Read the notes over and over again. Review class materials. Repetition, repetition, repetition. These tactics have been nailed into everyone ever since. However, science indicates this is being done incorrectly.
The faculty from the Department of Psychology at the Colorado State University have been studying our brain and how it actually learns best. Ed DeLosh, an associate professor, has some surprising news: Forget every one of those old-school reviewing.
What people consider that works for memory and learning contradicts with what science tells regarding what works for memory and learning, according to DeLosh. In fact, psychology and science frequently remind people that intuition and beliefs can’t be relied on, because they are often wrong.
One of the biggest misconceptions about learning is repetition, he said. It is an old tactic, bolstered by the media, movies, and even by parents. And according to DeLosh, it could be the worst tactic compared to the other strategies that people use.
Learning to learn
All of the compelling research and persistent misconceptions has propelled DeLosh and other professors to start “Psychology 152: Science of Learning,” which is available to all undergraduates. The course also realizes the All-University Core Curriculum requirement for behavioral and social sciences. The goal of the course is to educate students about how intuition and beliefs regarding memory and learning are often wrong. The course also offers strategies about the science of memory and learning telling people which works. The goal of PSY 152 is to arm students with correct study habits and techniques, and to apply it to the rest of their studies.
What does science say regarding how to learn better? Get quizzed.
According to DeLosh, people usually think of tests and quizzes as ways to assess what the students have learned. According to research, quizzing is one of the best ways to condition the brain to recall information in the future.
Since this is science, DeLosh wanted to find out if students actually perform better. It turned out that they do. Modifying nothing else in the course and only adding practice quizzes, students can have grade improvements on exams by a full letter on average, according to research.
Since it is helpful to add practice quizzes, teachers should look into this tutorial on iSpring website for information about creating better tests and quizzes.