This is a really terrific overview of some research with which I was unfamiliar.
I have always rather suspected that just reading through or listening to material is not very useful in terms of active learning. I got through med school by a combination of reading and highlighting, but also retyping my notes and then rereading those. Still not the best according to this research. I did, when studying for boards, create intricate flow charts of various interconnected systems, though. That was apparently the most useful, as I was engaging with the information and synthesizing it in a new way.
I also realized that some of the ways I go about learning now are actually variations on what the book recommends. He mentions trying to summarize to yourself key points that are being made, restating them in your own words, and quizzing yourself on how certain elements work. I’ve long known that I learn best when I teach, and I often will teach by writing (blog posts, podcasts, etc) on a subject that I want to understand better myself.
I found the concept that learning deepens the harder you have to work to retrieve information very interesting also– similar to how you build muscle by lifting heavier weights, not weights that are so easy it takes little effort. Along those lines, you learn better if you intersperse learning different but related subjects, rather than drilling the same thing over and over ad nauseum.
A great summary of how to make sure we spend our time both learning and teaching as effectively as possible!
My rating: *****
Sexual content: none
Political content: none