“Reading, reviewing and organizing are strategies that you probably use to help you process new information and make it meaningful.”
“These are are often called cognitive strategies. Keep reading for some tips from the experts!”
Organize the ideas presented
This is most effective if it is logical – according to “theme, main ideas, relationships among ideas and supporting details or examples.” (Olgren, 1998 in Gibson, 1998). Some learners use concept mapping techniques here – others prefer standard note-taking approaches.
Build connections with your prior experience
Here learners may summarize, associate new learning with examples, consider analogies or metaphors, reflect, discuss, develop further questions, explain and use new learning to solve problems. This process is referred to as knowledge construction and is critical for the transformation of information into meaningful knowledge. Research shows that learners who pause to reflect or think about what they are learning, using prior knowledge to make inferences and draw conclusions are more likely to be successful learners (Alexander & Judy, 1998; Derry & Murphy, 1986 in Gibson, 1998).
Identify relevant information and concepts
Focus on the learning objectives identified in the course or unit introduction, the key terms and concepts that you are studying and your own interest and experience to make meaning from what you are learning.
Read, review and test your memory of key learning concepts
This may include creating a visual map of key concepts and how they relate to each other. Some students also like to “teach others” – which helps to draw on your own knowledge and memory of what you are learning. Using as many strategies as possible and spacing your study sessions will help you.