Learning Myths

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The following common methods of study though enduring, have been proven to be ineffective

  1. Re-reading notes
  2. Rewriting notes
  3. Underlining passages
  4. Cramming in one sitting
  5. Following specific learning styles
The only proven techniques involve a mixture of the following
  1. Strategic reading – reading looking for answers to preformed specific questions in mind e.g. finding out if there other acute complications to COAD you may have missed previously apart from ‘infection exacerbation’ rather than reading about all the complications of COAD or just reading everything about COAD
  2. Retrieval practice – regularly trying to recall or summarise information (in your own words or style) without notes and later verifying how accurate you are e.g. taking a screening history of a patient with anaemia and checking if you evaluated all the potential causes or complications of anaemia later on
  3. Spaced repetition – allowing a period of time to elapse before deliberately reviewing a topic at regular intervals, using flashcards e.g. the workup and initial insulin regime for a Type I diabetic
  4. Mixing up learning styles – that force you to look at the same information in different and richer ways e.g listing the complications of liver failure versus performing the examination and listing the features of a patient with liver disease; using pictorials, mind maps, flowcharts, schematics, tables, role plays

For evidence-based ways of learning read:

Make it Stick


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