6 Effective Research Methods Supported by Research
The world we live in is constantly changing with new fields and skills emerging every year. Since there is so much to learn in such a short time, it is important to use the right study methods.
But here’s the kicker:
Much of what you were taught in school about reading is wrong.
In fact, research shows that most of the study methods used by college students do not work at all.
The same study described a few useful learning styles that are actually useful. So, in this article, I will be explaining those and a few other techniques that have worked for me to acquire a variety of skills.
By the end of this article, you will know all the learning styles you need to learn anything successfully.
Best Ways to Learn
Most people go with basic reading strategies such as reading and highlighting. But what if I tell you that both of them are useless?
You see, your mind needs much more than just to keep track of details. According to research, here are some of the best ways to learn:
- Distributed Distribution
Do you remember in college when you used to have a great exam and drag all night to pass it? Well, chances are that the next morning, you don’t even remember half of what you read.
But even if you did, you would probably forget about it the next day.
Now, this works best in a learning environment where your only goal can be to pass an exam. But this is deceptive when you are trying to learn a skill.
Because you can’t just perfect a skill … it takes time to master any skill you want to learn, be it a game or a musical instrument.
This is where shared practice works. In this study mode, you should spread out your study periods so that more time passes before you start studying again.
You may wonder:
How much time should I devote to starting my next study?
Yes, anything more than a day should work well. So, if you learn to play the violin, you can have some days off.
What you do changes your mind from focusing on the thinking mode. In concentrated mode, you study diligently (eg playing the violin). But in the split mode, wait until the next session and think about what you learned last time, how it worked and what mistakes you made.
- Practice Testing
Back in college, I had a professor who was hated by everyone in the class. And why not; take 2 exercises every week!
And you know what?
The whole class received the highest marks in his class. That’s the power of practice testing.
In this way, you deliberately set aside time for practice or study at a distance and challenge yourself to remember what you have learned without help.
The interesting thing about practice tests is that you often absorb the real test. But if you make a mistake, it is easier to correct it and remember it.
Many people are afraid to examine themselves because they are afraid of being exposed to their weaknesses.
But that’s the whole point of practice testing; highlight your weak areas so you can work on them.
Additionally, practice testing allows you to move lessons learned from temporary memory to long-term memory.
You don’t need to have a real test in the right place to test, though. Depending on what you are trying to read, challenge yourself to try or respond as much as possible about what you are reading.
Keep track of your performance in those tests and try to compete with yourself if you have no other competitors. Like I said, “your biggest competition stays in the mirror”.
- Combined Practice
This is one of the most interesting ways of learning for me… in part because it gives me a reason to learn two things at once.
In integrated operations, you are reviewing or using something otherwise.
Suppose you are learning to speak French. One day, you will not be able to use it all at once.
Instead, you will learn a little French and turn your attention to another skill before you go back to learning French.
As a distribution method used, this method also allows you to switch between focused and divided thinking.
However, the integrated learning process offers another advantage; it makes things harder for you to remember and do.
And we all know that the harder you work to make your practice, the better you will learn.
- Defining oneself
So far, we have discussed some important reading strategies that work in almost every form of reading.
Self-disclosure, although not all that way, still shows promising results.
In this way, you explain to yourself what you are trying to learn. This is most effective when reading a textbook or a reading material.
Those who describe themselves teach themselves as teachers. So, if you are trying to learn Accounting for your business or are working on different marketing strategies, try to explain to them how they work and why they work.
You should not worry too much about whether your definitions are valid or not. In fact, you may not even know where you are headed when you begin to describe yourself.
But as you do, you will discover details and ideas that you may not even know exist. This approach is especially useful for deep-seated thinkers and readers.
- Investigate the questions in detail
Detailed investigation  is the same learning style for self-expression. Therefore, it is very useful in the study of ideas as well.
In this way, you constantly ask yourself as you read. So, if you stumble over a particular process or solution, ask yourself questions like, “Why?” then try to explain the answer to yourself.
In the previous example where you were trying to study Accounting, you might ask questions such as, “why does XYZ Business benefit?” and describe it in your Accounting knowledge.
The biggest drawback of this method is that it consumes a lot of time. No matter, it helps those who have it.
- Practice Recovery
Practice retrieval, a method developed by learning scientists,  is similar to many other strategies in this list. However, it keeps a different place on our list because it focuses more on the time when you don’t actually read.
Let me explain:
In retrospect, you are trying to remember what you read after a study or study session. This challenges your mind to acquire any information it has on the subject without familiarity or testing environment.
Practicing recovery will give you a good idea of how to imitate if you need to use your skills or experience in a real-life situation.
What About Ineffective Learning Techniques?
Now that we have considered all the sciences that have been proven to be scientifically proven, let’s quickly combine some of the less effective methods of learning.
And I do not say that myself; research has concluded that these methods do not have remote access applications.
The basic and essential form of reading is to highlight and underline. Research shows that both methods do not help to improve learning.
Second, we have mnemonics. This method involves remembering key words in a certain order to remember a complex concept.
Although studies found this method useful in some cases, it did not have many practical uses.
Surprisingly, re-reading is another form of learning that is considered useless by researchers. Although repetition is the key to learning, research shows that repetition is not the most effective form of repetition.
If repetition is the next step, I suggest you try (and try again) to practice testing.
Creating and Expanding “Mix” For You
Excessive preparation for a single learning process will cause many problems.
You will be very hard on your way to learning.
You see, successful people can be defined in their character. They learn to adapt and to adapt accordingly.
Depending on what you are trying to learn, you may need to use a variety of reading styles. Therefore, you need to be flexible in order to approach these approaches.
So, first you need to know what learning styles work for you – this is your “combination”. Now, explore what learning strategies you should work on and try to expand.
This does not mean that you need to be perfect in every aspect of the learning process mentioned in this article. However, knowing what learning styles work for you and what you need to work on is essential for rapid growth.
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