A look at the model
Metacognition: The key
Anxiety reduction tips
The research basis for
the strategies, tips, and techniques presented
Frequently asked questions
A lack in motivation or acquisition of knowledge will definitely inhibit
retention of new information to be learned. But if motivation and acquisition
have been addressed, there are additional techniques and strategies that
can enhance the retention of new information. Sometimes all the understanding
in the world is not enough to help you remember a set of names or a sequence
of pieces of information.
Strategies (numbered, but not sequential):
Pick one or more that you wish to implement and assess any changes.
- Advertisers have known for a long time that repeated contact with
information helps us retain it longer. Thus, if you practice reviewing
the new information using the questions and answers you marked
in your text while study-reading, any notes
you made, and homework or test questions, you can greatly
increase your ability to retain the new information. If you see something
80 times, it may be yours for life; the point is, the more contact and
practice, the better the retention.
- If you have used a key
word method (MSWord doc) for taking notes from lectures, simply
review your notes by covering the right side, showing only the key words
and phrases you have added in the left margin. See if you can remember
the critical parts of the notes you made.
- Vocabulary cards can be a very powerful strategy and can be used to
learn pieces of new information, such as new words, formulas, rules,
steps, or any pieces of information you want to learn. They can be a
great way to prepare for a test, pulling anticipated questions from
review questions, notes, texts, lectures, presentations, and any information
learned in relation to a class. To make the vocabulary cards:
Lists or steps can be remembered easier by creating a mnemonic
(nee-mon-ic, the m is silent) for the information to be remembered.
Following are a few more common mnemonics:
- Simply write a key word, formula, etc. on one side and the answer
on the other side of the 3x5 card.
- Take the cards with you and pull them out whenever you have a few
minutes (i.e., waiting at a doctor's office, waiting for a ride, or
any other time you have a few minutes). (Sometimes children might
love to quiz you while you are driving or fixing dinner.)
- Once a day, go through all the cards and pull those cards out that
you know the answers for; only carry the cards you missed.
Anticipate test questions as you are listening in lecture and jot
them down. Also when study-reading, capture anything that seems like
it would be good as a test question. Review sessions, homework assignments,
and end of chapter summaries often have much of the information that
will be included on a test.
Whenever you take a break, use the first minutes back to review what
you did and where you are to better retain the information. Frequent
breaks when learning new information can be critical to understanding
and retention. We tend to best remember what we started working on and
what we ended on, but much of the middle tends to be lost. Remember:
- The colors of the rainbow in order are ROY
- The five Great Lakes create the word HOMES.
Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior
The order of operations in solving equations in
algebra is Please
Excuse My Dear
Aunt Sally, which stands
for Parenthesis, Exponents,
Division, and last
Addition or Subtraction.
- Often the sillier the mnemonic, the easier it is to remember. (final
example: the lines of the treble clef is EGBDF
and the mnemonic is either Every Good
Boy Does Fine or Every
Good Boy Deserves Fudge.)
- Mnemonics work well as vocabulary cards.
Once a day, formally or informally practice information you need to
retain by reviewing study-reading notes, class notes, or vocabulary
- Breaks can be moments or minutes.
- A quick break may be simply looking up from a text, scanning the
room and focusing on something pleasant or treasured for a few moments
to give your mind and eyes a rest.
- Be careful of the trap of turning on the TV, cleaning, or doing
other tasks that can distract you from your learning/study goal.
As with the other strategies in motivation and acquisition, the ones
above can help arm you with a set of tools to better retain new information
which is key to the last step of performance. As you become comfortable
with one or more, feel free to try any others from above that seem logical