Thursday, March 23, 2017

effective learning techniques

An engineering professor answers the question "Which is the most effective learning technique you have experienced so far?"

... I didn’t just do a math homework problem and turn it in. Instead, particularly if it was an important homework problem, I would work it and rework it fresh, spacing the practice out over several days. I wouldn’t peek at the answer unless I absolutely had to. That ensured I really could solve the problem myself—that I wasn’t just fooling myself that I knew it. After I was comfortable that I could really solve the problem by myself on paper, I then “went mental,” practicing the steps in my mind until the solution could flow like a sort of mental song. I could perform this kind of mental practice at times people often don’t think to use for studying—like in the shower, or when I was walking to class. I found that this attention to chunking eventually gave me sort of magic powers—I could glance at many problems, even ones I’d never seen before, and know virtually instantly how to solve them.