Elaborative Learning Free Trial

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You probably began learning using the rote rehearsal method which forced you to rely on repetition to acquire new information. You simply repeated the item to be learned enough times to remember it. You had to use this technique first because at that point, there was no information stored in your memory that was related to what you were studying – everything was new. However, at some point in your intellectual development there was information stored in your memory that was related to what you were studying. At this point, probably around the ages of 10-15, you could have started using more sophisticated and effective learning techniques. Unfortunately, by that time the rehearsal method was probably fully automated so you used it without awareness - and without knowing that better methods exist.

The major problems with the rehearsal technique are well known:

  1. 1st - Numerous repetitions, are time consuming, often boring, and therefore, frequently procrastinated.
  2. 2nd - Repetition produces superficial or weak memory codes, so the real meaning of the information is often not acquired.
  3. 3rd - Superficial memory codes are easily lost and quickly forgotten.
  4. 4th - Superficial memory codes are of limited value in advanced courses or in-depth studies.
  5. 5th - Rote repetition can cause you to test poorly even if you have devoted significant time and effort to studying.

The much more effective elaboration learning technique forms meaningful memory codes when you first learn new information. It relies on short, intensive, bursts of organized and meaningful information to form elaborated memory codes that are easier to retrieve when needed.

Should you learn the Elaboration Learning Technique? To find out, answer the questions below.

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