Learning 101: The Untaught Basics

SSRN Electronic Journal(2017)

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Despite the accessibility of a wealth of information in the current era—in the form of books, universities, or online ‘massive open online courses (MOOCs)—well-intentioned hard- working students often fail to learn effectively due to deficient learning technique or mindset. Two reasons in particular hinder students from achieving their potential: firstly, the intuition of students regarding how learning works is often flawed and counterproductive; and secondly, despite significant progress in the research discipline of “learning sciences”, these hard-earned scientific insights have not yet filtered their way through the research community onto the students who stand to benefit most from this knowledge. In this article—titled “Learning 101: the untaught basics”—we aim to popularize the important insights learnt by the learning science researchers by making it accessible to students, who continue to largely use suboptimal intuitive learning techniques not knowing any better. The benefits of knowing these insights are immediate and substantial: we can use this knowledge to understand and calibrate our learning; it can also facilitate efficient learning (learning more in less time and avoiding “labor in vain”).
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