Learning methods and Styles: Advantages of being an Active Learner

The world has advanced a lot. Hasn’t it? And more importantly, the world of education has advanced even more with the latest technologies and virtual learning. But while looking back, we find that some of the learning methods we used previously in physical classrooms were very helpful in boosting our memory and ability to learn effectively. Most of us might not be using these methods these days, especially because we don’t think it is relevant anymore. Let us look at a few such learning practises and see whether we can incorporate these from now!

The first and foremost change that we have undergone is the shift from handwritten notes to typing. According to a study published by Science Direct in 2012, brain scan of preliterate children revealed that reading hand-printed letters induced a circuitry flickering to life while this disappeared when the letters were typed or traced. Even in a recent study in 2020, it was found that handwriting and drawing produced telltale neural tracings indicative of deeper learning in older children. It is very evident that self-generated movements stimulate our brains more and that typing does not activate the networks the same way as drawing and handwriting do. So take out your physical hard copy notebooks and start pouring out your imagination!

Another simple exercise that was widely used earlier is acting out vocabulary words. This doubles their ability to remember the words even months later. Few pieces of research show that students who acted out the meaning of the word while speaking are more likely to remember them than those who had simply listened to the words without accompanying gestures. It is always better to connect something with a relevant action or image!

Last but not least generate good questions. But we need to learn answers right? Why make questions. So here’s the answer- a 2020 study published on Wiley Online Library highlighted the alternative stating that generating questions as well as testing by themselves improved students’ overall performance than restudying. Creating questions encourages students not only to deeply think about the topic but also strengthens their ability to remember what they are studying. And guess what it’s not that hard. You can even use games like Jeopardy! As a platform for student-created questions! So these are just a few methods that can be easily tried out in improving our learning style in a digital era. Of course, digital learning has its advantages and kids must develop digital skills. But why not utilise your other gifts as well!

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