Effective Learning: Educational Psychology
This research aims to investigate effective learning through efficient approaches or techniques intended to improve students’ academic performance and maximize the acquisition of knowledge in general. It will focus more on intellectual capability of a learner as well as analyze ways of enhancing academic outcomes. What’s more, the study will point out gaps and assumptions, as well as, providing recommendations for future research. In doing so, it will highlight the significance of exploring on education and present suggestions on successful methods based on research. Conversely, interviews, surveys, and focus groups would be essential tools for data collection in case this investigation took place.
Researchers (Carnell & Lodge, 2002); (Booth, 2011); and (Watkins, Carnell & Lodge, 2007) have conducted several studies on finding out quicker ways of learning and attaining efficient knowledge. Those studies investigated how students would gain an abundance of knowledge or educational worth within a limited period, out of their available time. However, Watkins, Carnell & Lodge (2007) suggest that speed learning is not the only significant element since students should be in a position to recall or remember later whatever information they learned in a previous session, and apply it effectively in various contexts where it would be relevant. In fact, if there is something imperative in learning is to become an efficient and effective learner and that cannot happen just overnight; practicing smaller or fewer tips on a daily basis helps an individual to achieve more out of the time they use in studying (Travers, Elliott & Kratochwill, 1993). In the course of educational psychology, learning and teaching, which are effective, equip students with adequate contemporary practical skills or knowledge they require in becoming effective educators. Also, efficient teaching demands that teachers should know their students accurately and in that line modify their teaching techniques to individual learners or specific classroom (Booth, 2011).
Further studies by (Travers, Elliott & Kratochwill, 1993) conclude that active learning offers lucrative implements for future educators, and arms them with practical knowledge through classroom demonstrations on how the theories apply. Ideally, almost every teacher and each parent want to see the success of their students or children, but the guidance on the relevant learning methodologies that enhance academic results is very limited (Watkins, Carnell & Lodge, 2007). The limitation has contributed to the implementation of ineffective studying approaches that end up minimizing performance benefits. This study, therefore, intends to examine the strategies that can help struggling learners enhance their understanding of education and skills provided by their instructors. The research will first explore various approaches that have proven in the recent years to be successful in equipping learners. It will highlight specific assumptions and gaps, and towards the end recommend ideas for future research. The insights developed in this literature will be fundamental to understanding the learning environment as well as developing better ways of disseminating education to the apprentices.
Basics of Memory Augmentation
Memory augmentation refers to the increase in recollection or remembrance, and the essential basics involved, ensure that a learner has all the enhancement tips necessary in the process of memorizing and preserving new or further info (Travers, Elliott & Kratochwill, 1993). Improving a student’s ability to focus is an essential thing in propelling efficient learning; besides, psychologists argue that avoiding, or preventing cramming sessions is also indispensable in formulating effective learning. (Booth, 2011) concludes that study time structuring is another crucial aspect of the process, alongside other memory augmentation tips generated from psychology lessons that can significantly boost valuable learning.
Practice or Continuous Learning of New Things
An investigation by Booth (2011) summarizes that continuous learning is a definite and precise way of becoming an active student. An article about Nature in 2004 asserted that individuals who learned how to manage knowledge achieved from learning had enhanced the amount of gray matter present in their occipital lobes in the brain, which plays a significant role in visual memory. A study by (Travers, Elliott & Kratochwill, 1993) further declared in support of the article, that immediately after individuals stop practicing or learning new things, the gray matter begins to vanish. For instance, a person learning a new language should have continuous sessions of practice as a way of maintaining the knowledge already instituted. In support of these conclusions a process of the brain known as pruning is an essential element in the phenomenon of using-or-losing the concepts already learned. Pruning ensures that particular pathways are maintained and remain active in the brain, while others undergo elimination. Concisely, anybody who wishes to have new information preserved and available to application must practice and rehearse regularly.
Learning in Several Ways or Multiple Way Learning
(Carnell & Lodge, 2002); (Booth, 2011); and (Watkins, Carnell & Lodge, 2007) note that to focus on active learning requires more than just single-way processing of material. The studies advise that rather than just having a listening session to a podcast that mostly entails auditory learning, it is vital to also rehearse the information visually and verbally. Processing the same piece of information through more than just one canal, makes it easier to explain or describe what has been learned to another person, draw a mental map in the mind, and could also aid the process of note taking. Assuredly, learning in multiple ways helps to cement the knowledge in an individual’s mind.
According to Travers, Elliott & Kratochwill (1993), more interconnections exist depending on the number of regions in the brain storing data about a particular subject. It, therefore, means learners will be in a position to retract all other related sets of data from areas where they are stored, while responding to just one prompt. When data cross-reference that way, it shows that the learner has learned a new thing, and not just memorized it.
Teaching another Person What You Have Already Learned
Watkins, Carnell & Lodge (2007) argue that one of the absolute and certain ways of learning something is to keep teaching it to somebody else or other people. Teaching of something that one has learned, to other schoolmates or classmates, helps that individual gain more from the task compared to others. The same principle applies in the process of sharing knowledge and other learned skills with other people. Teaching of fellow students by a student can become useful, if the educating individual starts with the translation of the info in his words; and the process thus strengthens his knowledge in the brain before transmitting it to the rest. The best platforms for teaching others include group discussions, blog posting, and podcast creation (Reid & Green, 2009).
Use of Prior Learning in Promotion of New Learning
Becoming a more efficient learner entails several things and one of the most important is the use or application of cognitive learning. The concept is very special and unique as it uses already known information to learn new things (Travers, Elliott & Kratochwill, 1993). Therefore, grasping of new knowledge becomes easier since its connection to the info already in mind aids the process of mastering. For instance, students learning about the “Merchant of Venice” may associate whatever they learned concerning the play with previous knowledge of Shakespeare, the period or actual duration over which the author existed, among other information of relevance.
Gaining of Practical Experience
Several students believe that typically learning is all about book reading, conducting library research, doing investigations on the web, and attending lectures. Although observing and writing of information is equally important, applying the skills and new knowledge into proper practice is the best way to enhance active learning (Watkins, Carnell & Lodge, 2007). An individual pursuing a new ability or skill should focus more on attaining practical understanding and familiarity with it. For example, in the field of sports, to become properly active, one must carry out the activity regularly to preserve the mastery. (Reid & Green, 2009) argues that for individuals to become competent speakers of a new language, they ought to regularly practice communication in that language with other people, and surround themselves with experiences full of language captivation. Also of help would be to watch films taking place in countries where that specific language is being spoken, and initiate talks with native speakers of the language as an approach of practicing their potential skills (Watkins, Carnell & Lodge, 2007).
Looking Up For Answers Instead Of Struggling To Recall
No process in life is perfect, and efficient learning is not an exception (Mumford & Institute of Personnel and Development, 1999). In most occasions, people tend to forget the things they have already acquired through education, and at times struggle to remember detailed information. A study by Elliott & Travers (1996) found that the more time individuals spend trying to remember or recall an answer to a particular question, the more likely they will forget the answer once more in the upcoming days. The reason is the attempts to remember the information learned previously causes a person to master the ‘error state’ rather than the correct response.
Understanding or Comprehending How One Learns Best
Studies by Carnell & Lodge (2002); Booth (2011); and Watkins, Carnell & Lodge (2007) establish recognition of learning styles and habits as another critical element of making learning effective. About this, they articulated different theories of learning styles, which could be helpful to a person in gaining a superior understanding and perspective of how to learn excellently. Learning styles concept has been debatable and criticized over time, though several learners find that comprehending their learning favorites is very helpful in life (Elliott, 2000). According to the theory of multiple bits of intelligence by Gardner, there are eight (or 9) diverse sorts of intelligence, which help in revealing personal strengths. On the other hand, dimensions of learning styles can as well help an individual to view the learning approaches that might work outstandingly for him. Additional models, for example, the Kolb’s and VARK learning styles (not discussed here) if adopted and well implemented could offer extra information concerning the interests of people in the way they desire to learn new things (Elliott & Travers, 1996).
Use of Testing or Examination to Enhance Learning
Ordinarily, it seems that taking more time to study is another great way to make the most of learning. Moreover, studies have indicated that examination or taking of tests help an individual to remember in the best way what they learned even in areas not covered by the tests (Mumford & Institute of Personnel and Development, 1999). According to (Reid & Green, 2009), learners who study and then become subjected to tests have better capability to recall what they studied in the long run even; and that happen even on topics that the examination did not cover. Conversely, learners who take additional time studying but do not undertake exams present considerably lower rates of remembrance of the information.
Avoiding or Stopping Multitasking
Several generations instituted the belief that individuals that engage in multitasking or perform many activities at the same time have an advantage or edge over those who carry out single tasks at a time. Nonetheless, the most recent studies conclude that multitasking is not the best option for learners and can cause learning to be less efficient in several instances. In a study by (Travers, Elliott & Kratochwill, 1993), wastage of significant time happened when multitasking students tried to transit between various tasks. What’s more, they even lost further precious time as the tasks became increasingly complicated. Precisely, learning becomes slower as persons try to switch in between activities, and efficiency as well degrades leading to the creation of more blunders or errors. As well, to avoid the jeopardy of multitasking, learners should begin focusing their concentration on the immediate task and proceed to function for a prearranged or programmed amount of time (Watkins, Carnell & Lodge, 2007).
Learning is a lengthy and complicated process that requires various techniques and skills employed to make it useful and applicable. Since it is important for students to learn faster and at the same time be able to recall what they learn, it would be appropriate for psychologists and other scientists to conduct studies, resulting to the identification and the indication of better, more effective ways of instilling knowledge to students. Studies identify the weak points of learners and aid the development of better strategies to enhance the efficiency of learning. The approaches discussed in this literature are paramount in boosting the intellectual capacity, increasing the speed of learning, solving multitasking problems, and avoiding the waste of time in the learning process. Therefore, additional research in the area would lessen the burden of teachers struggling with students whose mastery weakens due to inappropriate and inadequate learning approaches.
Recommendations for Future Research
Effective learning swiftly comes with the proper incorporation of the priory-discussed techniques; however, that does not limit further research to come up with methods that are more efficient. As such, psychologists and other researchers should tighten their efforts in conducting more studies based on individual students and even group learners. Since students have different capacities and intellectual strengths, it would be logical to focus extensively on issues affecting the learning of each student. Furthermore, future research should identify the best ways of saving time in the learning process as well as achieving maximum knowledge within a minimum time. Strategies for preserving knowledge and aspects of recall need thorough investigation followed by recommendations made for present and future improvement.
Conclusion for the Literature Review
For a student to become an efficient learner, it will not take just an ‘overnight’ to achieve that because learning is a continuous and complicated process that calls for determination and continued practice to establish new habits. A good and focused student will start by adhering to the explained tips, as a way of getting more out of their study time, in an effort to achieve their fullest potential. Teachers, students, and parents are fortunate enough that a number of researchers – psychologists and other scientists – have dedicated time and effort (and continue to do so) to establish and analyze the effectiveness of a variety of learning methodologies intended to augment and improve students’ academic strengths in general. For that reason, learners will have ability to gain from education, and consequently enhance their performance.
Booth, C. (2011). Reflective teaching, effective learning: Instructional literacy for library educators. Chicago: American Library Association.
Carnell, E., & Lodge, C. (2002). Supporting effective learning. London: Paul Chapman.
Elliott, S. N. (2000). Educational psychology: Effective teaching, effective learning. Boston: McGraw-Hill.
Elliott, S. N., & Travers, J. F. (1996). Educational psychology: Effective teaching, effective learning. Madison, Wis: Brown & Benchmark.
Mumford, A., & Institute of Personnel and Development. (1999). Effective learning. London: Institute of Personnel and Development.
Reid, G., & Green, S. (2009). Effective learning. New York, NY: Continuum International Pub. Group.
Travers, J. F., Elliott, S. N., & Kratochwill, T. R. (1993). Educational psychology: Effective teaching, effective learning. Madison, Wis: Brown & Benchmark.
Watkins, C., Carnell, E., & Lodge, C. (2007). Effective learning in classrooms. London: Paul Chapman Pub.