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Improving your Memory. Chapter 8. Memory and Learning. “there is no learning without memory” But one needs more than a good memory to do well in college Most material must be understood, not just memorized College tries to foster “deep learning” (why?, how?, not just what?)

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Improving your Memory

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Improving your memory l.jpg

Improving your Memory

Chapter 8


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Memory and Learning

  • “there is no learning without memory”

  • But one needs more than a good memory to do well in college

  • Most material must be understood, not just memorized

  • College tries to foster “deep learning” (why?, how?, not just what?)

  • But, having a good memory is important


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How Memory Works

  • Short-term memory

    • Information that is forgotten within 30 seconds unless “used” or moved to long-term memory

      • Example: noting the time on a watch, hearing a telephone ringtone

    • Not very useful for most college memory needs

  • Long-term memory

    • Extremely important in college learning

    • Increases amount that is learned in college

    • Important skill to develop for taking tests


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Long-term Memory

  • Three types

    • Procedural – remembering how to do something (solve equation, play an instrument)

    • Semantic – remembering facts, meanings without knowing where or when you learned them (word meanings, birthdays)

    • Episodic – remembering particular events and their time and place of occurrence (vacations, opening of acceptance letter from college, first kiss)

All three types are useful and necessary in college


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Memory Myths


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Strategies for Improving Your Memory

Try to match your method of studying with your best method for learning

  • Visual learner? Read notes over and over

  • Aural learner? – read aloud, listen to tapes of lecture

  • Kinesthetic learner? – rewrite notes over and over (condensing as learn material)

    For most people some combination of the above works best


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Specific Aids to Memory

  • Pay attention to what you are doing or reading

    • Stay alert in class; while reading

  • Do not rely on studying just once before an exam

    • Start to study early!

  • “Overlearn” the material!

    • When you think you know it  ask someone to test you

  • Study in Groups

    • See #3 above

  • Check out the Internet

    • Many other lectures on the Net

  • Remember the “Big Picture”

    • Go back and look at 1st (introductory) chapter or 1st lecture


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Specific Aids to Memory (con’t)

  • Look for connections between courses and life

    • Try to make coursework relevant to your life

  • Work around what you are trying to remember

    • If “stuck”  think of related things to jog memory

  • Take notes on your notes

    • Condense, condense, condense!

  • Get Organized

    • Much easier to remember organized notes (my biggest problem in college = disorganized notes!)

  • Find the right place for you to study and memorize successfully

    • Find a place where you can learn and stick to it (avoid loud music and talkative friends)


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Specific Aids to Memory (con’t)

  • Avoid all-night cramming

    • Cannot remember much when you are dead tired!

  • Talk to yourself

    • go over notes out loud over and over and over and…

    • Most time-tested technique

  • Try to reduce stress in your life

    • May be very hard to do but easier than flunking or dropping out


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Mnemonics

  • Memory aids

  • Artificial strategy for remembering information

  • Four basic categories

    • Acronyms – new words created from the beginning letters of several words (HOMES, SWAT)

    • Acrostics – verse in which certain letters of each word or line form a message (Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge)

    • Rhymes – said or sung (“On Old Olympic Towering Tops A French and German Viewed Some Hops”)

    • Visual methods – visualization to associate words or concepts with remembered visual images (DNA forms a “twisted ladder” structure)

  • Mnemonics can be very useful but cannot be used to memorize everything


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