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+3 votes
116 views

I've always been curious as to how people learn. Some people are visual learners, detail that for me if thats you. Physical? or verbal learner? How do you retain information like when you had to study for that exam, in college or take a quiz? Were you a note taker? Did you have to study for hours on end? Alone? In a group? But still how did/do you remember the info?? How do you remember key elements of that book that you just read?? Do tell.

in Daily Life by (29,480 points)

7 Answers

+2 votes
 
Best answer

It was interesting figuring this out.  It turns out that if I just listen to a lecture, I retain almost nothing.  In one ear, out the other as they say.  Just reading is not much better.  Reading and highlighting is a bit better, but I end up with 90% of the material highlighted.  

I found that I had to take notes during the lecture.  Good detailed notes.  But I usually  never had to use them again.  It seemed that the act of taking notes imprinted the information on my brain.  Except in math, or physics classes.  There I had to work my way through the text book problems.  Full solutions and if stumped, I would ask the professor for help.   

At exam time, I just did a light review.  My mind doesn't respond well to cramming.  I either know it, or I don't by exam time.

Unfortunately, I have to be interested in the subject for any of this to work.  Fortunately, I can get interested in almost anything, except chemestry.  Lol

by (1,589,790 points)
+1

Interesting. If you had to take detailed notes during the professors lecture, I would think that you had to write things down rather quickly, correct?

 I've done that and then had the info jumbled or it was not detailed enough. It's a beauty that you were interested in all but one subject in school, many can not state that. 

0

Yes.  I had to write quickly, but you don't need every word.  It isn't like a court reporter where you have to have everything.  Part of the deal was that I had to listen closely enough to determine which high points I needed to write down.  Besides, I have terrible hand writing but I really don't need to read it much.  So go fast, write it down, but expect reading to be difficult.  The act of writing it down seemed to be the important part of getting it into memory.

+1 vote

I don't. I put the information in a place where I can quickly and easily look it up. I prefer memory aids. Classic example is browser bookmarks. I have about 40 bookmarks related to Ubuntu. Everything I've learned that I may need again. The bonus is they are saved to my Google Chrome account which means they are never lost as they are saved to server not laptop.

by (4,202,431 points)
+1 vote

I prefer to read the material and I have good recall. I make notes and annotations and will note down what something reminds me of to recall it later, often that means my notes have drawings or seem complete unrelated to the topic at hand. Ex. my reminder for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy involving the liquidation of assets was 7-Up. 

by (693,530 points)
0

I love that, thanku. I however can not draw.. Why 7-up? Was that for chapter 7? I get the up reference in bankruptcy. Was it for a test? If so did the test require knowing that the info was in chapter 7? 

0

It was for a certification exam which had  a few questions about different forms of bankruptcy. 7-Up because it is a  type of soda-therefore a liquid and had the number 7 in it. 

0

Good one! It seems you are a quick thinker!

+1 vote

In my teaching, I addressed this as I taught in the classroom.  I told them that the information they learn is SOMEWHERE in their brain.  To GET to that information, they have to follow a kind of "roadmap" to the spot where it is.  Some information is on a road that is so frequently traveled, it's a superhighway, such as "What's your name?"  (You don't have to go far on the road to get to that answer.)

What I tried to do was to give the kids several "roads" to get to the information.  I asked them to (a) read the assignment and (b) take notes as they read; (c) take notes in class as I lecture and (d) star information they hear repeated.  (d) Star and double-star information they hear three or more times.  (e) Pay attention as I deliver the information in class, as that might give them a directional post as well.

For example, they read the "Prologue" to The Canterbury Tales.  As we covered the concept of satire, I defined it for them as humor whose purpose is to reform.  In other words, the people being satirized are supposed to see their weaknesses and, with luck, will laugh at themselves and as a result of their new perspective, they might change their behavior, etc.  I had them write down the term and the definition in their notes. The next day, I asked a student to check his/her notes and read the definition to the class.  Then I gave them an example of satire from the "Prologue," such as the Oxford Cleric.  He was essentially a "professional student" who couldn't make a living in the real world but who wasn't connected well enough to get a job in the church.  As a result, he was always mooching money from relatives and friends, but the only repayment those people got was that he "prayed for them."  I told them the Oxford Cleric was "book smart but life dumb. The kind of guy who gets A's on all the tests, but he can't get through a revolving door without getting his coat caught in it.  We talked about this kind of person, and I asked them to think of someone they know who is really smart when it comes to school but just doesn't seem to live in the real world.  They all smiled and nodded.  I told them of a classmate of mine (a 10-minute diversion that I would later come back to in other lessons in other units throughout the year, so it wasn't a complete waste of time) who was smart enough to learn how to make gunpowder in his basement laboratory (times were different then) but not smart enough to figure out he shouldn't light a half-full metal bucket of old gunpowder next to a tree in his front yard.  Well, he did, and he blew a large branch off the tree, and the neighboring volunteer firemen poured out of the firehouse from their card game, thinking the Rooskies have attacked their small town in southwestern Ohio.  

Then, before the test, I reviewed with them, and I told them, "Here are the roads you have to get to your information about the definition of satire, how Chaucer satirized the Oxford Cleric, and (by extension) how he satirized other characters:

From your reading, the definition of the word.  From your notes, the appearance of the definition of the word you wrote on the page. From the class notes, the starred definition and the big arrow pointing to the Oxford Cleric.  The visualization of the Oxford Cleric trying to get through a revolving door and getting his coat caught. The visualization of my classmate lighting the bucket of gunpowder and the volunteer firemen pouring out of the firehall.  The notes they were taking for the review session that emphasized this right now.  Maybe your know it because you memorized it.  Maybe you can "see it in your mind's eye because you can visualize where it is in your notes and/or in the class notes.  Maybe you remember because you remember your friend who is book smart but life dumb.  Maybe you remember it because you're laughing at the memory of my having pantomimed the explosion of the gunpowder incident.  EACH of those "road" takes you to that information, and when you get there, you will find more roads leading to how other characters were satirized and how four of them were NOT satirized (in another part of your notes, etc)

SO....  no matter how you get to the information, you want to be sure you CAN get there by reviewing just a few minutes each night--not just the night before the test--so those roads are well-traveled and not covered with the dust of days of neglect.

by (882,560 points)
0

I see, thanks for your reply. Is that how you too learned or retained what you read? Your example would work for an area of study that the teacher or professor has already given a heads up about. Meaning it's an area that one can study. I took 2 tests recently, passed one failed the other. One was a math test, I went over examples of questions that would be on the test, didn't pass. Math was never my subject. 

+1

I did well in school without having to study much.  Yeah, it was one of those things.  I could sit down and write a "A" paper in a short amount of time; my girl friend would take 2 or 3 days to write her paper and scolded me for not working on mine.  But I would say, "I have it all put together in my head now, so all I have to do is write it down."  And ::poof:: it was done and I would get an A+, but she would work all that time and get a B+.

I had good memorization skills (not quite so good now as age sets in), and I think I'm mostly a visual learner.  I would recall info by visualizing my notes and  could "see" the notes on the page in my mind's eye, so I would "read" the notes from my memory and then I knew the answer.

As for math, I memorized all the formulas we needed to know, and all I had to do was figure out which formula was being called for.  Then I would plug everything into the formulas and get the answer.

A few of us were bored with some of the math, so we decided to use pi to the first 10 places when we figured out all our answers for tests.  Keep in mind there were no calculators or computers then.  We would not use 3.14.  Instead, we used 3.1415926536 (yes, I still remember).  The answers we got were different from the teacher's, especially when the numbers were large numbers to begin with.  We had our answers marked wrong but showed the teacher that our answers were "more correct" than his.  Eventually, he wrote directly on all the tests, "Use only the first 2 places of pi in problems that involve pi."  LOL


+1

Wow how awesome! I wish I had that ability to read my notes based off my memory. I may memorize a paragraph at best, thats it. You got A's, while your then girlfriend studied for 2, 3 days and earned an B. I can study math for 3 weeks and still fail. Its always been my weakest subject, whereas English, literature & arts, creative writing, and spelling were my top. I think your great!

0

Well, Glossy, thanks for the kind words!

I wish I could claim some responsibility for any of it, but that wss the way God made me. As it worked out, I used that natural “knack”: I became an English teacher.

But. feel free to boost my ego any time! LOL 

+1 vote

Oh, that depends on the subject. If it's something technical or mathematical or anything involving motor skills, I need to do it myself instead of watching someone else do it, or rather watch them first, then repeat what they do by myself in order to remember actions or the concepts involved if it's a complicated math problem. 

  If it's something else such as a subject, I read about it, take good notes on only the major points, and if a test is involved I may make index cards for myself with information, or stating important points and  discussions ( such as events in history). I also regurgitate information in my own words to someone else with them holding the index cards and checking to make sure I state what's on them and elaborate on anything I can remember about on that card. 

   I learn best by doing. Show me once, and let me repeat what you just did or imitate. 

by (1,211,630 points)
0

Good process of learning. Many are note takers, some, like a friend I had are bad note takers, some not detailed enough, I was guity of that a few times.

+1 vote

I don’t anymore! When I was younger, I had a mind like a steel trap. I remembered information easily. I never had to study in school, I’d read a lesson once and just remember it. 

These days, I’m lucky I can remember my name! 

by (2,490,220 points)
0 votes

With my photograpic memory!

by (191,710 points)
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