken, but will know very little about the case if questioned. Take notes of the salient points on a blank piece of paper, with diagrams and key words, rather than attempting to record verbatim. easy, you are probably not learning. I’ve often read books or watched documentaries on complicated scientific theories, presented by talented writers or speakers. It leaves me with the sense of understanding this complicated theory with no academic background in the subject. For example reading Brian Cox’s book E=MC 2 , was enjoyable and I was delighted with myself that I was absorbing the work of Einstein. However, if you asked me to explain General Relativity, it would soon be obvious how little I have learnt from that book. Breaks – plan your study session with small breaks. Diving the hour into 50 minute study slots with 10 minute breaks works well for me, though I don’t restrict myself if I’m in the flow and achieving a lot. Short ten minute breaks for exercise, food or relaxation can improve your concentration levels for the rest of the day, avoiding burnout. Discuss – selfishness can creep in when studying if you are the more knowledgeable person in your peer group. However, peer learning has shown to be beneficial to both parties. Discussing a topic with a peer will aid your memory of that topic. The person asking the questions is engaged in the topic as they pose the questions in the discussion. The other person is forced to truly examine their understanding of the topic as they form the explanation, highlighting areas that need study further. A clear indication of whether you have understood a topic thoroughly is the ability to explain it in multiple ways, ranging from a simplistic explanation without the use of any industry specific jargon suitable for a lay audience, to detailed explanations using expert terminology. Highlighting and rereading – evidence shows that highlighting and re-reading adds little value to learning. It can actually be dangerous as it leads to a sense of ‘fluency’. The ease with which you study is often mistaken for learning. As a general rule, if it feels too Physical well-being tips Stay hydrated – to enable you to think more clearly. Preferably only water or herbal tea. Caffeine, which is found in tea and many fizzy drinks is known to be Page 26 | Monad 5 / 2017 Integral Learning Study Tricks of the Trade Article by Niloma Emmanuel I’ve studied for several exams as a student and easy, you are probably not learning. I’ve often read throughout my career. I also have experience as books or watched documentaries on complicated a teacher in a college teaching maths and spent a scientifi c theories, presented by talented writers or lot of time trying to understand the most effi cient speakers. It leaves me with the sense of understanding methods of study. this complicated theory with no academic background in the subject. For example reading Brian Cox’s book This is the fi rst article in a series on Integral Learning, E=MC 2 , was enjoyable and I was delighted with myself beginning with general tips as well as wider well-being that I was absorbing the work of Einstein. However, if and lifestyle tips. Yes, they all impact your process you asked me to explain General Relativity, it would of learning. Once we’ve covered the basics, the next soon be obvious how little I have learnt from that book. article will continue with the theme of learning, going deeper into techniques that experts in the fi eld of Breaks – plan your study session with small breaks. education claim to be the most effi cient. Diving the hour into 50 minute study slots with 10 minute breaks works well for me, though I don’t Study tips restrict myself if I’m in the fl ow and achieving a lot. Short ten minute breaks for exercise, food or relax- Firstly as you learn new information, certain practical ation can improve your concentration levels for the tools can enhance your productivity. The list below rest of the day, avoiding burnout. is not exhaustive, but are my personal favourites. Discuss – selfi shness can creep in when studying Use fl ashcards – you want to exercise your ‘recall’ if you are the more knowledgeable person in your memory as much as possible. Write a word or phrase peer group. 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