SADI QEVANI

Learning how to Learn

A few weeks ago I was able to finish the course on ”Learning how to Learn” in Coursera, the following are my summary/notes of the things that were introduced in the lectures.

They’re pretty short and roundup generally the surface of the materials that were introduced, in a way someone can deduce what is it all about, and decide if after reading this if its worth his/her time to go through the course materials.

Week 1:

  • Use Pomodoro Technique to beat procrastination
  • Practice makes perfect. Practice often to make things stick
  • Spatial repetition: Repeat over a few days but with spaces in between
  • Sleep well, good rest help the brain solidify the materials learned

 Week 2:

  • Chunking
    • Divide materials into core chunks concepts and practice materials into solvable problems
    • Merge the two ways of learning bottom-up and top-bottom
  • Read and Recall
    • Read materials and try to recall them, do the following often
  • Illusion of learning
    • Having a book in front of you creates the illusion that you know the material
    • Environment plays a role into learning and recalling
  • Chunking is better practiced as:
    • Focused undivided attention
    • Understanding
    • Practice
    • Interleave your learning
  • Brain signals
    • Acetylcholine helps with focused learning
    • Dopamine releases when we get unexpected rewards, predict future rewards
    • Serotonin handles the social life and risk taking

Week 3:

  • Procrastination
    • Procrastination is like a habit, you need a cue and then you fall into the action, and at the end you have a reward, because we get an immediate reward, we’re more likely to repeat the same action. But to change the underlying habit, we need to change our belief.
    • Process and product: focus on process. That ”I’m going to work 20min”, rather than thinking ”I’m going to finish the homework
      • The cues
        • Location
        • Time
        • How you feel
        • Reaction
      • The routine
        • The Plan
      • The Reward
      • The Belief

  • Write Weekly List of tasks
    • Write it the evening before
  • Get leisure time
  • Building knowledge slowly, day by day, avoid cramming everything
  • Summary
    • Keep a planner journal
    • Commit to routines and tasks each day
    • Delay rewards until you’ve finished the task
    • Watch for procrastination cues
    • Gain trust in your new system
    • Have backup plans for when you procrastinate
    • Eat your frogs in the morning every day (frogs: painful tasks)
  • Memory

Week 4:

  • Exercise to save precious cells in your brains and have a good overall health
  • Sometimes things get confusing, don’t give up, this means you’re learning
  • Create lively visual metaphors or analogies
  • Change your thoughts/environment
  • Start with the hard stuff first, then proceed with the easy

Disclaimer: By no means this is a replacement for the course, if you’re interested in learning ways to achieve better learning and understand go through with the course, its fun, sometimes cheesy but all in all it was a pleasant journey.

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