Complete neuron cell diagram. Neurons (also known as neurones and nerve cells) are electrically excitable cells in the nervous system that process and transmit information. In vertebrate animals, neurons are the core components of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This is, perhaps, the single most important fact you will ever have to know
about studying. When you read it you will probably go, "Huh?", but it really is revolutionary. Here it is :
The more ways you learn a fact, the better your chances are at remembering it."
Let me back-track a little bit. I do apologize a little bit if this gets a little technical. In her brilliant book Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning
Judy Willis explains that while we may stop growing neurons in our brain, we don't stop growing dendrites. Now, dendrites are outgrowths from neurons that grow as new things are learned. The more we learn, the more dendrites our brain grows.
Line art drawing of a Neuron 1. Dendrites 2. Cell Body 3. Nucleus 4. Axon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If we are learning a particular fact, it has been shown that the more ways we learn that fact, the more dendrites are created to enable us to remember that fact. So, let us take a rudimentary example of a language student learning a new word. Let's say you are learning Greek. First, you prime the process by writing the word out. Then you hear yourself say it a few times, and you hear a few different classmates say it a few times, and you hear your lecturer say it a few times. And you hear the word being used in an mp3 file that your lecturer plays for your - perhaps a reading of a Greek New Testament verse that contains that word. Then, later that day, while you are sitting around the lunch table, each of you and your friends practice saying the word in a sentence again. So, you have written it, heard it, and read it repeatedly. This results in more successful long-term memory storage and retrieval than just memorizing the definition of the word. If the word happens to be an object, then practice handling the object whilst talking about it. Maybe create a crazy story about the object as well and tell your friends about it. I promise you that you will all remember it easily!
So, remember : The more ways you learn a fact, the better your chances are at remembering it!