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Stephen Chew on Learning

(Also available as a slides.)

  1. Beliefs That Make You Fail... Or Succeed
    1. Beliefs that make you fail
      1. Learning is fast: no, it's effortful
      2. Knowledge is isolated facts: no, it's synthetic
      3. Being good in a subject is an inborn talent: no, work it's hard
      4. I'm good at multi-tasking: no, avoid distractions
    2. Meta-cognition
      1. Poor performer are over-confident (Dunning-Kruger effect)
  2. What Students Should Know About How People Learn
    1. Hyde and Jenkins tested kind of learning (intentional vs. not) and level (shallow vs. deep). The shallow processing asks subjects to note the presence of 'e' in word, the deep task was to rate the pleasantness of the word. They found intention had no affect but level (deep/pleasantness) did.
    2. Need good orienting tasks to prime deep processing
    3. Things that help learning
      1. Minimizing distractions; maximizing focus
      2. Develop accurate meta-cognition
      3. Deep, appropriate processing of concepts
      4. Practicing retrieval and application
  3. Cognitive Principles for Optimizing Learning
    1. elaboration: how does this concept relate to other concepts?
    2. distinctiveness: how is it different?
    3. personal: how is it related to me?
    4. context: how am I expected to use or apply this concept?
    5. Automaticity: becomes subconscious (must unlearn poor high-school skills)
    6. Over-learning: recall it quickly and easily
  4. Putting Principles for Learning into Practice
    1. Question generation
    2. Concept map
    3. Practice retrieving the way the instructor expects
      1. practice recalling and using information without notes
    4. Taking notes
      1. identify keep concepts, relations, and examples; don't get distracted or transcribe!
      2. actively organize notes
    5. Reading
      1. be selective in noting key concepts, connections, and questions
    6. Group study can be a social distraction
      1. set goal and agenda
      2. set criteria for participation
      3. keep ultimate goal of learning in mind
      4. everyone can ask a question
      5. any member can express group understanding
  5. I Blew the Exam, Now What?
    1. Exam
      1. Don't panic
      2. Don't go into denial
      3. Examine exam and review
      4. Compare errors with notes, was the answer not there?
      5. Talk with your instructor
      6. Examine your study habits
      7. Develop a study plan
    2. How to raise gradae
      1. Commit time and effort
      2. Minimize distractions
      3. Attend class
      4. Set realistic goals
      5. Don't begin to slide
      6. Don't give away points (failing to follow instructions or skipping small assignments)



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