Achieving a Distinction in your Professional Naturopathy Course
5 Learning Methods students can benefit from
Learn about the five tips on achieving a Distinction in your Professional Naturopathy courses.
Neuroscience has taught us much about how our brains process and hold onto information. Learning new things is a huge part of life – we should always strive to learn and grow. But it takes time, and time is precious. So how can you make the most of your time by speeding up the learning process? Thanks to neuroscience, we now better understand how we learn and the most effective ways our brains process and hold on to information.
If you want to jump-start expanding your knowledge, here are five proven ways to start learning faster today.
1. Have effective note-taking skills
Students always know that the better their notes are, the faster they’ll learn and achieve a Distinction in their chosen courses. Knowing how to take thorough and accurate notes will help you remember concepts, gain a deeper understanding of the topic and develop meaningful learning skills. So, before you learn a new topic, make sure you learn different strategies for note-taking, such as the Cornell Method, which helps you organize class notes into easily digestible summaries.
Whatever method you use, some basic tips for note-taking include:
- Listen and take notes in your own words.
- Leave spaces and lines between main ideas so you can revisit them later and add information.
- Develop a consistent system of abbreviations and symbols to save time.
- Write in phrases, not complete sentences.
- Learn to pull out important information and ignore trivial information.
2. Distributed practice
This method involves distributing multiple practices (or study sessions) on a topic over some time. Using short, spaced-out study sessions will encourage meaningful learning, as opposed to long “cram sessions,” which promote rote learning. The first step is to take thorough notes while discussing the topic. Afterward, take a few minutes to review your notes, making any additions or changes to add detail and ensure accuracy.
Do this quickly, once or twice, following each class or period of instruction. Over time, you can begin to spread the sessions out, starting with once per day and eventually moving to three times a week. Spacing out practice over a longer period is highly effective because it’s easier to do small study sessions, and you’ll stay motivated to keep learning.
3. Study, sleep, and be focused!
Research shows a strong connection between sleep and learning. It seems that getting some shut-eye is an important element in bolstering how our brains remember something. Deep sleep (non-rapid-eye-movement sleep) can strengthen memories if the sleep occurs within 12 hours of learning new information. And students who both study and get plenty of sleep not only perform better academically; they’re also happier.
4. Try a mnemonic device
You need to be focused and know how to memorize quickly. A naturopathic practitioner needs to recall a lot of information concomitantly. Therefore, a technique for memorization is very useful. One of the best ways to memorize a large amount of information quickly is to use a mnemonic device: a pattern of letters, sounds, or other associations that assist in learning something. One of the most popular mnemonic devices is one we learned in kindergarten — the alphabet song. This song helps children remember their “ABCs,” and it remains deeply ingrained in our memory as adults. Another is “i before e except after c” to help us remember a grammar rule.
Mnemonics help you simplify, summarize and compress information to make learning easier. It can be handy for medical, law school students, or people studying a new language. So, if you need to memorize and store large amounts of new information, try a mnemonic, and you’ll find you remember the information long past your test.
Here is an example of a mnemonic for learning simple anatomy – the bones in the medial wall of the orbit – My Little Eye Sits – in the orbit.
- Maxilla (frontal process)
- Sphenoid (body)
5. Learn information in multiple ways
When you use multiple ways to learn something, you’ll use more brain regions to store information about that subject. This makes that information more interconnected and embedded in your brain. It basically creates redundancy of knowledge within your mind, helping you truly learn the information and not just memorize it.
You can do this by using different media to stimulate different brain parts, such as reading notes, reading the textbook, watching a video and listening to a podcast or audio file on the topic. The more resources you use, the faster you’ll learn.