How to Help New Age Students to Learn and Retain Information

How to help new-age students learn and retain information better?

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It’s a new era of education where educators need to shift their teaching methods according to the learning needs of new-age learners. They learn by observing, listening, exploring, experimenting, and asking questions, so it needs to keep them engaged and interested in learning.

Learning and acquiring knowledge is a lifelong process. In schools, do teachers put all their efforts into teaching concepts on how to learn?

Why is it important to emphasize effective learning and retention techniques while teaching new-age students?

New-age students are more connected to technology and the internet than previous generations, so they have more tools to access information.

Nowadays, due to hybrid learning, students choose their own ways to learn. Every student learns differently and feels comfortable with specific learning styles. Teachers need to recognize the learning styles that students prefer. 

While learning, new-age students face an issue retaining information and struggle during exams. There is a reason behind it.  Hermann Ebbinghaus described the Forgetting Curve, which demonstrates that about 75% of any new information is lost within a day or two if we don’t make an effort to retain it.

Teachers must use effective strategies that will help new-age students to learn and retain information significantly to foster their holistic growth.

Few ways to help new-age students to learn and retain information better

1. Focus more on conceptual learning

Sometimes students just focus on learning facts or procedures without understanding the core concept behind them. This causes them to forget knowledge over time.

New information can be learned faster if students emphasize identifying, revising, deepening, and connecting concepts on which their learning is based. This will allow students to learn by capturing the information permanently.

Few ways to build conceptual knowledge:

  • Begin with proactive questions to check their prior knowledge and understanding of the concept. Ex- check understanding of subtraction before jumping into the division concept.
  • Let them interconnect concepts.  Ex- ask them to reflect on the connection between multiplication and division. In science, a connection between photosynthesis and energy transformation. They can also connect concepts learned in previous grades.
  • Conceptual learning is essential for new-age students to connect different ideas, so they can remember less. Ex- if a student has a good understanding of fractions, he/she can work easily on decimals, percentages, ratios, and proportions. These are different representations of the same thing.

Also Read: Back at school, Indian teachers face a crisis of discipline. How to solve these issues?

 

2. Multisensory learning 

  •  Multisensory learning is holistic learning, which teaches concepts by involving multiple parts of the brain. This involves visual, Auditory, and tactile learning Methods.
  • Educators can integrate E-learning media and use techniques like drawing pictures and mind maps, graphics, and color highlighters for better visual learning. Video, rhythms, and peer reading can assist new-age students with the auditory learning experience. 
  • Tactile learners learn best through a sense of touch. They can trace numbers and letters. Even sometimes it is enough for them to write down the thing they are learning. They can learn through an art project, or doodle words. By learning in more than one way, students further cement the knowledge in their minds.

3. Experiential or activity-based learning

  • Experiential learning provides a more concrete approach and enhances students’ learning through emotions, cognition, and environmental factors. 
  • Let students perform activities and experience the concept they are learning. After that let them reflect on what they have performed using a journal/template, watch others doing the same, and also frame questions on it. Example: Use an actual plant to show plant growth, its parts, photosynthesis, transpiration, and other plant-related theories.
  • After reflection, students can write an abstract on the concept in their own words. This will allow new-age students to retain knowledge for a long time

4. Microlearning and small breaks

  • New-age students can find it difficult to memorize information as it can be complicated or a bit too much for them to remember. Hence, break the information into smaller parts and help students to process it one at a time. Later, organize, to make it easier for students.
  • Effective notes making can help students in microlearning which offers bit-sized small learning units with the necessary amount of information. Take sessions on notes making after teaching concepts, to make content crisp and short which students can remember effectively. According to the Research Promotion Scheme (RPS), microlearning improves focus and long-term retention by up to 80%.
  • Students lose attention after 15-20 min. Give small breaks for movement and brain exercise which can encourage creative activities and regain their attention span.

5. Peer Learning

Educators have long noted that one of the best ways to learn something is to teach it to someone else. The protégé effect is a psychological phenomenon where teaching, pretending to teach, or preparing to teach information helps new-age students to learn and retain information significantly. 

 How to use the protégé effect?

  • Teach students to learn information as they will feel comfortable teaching it to someone else. Prepare possible answers to likely questions that people might ask them on the topic.
  • Visualize teaching and do it out loud, this can take students beyond instead of just explaining the material.
  • Make students teach someone in a one-on-one or group setting. This will benefit both participants.

Some ideas can include writing and reading essays on the topic and participating in group discussions. This encourages students to revise, summarize concepts and repeat the procedure. This will help to solidify new knowledge in their brains and memorize concepts for a long time.

Great learners continue learning how to learn. Be it any generation, learning is a lifelong process. Discover the learning strategies that work for your students in this new-age generation.

The more they practice these learning strategies/concepts, they become a great learner and retain more information which can improve their overall performance.

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