Not fast food – fast learning

Last week I presented a live on-line lecture to about 250 students who had registered to attend the course, the subject How to learn faster. 

So I thought it might be interesting to devote this blog to a summary of the key points from that presentation.

 

Accelerated or fast learning

Accelerated leaaning is a collective term for a series of practical approaches to learning. In many ways it is simply an explanation of the way in which you learn, the logic being that if you understand how information gets into your head you will be able to speed up individual parts of that process and so learn faster. Let’s have a look at what is involved in the accelerated learning process.

How we learn – or at least one version

Take a look at the picture on the right, focus on the information arrow. This represents what you are trying to learn, you receive that information either Visually, Auditory or Kinaesthetically (smell touch taste) see July blog.

Learning tip 1 – Use all of your senses. When learning think about the best way of processing information, if it doesn’t make sense having read it a few times, then why not draw a picture?

One of the big problems with learning is motivation and the secret to motivation is to set goals and have Outcomes. Before you start learning think what your objectives are both short and long term then write them down.

Learning tip 2 – Write down your learning goals but make them positive and within your power. It is no good writing down I want to pass an exam when you cannot control that. Better to write that you will practice 4 questions tonight, now you can do that.

Next focus on the Practice arrows – Practice is vital. You can’t get away from the fact that the more you practice the better you get, see August blog on deliberate practice.

Learning tip 3 – Practice practice, practice….and practice again

Now look at the first of the 3 pink bubbles, MIT. MIT stands for Multiple Intelligence Theory – Don’t ask how intelligent you are, ask which intelligence you have. Howard Gardner suggested that there were 8 different intelligences, ranging from musical to logical to interpersonal.

Learning tip 4 – Don’t get hung up about intelligence, it doesn’t help, chances are your average. There are lots of types of intelligences and you may not like maths/logical subjects and are better at the written/linguistic papers. If you’re not good at maths just work harder at it, but have confidence that you are good at many other things. Intelligence is not one thing that you either have or don’t, it is more complicated.

Second of the pink bubbles is – State. State is another word for frame of mind. If you are not in the right frame of mind then you won’t learn quickly.

Learning tip 5 – If you don’t feel in the right mood for learning, then change your mood. Get up walk around, make a coffee or remind yourself you have the exam in only two weeks time. That normally works! 

Memory is the third of the bubbles – Memory is not the same as intelligence, you can improve the speed at which you learn by using memory techniques.

Learning tip 6 – Learn and begin to use some simple memory techniques, mind mapping, acronyms and acrostics are a good start.

And finally in the white bubble – Reflection. No learning process is complete without thinking back over what you have learned. What might you do differently next time, can you explain what you have learned to others?

Learning tip 7 – Keep a learning log or at least take some time out of your day to think back on what you have learned.

It’s not magic but it will work

Accelerated or fast learning is not a magic built or a pill that you can take that will require no effort from you, but it is an explanation
of learning, that stops you thinking of learning as something that happens sometimes. It is just a process and the more you understand about that process the
faster you can learn.

As they say learning is not a spectator sport…..

 

I have just discovered twitter. You can follow me by clicking on the panel to the right. My initial thoughts were that it was a waste of time but I have found it very demanding to make your point in 140 characters and have picked up lots of new information from others, see everyone is learning.

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One thought on “Not fast food – fast learning

  1. Hi. This post is a quick, useful, collection of basic tips for students (and really, everyone who learns). Many people might be amazed with how well they work when they are used diligently. Also, thanks for the link to the neurosphere blog.
    Cheers,
    ~dave~

    Like

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