The Best and Worst Learning Strategies

hand math2If you want to remember what you’re learning, highlighting (or underlining) and re-reading are 2 of the worst strategies to use.

Two strategies that are far more effective are spreading out your learning periods–aiming for the study equivalent of short, regular exercise periods, rather than monthly marathons–and engaging in practice testing. These were the two approaches that emerged as most effective of the ten most frequently used approaches to learning, in a recent study of the effectiveness of different learning strategies.

Strategies in the middle range–rated ‘low utility’ by the researchers–included mental imagery, mnemonics, elaborative interrogation, and self-explanation.

In this blog, Annie Murphy Paul discusses why highlighting and re-reading don’t work very well, and why spreading out your learning and engaging in practice tests help people learn and remember better:



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: