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Est. 2002

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Teaching & Learning

How to Study (what the research says)

How to study - what the research says

Exceptional videos by Professor Chew of Samford University.   Although each video is short, there’s a lot of good information in each one.   Think about replaying them or mind-mapping the content for yourself.

1: Beliefs that make you fail…. or succeed

2: What trainees should know about how people learn

3: Cognitive principles for optimising learning

4: Putting principles for learning into practice

5: “I blew the exam.  Now what?”

More videos

Study less, study smart (v. good)

How to study based on science

3: Cognitive principles for optimising learning

4: Putting principles for learning into practice

5: “I blew the exam.  Now what?”

So, what DOESN'T work?

As well as telling us ‘what works’, an important contribution of research is to tell us  what doesn’t work. By stopping doing things that are either ineffective or inefficient, we should allow more time to focus on thing that will make more  difference.  The following are examples of practices whose use is not supported by research evidence yet they continue to be done because trainees/students/learners have a hard time in letting go of what was previously all the rage!

Evidence on the effects of grouping by ability, either by allocating students to different classes, or to within-class groups, suggests that it makes very little difference to learning outcomes (Higgins et al, 2014). Although ability grouping can in theory allow teachers to target a narrower range of pace and content of lessons, it can also create an exaggerated sense of within-group homogeneity and between-group heterogeneity in the teacher’s mind (Stipek, 2010). This can result in teachers failing to make necessary accommodations for the range of different needs within a supposedly homogeneous ‘ability’ group, and over-doing their accommodations for different groups, going too fast with the high-ability groups and too slow with the low.

Dunlosky et al (2013): Re-reading and highlighting are among the commonest and apparently most obvious ways to memorise or revise material. They also give a satisfying – but deceptive – feeling of fluency and familiarity with the material (Brown et al, 2014). However, a range of studies have shown that testing yourself, trying to generate answers, and deliberately creating intervals between study to allow forgetting, are all more effective approaches.

So, what DOESN'T work?

The NHS is a complex system, which can sometimes make it difficult to understand – especially working out who is responsible for what. It’s made up of a wide range of different organisations with different roles, responsibilities and specialities. These organisations provide a variety of services and support to patients and carers.

Please leave a comment if you have a tip, spot an error, spot something missing or have a suggestion for a web resource. And of course, if you have developed a resource of your own, please email it to me to share with others.

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