This course (offered through Coursera) is divided into weeks, 4 to be specific, and I’d be taking my notes based on that arrangement.
So, here goes:
Interesting bullets from this week:
There are two types of thinking; Focused and Diffuse thinking.
Employ the pomodoro technique to combat procrastination.
Practice makes permanent – constant practice, especially of abstract concepts, is crucial to ingraining new concepts into one’s brain.
The two major memory systems touched on; Working memory & Longterm memory.
Employ spaced repetition to move and cement learned concepts from the working memory (shortterm) to the longterm memory.
“All lot of success in Life is [due to] passion and persistence”. – Dr. T. Sejnowski.
Interesting bullets from this week
The use of chunks can making learning fairly easy. Chunking involving “grouping” related pieces of information together as “chunks” while learning such that remembering just one piece makes remembering the remaining pieces in the chunk almost effortless.
The first step of chunking is simply focusing your undivided attention on that which you wish to chunk.
Next, understand the basic idea you’re trying to chunk. Seeing something or thinking that you understand something doesn’t mean you actually understand it. Only doing it yourself helps create the neural patterns that underlie true mastery.
Thirdly, try to gain context Chunking involves learning how to use a problem solving technique. Context involves learning when to use that technique instead of some other technique.
Summarily, chunks are best built with:
- Focused attention,
- Understanding of the basic idea, and
- Practice to help gain mastery and a sense of the big picture context.
Recalling should be used rather than passively rereading when learning. Also, recalling material when you’re outside your usual place of learning can help strengthen your grasp of the learned material.
The Law of Serendipity: “Lady luck favors the one who tries.”
Interleaving is important for building flexibility and creativity while learing.
To avoid the Illusions of Competence in learnig:
- Test yourself to see if you actually understand what you think you understand.
- Minimize highlighting the material to fool yourself into thinking you understand a concept
- Mistakes are good and shouldn’t be frowned at! They help show pitfalls or weak links in your chunks and learning of a concept overall.
- Use delibrate practice! Practicing the easy stuff only fools you into thinking you actually understand a concept, when in reality you, sadly, do not.
Einstellung is a “disease”. Try to be flexible!
Interesting bullets from this week
Chunking is related to how habits work
Habits may be thought of as having 4 parts, VIZ:
- The cue (Location, Time, How you feel, Reactions)
- The routine
- The reward
- The belief
Focus on process not product to prevent procrastination.
To tackle procrastination, the following key pointers may help:
- Keep a planner journal (weekly & daily)
- Commit to certain routines and tasks daily
- Give yourself rewards for finishing a task, but delibrately delay the reward until the task is done.
- Watch for procrastination cues and try to ‘beat’ them.
- Have a belief in your new system, even if the tasks feel like drudgery initially.
- “Eat your frogs first”.
Tap into the outstanding Visual and spatial memory systems the human brain possess.
Try to employ the use of the memory palace technique for remembering groups of unrelated items.
Interesting bullets from this week (the final one)
Some tips for being a better learner:
- Practice makes perfect
Creating metaphors or analogies greatly enhances understanding of new concepts and remembering them.
“Change your thoughts, change your mind”
People learn by trying to make sense out of the information they perceive. They rarely learn anything complex simply by having someone else tell to them.
A Test Prep Checklist:
- Did you make a serious effort to understand the text?
- Did you work with classmates on homework problems?
- Did you attempt to outline every homework problem solution?
- Did you participate actively in homework group discussions?
- Did you consult with the instructor?
- Did you understand all of your homework problem solutions?
- Did you ask in class for explanations of homework problem solutions that weren’t clear to you?
- If there was a study guide, did you carefully go through it before the tests and convince yourself you could do everything on it?
- Did you attempt to outline lots of problem solutions quickly?
- Did you go over the study guide and problems with classmates and quiz one another?
- If there was a review session before the test, did you attend it and ask questions about anything you weren’t sure about?
- Did you get a reasonable night’s sleep before the test?
Make use of the Hard Start - Jump to easy technique while taking tests.