- Feb 2022
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If you now think: “That’s ridiculous. Who would want to read andpretend to learn just for the illusion of learning and understanding?”please look up the statistics: The majority of students chooses everyday not to test themselves in any way. Instead, they apply the verymethod research has shown again (Karpicke, Butler, and Roediger2009) and again (Brown 2014, ch. 1) to be almost completelyuseless: rereading and underlining sentences for later rereading.And most of them choose that method, even if they are taught thatthey don’t work.
Even when taught that some methods of learning don't work, students will still actively use and focus on them.
Are those using social annotation purposely helping students to steer clear of these methods? is there evidence that the social part of some of these related annotation or conversational practices with both the text and one's colleagues helpful? Do they need to be taken out of the text and done in a more explicit manner in a lecture/discussion section or in a book club like setting similar to that of Dan Allossso's or even within a shared space like the Obsidian book club to have more value?
We face here the same choice between methods that make us feellike we learned something and methods that truly do make us learnsomething.
What methods of studying actually make us learn something versus make us feel as if we've learned something?
Active reading, progressive summarization may be on this list while highlighting and underlining might not. Or perhaps there's a spectrum of poor to good, and if this is the case, what does it look like? Is it the same for everyone or are factors like neurodivergence part of the equation which might change this spectrum of learning methods and techniques?
Taking smart notes is the deliberate practice ofthese skills. Mere reading, underlining sentences and hoping toremember the content is not.
Some of the lighter and more passive (and common) forms of reading, highlighting, underlining sentences and hoping to understand or even remember the content and contexts is far less valuable than active reading, progressive summarization, comparing and contrasting, and extracting smart or permanent notes from one's texts.
no underlinedsentence will ever present itself when you need it in the developmentof an argument.
- note taking misconceptions
- social annotation
- progressive summarization
- writing process
- excerpting vs. progressive summarization
- book clubs
- permanent notes
- learning techniques
- reading practices
- conversations with the text
- mere-exposure effect
- active reading
- note taking methods
- discussion sections