|Studies show the evening is the best time to study, chewing gum can improve students’ math scores and background music can actually hinder study sessions. We know there is no shortage of tips and tricks individuals use to help boost learning, comprehension and recall, so we thought we would share three of our favourites:The rule of seven (plus or minus two)|
Also referred to as “chunking,” this learning trick is founded in psychology. The concept is that the brain’s short-term memory can hold about seven “pieces” of information at one time, so chunking learning into sets of seven makes for easier short-term recall and more efficient processing into the long-term memory. For example, the number 9205557286 is difficult to remember as a string, but breaking the numbers into chunks improves retention and becomes a phone number (920) 555-7286. The more challenging the material, the smaller the chunks should be (thus the plus or minus two enters the equation).
Here’s how this learning technique can be put into practice:
The list becomes a story: Painter van Gogh set to dine one Starry Night in 1889 in the modern city of New York.
You can also do this exercise with fellow educators to remind them of the importance of learning tips and tricks in the classroom. Reinforce the message by handing out key chains, imprinted with a clever chain of information.
Whether you prefer chunking, chaining or coding, you can introduce your students and fellow educators to the wonderful world of learning tips and tricks. There is bound to be one that is just right for your students.
University of Adelaide. “Brains Learn Better At Night.” ScienceDaily, 22 Aug. 2007. Web. 1 Sep. 2011.
“Chewing Gum Raises Kids’ Math Scores | Booster Shots | Los Angeles Times.” Latimesblogs.com. Los Angeles Times Health, 22 Apr. 2009. Web. 01 Sept. 2011.
Applied Cognitive Psychology. Background Music Can Impair Performance, Cites New Study. Wiley: Home. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 27 July 2010. Web. 23 Aug. 2011.
Chen, Elaine Huei-Lien. “A Review of Learning Theories from Visual Literacy.” Journal of Educational Computing, Design & Online Learning 5 (Fall 2004). Web. 23 Aug. 2011.
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