Learning Strategies- Tips and Tricks

  • Anagha Vallikat
    Anagha Vallikat

A long list of concepts, pages and pages of content and deadlines! Learning can be quite tricky and difficult. Learning a new concept and retaining the information is not as easy as it sounds and students struggle with the same. Here are some learning strategies that students can use to ensure that the learning is effective and efficient. “The capacity to learn is a gift, the ability to learn is a skill, the willingness to learn is a choice.” With the right strategies, you can enhance your skills and ability.

The effectiveness & efficiency of learning is one of the major concerns of students as well as teachers. With the advancement of technology and the onset of brilliant online teaching apps, the course of teaching has changed. Teachers are now using innovative strategies and methods to cater to their students. Today, we will be looking at five effective learning strategies that teachers must use in their classrooms to ensure that their students are grasping the concepts.

While textbooks and study materials are important, there are other aspects too that have to be taken care of. These learning strategies are sure to help your students understand the lessons better and retain the information for longer.

Five Effective Learning Strategies

1.Retrieval Practice

This is yet another effective learning strategy that is sure to help your students learn better. Asking the students to retrieve what they have learned without the help of any materials or textbooks will help them to recollect what they have learned. This can be an activity that is carried out in the classroom. For example, trying to remember the answer to a math question is more effective than looking up the answer in the study material. This boosts learning efficiency.

2. Spaced Practice

Do you remember everything that you learned in school? I know I don’t. There is a forgetting curve that we have to acknowledge. When we don’t use the things that we learned, we tend to forget them and that’s just human. Students have to revisit the material over and over to ensure that they retain the information. Mugging up before the exam is not going to do much good. Tons of homework and assignments are not going to work either. This does not mean that teachers should not give any homework to their students. While homework does play an important role in making students independent, to ensure that they understand the concepts and improve their academic performance, revisiting the study material at regular intervals is of paramount importance. This is similar to revision. This helps to feed the information into long-term memory.

3.Elaboration

This is the process of presenting information in connection with the previous knowledge that a student might have. For example, hearing is something that people know about. How the ear works and its nuances is a lesser-known concept. Connect existing knowledge to the knowledge that is going to be presented. When students are able to connect the concepts, they will be able to learn more effectively.

4.Examples

Give your students concrete examples. Examples help to simplify concepts and this will make learning more efficient. For instance, if you are teaching poetic devices, you need to show your students what alliteration is and what simile is. Awesome Alliteration is an example of alliteration. He fought like a lion is an example of a simile. Similarly, students should be presented with concrete examples.

5.Words and Visuals

It goes without saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. No matter how much you describe what a flower would look like using words, the impact that a picture creates is far greater than the one created by words. While teaching and learning, this idea of dual coding should be kept in mind. Both visuals and text must be used while learning so as to expand the understanding of the subject. For example, let me explain what a pug looks like. To begin with, it is a small dog, it has physically distinctive features of a wrinkly, short-muzzled face, and curled tail and it is cute!

Now, take a look at this picture:

dual coding

The image is more descriptive, students would understand it instantly and hence, would be more useful for the students.

We have discussed five effective learning strategies here. It is important to note that different students learn differently. While these learning strategies are super effective, they may not work at the same speed for everyone. As teachers, you should cater to the different learning styles in the classroom and encourage students to try and experiment with different strategies.

As mentioned, the willingness to learn is the most important thing. Encourage efforts and acknowledge even the smallest of improvements. This will help students to perform better.

The education landscape is changing every day and at this age where everything is online, it is pivotal to rethink the strategies that you are using. Adapt and evolve and be accommodating. Understanding that the students are just getting adjusted and cutting them some slack is also important to make learning more effective.

We will be back with yet another informative blog, stay tuned.