Chunking information simply means learning information in chunks. In my previous post, I spoke about chunking and about how we store between 5 and 9 bits of information in short-term memory at once. Now let's begin a series of posts on applying this to your learning. 1. Skeleton. Grab you textbook. Open to the chapter you are learning. Write down the main headings in that chapter. Most likely there will be about 7 headings or so. Understand those headings and memorize them. This is your chapter skeleton. 2. Each heading. Read the text under each heading. If there are no sub-headings, read to find out the main point of each paragraph. Write these main points out briefly in your own words. Again, you will be left with approximately 5 - 10 sentences. In your mind, connect each sentence to its heading and learn those sentences. 3. Repeat. Do this over and over again. 4. Revise. Go over each chunk of information the next day, then weekly for two weeks, then every two weeks until exams. We will go into more detail at a later stage on the actual memorizing process, including linking to information already known. This post was intended simply to give you a brief overview of chunking.
- The myth of true multi-tasking (schooledforlife.com)
- How does your brain create short-term memories? [Neuroscience] (io9.com)
- What determines the capacity of short-term memory? (sciencedaily.com)
Getting Organized in the Google Era by Douglas Merrill, former C.I.O. of Google. I highly recommend it. He approaches this multi-million dollar topic of organizing your life in a totally unique and different approach. One of the segments of the book that is very relevant is when he talks about our brains and their short-term and long-term memory.I am reading a book called
Short-term memoryYour brain is only able to hold between 5 and 9 things in its short-term memory. But, these items need to be related to each other in some way. If you then shift contexts quickly, the new pieces of information entering your short-term memory will push some of those previous memories out before you have been able to put them into long-term memory. Multi-tasking? So, in essence, the concept of multi-tasking in many contexts is going to make you less effective. That's why the good writers and bloggers will create chunks of information in their writing. Then they will tell a story about it. Then they will re-iterate it in different words, then again a third time from a different angle. Good Writers? Yes, good writers will chunk the information, paint some pictures of it, then re-iterate it in different terms. Then they will link those 5 to 9 items to a further 5 to 9 items, hoping that you have had time to transfer those first 5 to 9 items into long-term memory. Good Studiers? This is absolutely essential for learners. You learn in chunks of 5 to 9 items at a time. Insert them into long-term memory by linking them to things you already know, and by applying study techniques that work for you. Don't let someone tell you that there is only one way to learn. S4L That is one of the big reasons I am developing the S4L (Schooled For Life) program. My big plans for it are to release a curriculum based on those seven principles. Don't let anyone tell you how you must learn. You decide that for yourself. The S4L program will empower you to do that. Now, where has that novel I was reading whilst writing this post gone?