• Dr Kate Nickson

Effective Learning Strategies: Spaced Learning

Students often spend a lot of time working, but if their technique is not effective then they could be using their time more productively and performing better without putting in any extra time. Sounds good? Then keep on reading. #effectivelearning

First in my series about effective learning strategies is the technique of "spaced learning". #spacedlearning

Spaced learning refers to the fact that research shows that it is more effective to space out learning than do it as a single block. For example 4 hours of learning spread out over the course of a week is more effective than 4 hours the night before a test.

Forgetting time needs to be factored into this plan. So you learn something, then leave it for a day or two and forget some of it and come back to it and go over it again. Research has shown that each time you come back to a topic, you will remember a little more. So the more of these learning and forgetting cycles that can be built in, then the more knowledge that will be retained.

What does this mean when it comes to revision for a test? Students should be organised and start revision as early as possible and do regular small amounts. E.g. try and start a week before and do 30 minutes a night. #revision

What does this mean when it comes to everyday study habits? Build in regular slots to go back and review past topics as this will help aid knowledge retention. Even better try some questions from a past topic as reading is the lowest form of knowledge retention. But more on this in a future post.

I recommend building in a weekly time slot for each subject for independent review work. This should be in addition to set homework tasks.

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