Teachers helping students learn effective ways to study are making big differences in the lives of learners.
Professor John Dunlosky is studying the strategies for how to learn that are touted in scholarly journals as being effective, to see which actually make a difference and which are a waste of time. “The most difficult aspect of this entire project was deciding which strategies we should evaluate,” Dunlosky said during a presentation in San Francisco at Learning and the Brain.
Dunlosky is looking for approaches that don’t only require memorization, but deepen understanding and are applicable to new situations. Sometimes the most effective learning strategies are not used because of time constraints or other pressures.
Dunlosky has found that frequent small quizzes force information recall and are effective when combined with practice.
“Most people don’t realize that taking the test can have a direct impact on subsequent retention,” Dunlosky said.