The ability of students to learn, retain and recollect the facts does come easy for many, but with the right strategies and support, students can learn and retain in a flawless manner and go on to perform better in their academic work and examinations.
As students, we have all experienced the frustration of forgetting important information that we learned in class. Whether it’s forgetting the details of a historical event or the steps to solve a maths problem, we have all struggled with retaining and recollecting information.
However, there are certain strategies and techniques that can help students better retain and recollect facts after learning.
7 smart ways students can retain and recollect facts after learning
Step 1: Active Learning
The first step towards retaining and recollecting information is active learning. Instead of passively reading or listening to information, students should engage in active learning by taking notes, asking questions, and participating in discussions. This helps to reinforce the information and make it more memorable.
According to the research National Training Laboratories, active learning methods which include engaging in group discussion groups and practicing what has been learned or taught help to improve student rate of retention close to 90% compared to the 5% retention rate attained by students if they engage in just listening to lessons or lectures over a given period.
Clearly, practice makes perfect and students need to do more practice, solve questions, engage in discussions, and also teach their colleagues whatever they have learned. These activities will help them learn, retain and recollect the facts more.
Step 2: Repetition
The second step towards retaining and recollecting information is repetition. Repeating information goes a long way to strengthening the neural pathways in the brain.
Through this, it makes the information easier to retrieve later on for students, since repeating what has been learned over a few more times helps retain it in memory.
Do you remember as a child, when your mum sends you to buy something or to give a piece of information to someone, she instructs you to repeat it a few times for her, then asks you to repeat it in your mind?
This can be done through various techniques such as flashcards, quizzes, and reviewing notes.
The University of California study on this revealed that learners who use flashcards for reviewing what they have learned were able to better retain a significant amount of what they have learned compared to their colleagues who never used flashcards.
Create your own flashcards and write the facts you want to retain on them.
All your friends can create theirs and then you guys can share with each other.
Step 3: Visualization
The third step towards retaining and recollecting information is visualization. Visualizing information helps to create a mental picture that is easier to remember later on.
This can be done by creating diagrams, charts, and graphs or by simply visualizing the information in your mind.
According to the University of Sussex, visualizing information brings about between 10% and 20% improvement in the ability to recall what has been learned.
Step 4: Mnemonics
Mnemonics is another scientifically proven way for improving learning and retention efficiency. If you want to surprise your brain and look like a student with magical brain power, just use Mnemonics.
The Mnemonics memory technique assists learners to associate the facts they are learning with other things and objects they can remember easily. Once the student is able to recollect or remember the object, the chances of remembering the facts increase tremendously.
Acronyms, rhymes, or other creative techniques are often used under the Mnemonics retention and recollecting strategy.
My Very Eyes May Just See Under Nine Planets was famous in the past just as the mnemonic “ROY G BIV” which helps learners to remember the colours of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet)
As a student, you should have a book where you create your own local and easy-to-remember Mnemonics for the various information you learn. They can make life comfortable for you in the exam hall as well.
Step 5: Contextual Learning
Have you heard of Contextual Learning? Well, it refers to learning information based on the situation surrounding it. If you are learning a vocabulary, you can apply Contextual Learning by looking for ways that the word is used in daily conversations and sentences instead of mastering the mere meaning of the word. It makes it easy for you to keep in your memory the meaning and understanding of it. Most learners try to use new vocabulary to jokingly construct new sentences, just as the English tutor may request that students use a given word or phrase to construct sentences.
After the University of Texas, it came to light that students who learn new vocabulary using the contextual learning approach improve their retention higher than students who just learned the vocabulary.
Step 6: Practice Retrieval
Another smart way students can retain and recollect facts after learning is through a conscious practice retrieval approach.
The Practice Retrieval approach to retention and recollection of facts is a strategy for learning. Practice retrieval is used to practice to recollect what has been learned earlier.
The strategies used often are self-quizzing and spaced repetition. When a student learns and asks him or her self-questions and then attempts to provide the answers, it aids in recollection and retaining the facts.
Again, students who space over the repetition of what they have learned or re-learn the facts after some break over a period are able to retain the information more than those who learn once or space out the relearning attempt too much.
Fact-finding research by the University of California proved that learners who applied the practice retrieval of information during the study attained better retention rates of the information than others.
Step 7: Sleep
The last of the 7 smart ways students can retain and recollect facts after learning is by sleeping
Finally, do you know sleep is key to your ability to retain facts? Students need to have enough sleep after they have learned new stuff.
The Harvard Medical School carried out research in this regard and discovered that sleep plays a crucial role in memory consolidation. This means students who deny themselves adequate sleep will only impair their memory retention.
Now that you know these facts about how students retain and recollect facts after learning, plus real-world examples and unique strategies, put them into practice.