The Motivation and Attention Stage
Difficulties in learning (lapses in motivation and attention) can originate very early in the learning process, often before you even realize there may be a problem. You may avoid these difficulties if you:
- Develop a reason for learning.
- Give your full attention to the task of learning, avoiding distractions.
- Selectively focus your attention on what is important.
- Acquire necessary background information for a certain subject.
- Are aware of how your past experiences affect what you perceive.
The Holding and Coding Stage
During this stage information is processed and sent to long-term storage.
- Try to avoid overloading your short-term memory. Information is sorted and coded for long-term storage within a matter of seconds, or it is “dumped.”
- Actively do something with the information; write, discuss, think about it and make retention useful.
- Frequent review retains information in your memory.
- Learn the information accurately the first time. Check the source if you are concerned or confused.
- Concentrate on learning key principles, concepts and ideas. You seldom have time to learn everything.
The Long-Term Storage and Remembering Stage
This stage focuses on organizing and re-organizing information for effective use when you need it.
Four key factors in learning and remembering are:
- ORGANIZE the material in a manner that is meaningful to you.
- ASSOCIATE what you are learning with what you already know.
- VISUALIZE or create a mental picture of what you want to learn.
- REVIEW frequently, practicing active application, and take breaks between each session.
Adapted from: Making It in College: Strategies for Studying and Learning, Colleen Cooper, Anne Sullivan, Jusy Shulman. Michigan State University, 1977.