This episode is supported by Brilliant.org
Whether you're headed back to school
or just wanting to pick up a new skill
like a language or an instrument learning new things is
But, is their a better way to learn something quickly and retain that knowledge?
First step is:
Skip the laptop
Although you might be quicker at typing
Writing with pen and paper is the way to go when taking notes
Not only are their oodles of distractions online
But researchers have found that those who type process the information at a shallower level
As opposed to simply train scribing verbatim
re-framing the information into your own words while writing out physically
leads to better performance on tests.
And to retain those notes
STUDY, SLEEP, STUDY!
In a French experiment 2 groups were taught the Swahili translation for 16 French words
Over 2 sessions
Group 1 studied in the morning then took a break and studied again in the evening.
But group 2 studied in the evening slept for the night and then resumed studying in the morning
Though their was the same amount of time between the 2 study sessions,
The sleep group could recall 10 of 16 words while the no sleep group could only get 7.5
Learning a new motor skill?
Try modifying your practice slightly
A study of 86 happy volunteers were asked to learn a computer based motor skill over 2 training sessions
One groups second training session had them learn the task in a slightly altered way
While the other repeated the task with the exact same practice
Those who used two different strategies nearly doubled the speed of accuracy of the task compared to the control group
What does this look like in the real world?
Say you're perfecting your tennis game, try switching between rackets with slightly different weights between sessions.