There are many different ways to incorporate active learning into your study routine, but let's first understand what active learning entails. Active learning is a type of learning in which students are literally "actively" involved in the process. If you have tried studying by highlighting your notes or reading your textbooks, you were participating in passive learning, a type of learning in which you are not fully engaged. For example, have you ever read a page of a book, realized you weren't paying much attention and then had to go back and re-read it? If so, it's probably because you weren't actively engaged with the page's contents, so the information wasn't retained! In this blog post, we'll discuss different active learning strategies that will help enhance your study skills and academic success.
Use flashcards- There are many online platforms that you can use to make flashcards. Some of these platforms include Quizlet and Anki. Besides allowing you to convert your information into simple and effective flashcards, Quizlet also allows you to convert your information into quizzes and games. Exposing you to the content you need to learn in various forms and under different time limits will get you used to working under pressure. For example, completing timed quizzes on Quizlet will help you get used to test taking conditions. Ether platform is a great option when it comes to creating flashcards, find what works for you! Make sure to star the cards you are having trouble with so you can go through them separately. I also highly recommend making physical flashcards (using pen and paper). Remember, the key with any flashcard is to keep them simple yet effective by putting important and high-yield information on them.
Teach others- As Aristotle once said "Teaching is the highest form of understanding." One way to know if you genuinely understand the material you are learning is to teach it to others. You might think you have a thorough understanding of your material and thus be keen to move onto the next topic. But before you do this, make sure you can explain what you have just learned to another person. They don't need to have the same educational background as you, it could be anyone. When you are teaching another person, you will have to explain the concept thoroughly to ensure they can understand. The other person might also ask questions you had not previously thought of yourself, which will promote further learning.
Take practice tests- Once you have learned the material, take practice tests! This is incredibly important as it will ensure you can complete a specific number of questions within the allotted time frame. You should also try creating your own practice tests using the information from your notes, lectures, textbooks or any learning resource you have access to. Coming up with test questions will help you apply all of the information you have learned.
Active learning is important to incorporate into your study routine because it will help you cultivate a deeper understanding of the material and will help you retain it better. For your next study session, try implementing at least one of these active learning strategies as it will help you reach your academic goals. Remember to take frequent study breaks and enjoy the process!