How to Increase Your Effectiveness at Learning

September 12, 2018 Richard Justenhoven
effectiveness at learning

Podcast offers tips on how best to learn

In the latest podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, Christian Jarrett explores how to study and to increase our effectiveness at learning.

In the short, 13 minute podcast, he has conversations with three experts in this area, busts some myths and suggests some strategies for more effective learning. It’s a great listen.

Some key take-aways:

  1. Preference for learning styles has little bearing on our effectiveness at learning – despite teachers often signing up to this, and it being engrained in how we think about learning.
  2. But there is a relationship between our perceived preference for receiving new information and how well we think we learn. That is, we are more confident in our learning when we learn in our preferred way, but in terms of our performance, there is little difference.
  3. Carrying out eye- hand coordination exercises don’t improve learning per se – but exercise in general does boost focus and learning.
  4. Enactment of learning, helps learning. This can be by working through examples, plotting out graphs, tracing shapes with fingertips….
  5. Three great evidence-based tips are offered to help build our effectiveness at learning
    1. Use the Spacing Effect. That is, study, do something else and then study again. This gives yourself a chance to forget, and then relearn what you need to know. It helps to consolidate the learning
    2. Retrieval practice – test yourself (not just re-reading notes). We learn something far better and at a deeper level when we then test our own learning, rather than just looking back at notes, and re-reading them time and again!
    3. Teach the information to someone else. By needing to then teach someone else what you have learned, checks how much you understand it and truly know it.

It is a short podcast that reminds us how we can look again at how we learn.

Here’s that link again to listen to the podcast. Listen in! It could change how you approach your learning and improve your effectiveness at learning.

About the Author

Richard Justenhoven

Richard Justenhoven is the product development director within Aon's Assessment Solutions. A leading organizational psychologist, Richard is an acknowledged expert in the design, implementation and evaluation of online assessments and a sought after speaker about such topics.

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