Your first college class starts next week.
During your orientation, you heard, "You must carefully use both rote and meaningful learning strategies."
You don't know what they mean, but you must understand both by next week.
No worries, you've got this!
Learning these techniques can help you structure your study time for maximum results.
Do you remember multiplication flash cards from elementary school? You were repeatedly quizzed until you could answer them all correctly.
This is an example of rote learning. Rote learning involves memorizing information through repetitive practice.
Leads to quick recall of important facts and key info
Great for foundational knowledge
Doesn't allow for deep understanding of concepts
Doesn't connect to previous knowledge
Use rote learning when:
You need to memorize new terminology
You need to learn basic math concepts
You forgot to study for your psychology exam and the test is in 6 hours
Integrate rote learning into your study habits through repeated practice.
Use flash cards to help recall information
Practice the same problems and learning activities you encountered in class
Rote Learning Application
You'e explaining rote learning to a classmate. Which of the following examples could you use?
Study for your history test by re-reading the assigned chapters.
Use flash cards to memorize terminology that will be on your biology exam.
Create a short speech to practice for your speech class quiz.
Repeatedly label the parts of a cell body diagram.
Select all examples that apply:
Did you participate in a debate in high school? You had to research both sides of the issue and study information related to the topic. Then you applied the work to defend your position in the debate.
This is an example of meaningful learning. Just learning the information isn't enough. You need to apply that knowledge during an unscripted moment.
Meaningful learningrequires you to understand the concept and apply it in real-life situations.
Leads to long-term recollection
Focuses on understanding
Enables active use of the knowledge
It's time consuming
Requires developing a customized learning plan*
*For example, an ecology student may create custom questions like, "How would the local ecosystem change if the red fox was removed?"
Use meaningful learning when:
You need to study complex systems
You need to understand a topic in depth
You need to apply knowledge
Integrate meaningful learning into your study habits through problems or scenarios.
Ask yourself "Are viruses alive"?
Think about what you'd do if you were the doctor in this scenario: "A patient complains: 'My neck hurts and my right arm feels like it's asleep.'"
Meaningful Learning Application
You're a psychology major and have a big test coming up. You'll be evaluated on all of the psychology theories you've learned this semester. Choose one of the following methods to prepare for the exam.
Study the notes you took in class. Then review the chapters and create flash cards for each theory and unknown term. Practice the flash cards for the week leading up to the exam.
Complete the application questions at the end of each chapter. Then challenge yourself to find similarities and differences between the theories and how the theories are used in real-life situations.
Which option is the best representation of meaningful learning?
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