I’m sure you’ve studied for an exam or prepared for a project by stuffing as much information into your brain in a short period of time. Good old fashioned cramming. The outcome is usually a rote experience. Meaning, a short time after your knowledge is tested, and you’ve done the proverbial memory dump, you forget the majority of the information.
There’s got to be a better way to learn.
I read this article by Anne Murphy Paul on “The New Way Doctors Learn.” B. Price Kerfoot, an associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, stumbled upon a method that’s having success he calls space repetition. The good news is you don’t have to be a medical student to employ this technique.
When you cram for a test, speech, or presentation using memorization, the information doesn’t hang around your brain very long. In fact, the retention is transient. Space repetition, however, feeds the information consistently over a longer period of time in different formats i.e. email, smartphone, and video. Learning is further enhanced by feeding and mixing old information with new. By going wide and deep, space repetition provides a learning experience that’s more meaningful. Plus, the subject matter has a greater chance of sticking with you in the future.
Let me know if space repetition works for you. Or, do you have another method? I encourage you to share your comments below. That way, we all learn.
Read the article in it’s entirety. “The New Way Doctors Learn.”