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A Powerful Learning Approach That Smart Students Use to Learn Fast and Get Great Results

A Powerful Learning Approach That Smart Students Use to Learn Fast and Get Great Results

Are you looking for new approaches to learning? If so, there are powerful approaches you can learn outside the conventional techniques you were taught in school. For some, unconventional approaches are a necessity, as typical approaches simply do not work for us. It’s like requiring everyone to be a PC, yet you are a MAC. So, continue reading if you are a MAC stuck in a PC world.

I have developed an approach to learning that uses a combination of some of the most effective outside-the-box approaches to learning. Behind this approach lies one simple formula called The Learning Formula (TLR). With TLR, we start by learning something new, followed by actively processing new knowledge, then applying it as soon as possible; thus, demonstrating that learning updates in our brain by using the following formula: Learning = Download + Process + Apply.

Using this formula (and similar approaches to learning), I created the Deep Rabbit Hole (DRH) Learning Theory.

What Makes DRH an Effective Learning Approach?

I will demonstrate the algorithm for this theory. However, before I dive into the algorithm, let’s first discuss two key concepts I used as the framework for the theory. Think of these two concepts as my heuristic (a tool or approach to problem solving or learning).

To understand something quickly: Solo Taxonomy

    The structure of observed learning outcomes (SOLO) taxonomy is a model describing the levels of increasing complexity of a student’s understanding of a concept. With Solo Taxonomy, you are moving from the prestructural form (where the student is unsure of the concept) to the extended abstract (where the student, not only understands the concept, but looks at the ideas in a new and extended way). This approach is effective in guiding us in asking the right questions. [1]

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      To remember ideas better than others: Chunking

        Chunks are small units of knowledge logically fitting together allowing us to practice and remember what we learn. We have a better chance of storing the new information in our long-term memory by breaking these larger pieces of information down into smaller chunks. [2]

        With chunking, imagine that you are trying to solve a problem, where the problem has four basic elements. We can only hold approximately four thoughts in our working memory, so we must find ways to group related elements into chunks. Once we successfully assemble useful elements into chunks, we can then use our working memory to manipulate concepts. In order to do this, we must first understand how concepts fit together. This is why the use of analogies are so effective. [3]

        How to Apply DRH Learning Theory to Learn Fast?

        My informal definition of an algorithm is simply a step-by-step process or set of rules I use in my theory. Using an algorithm helps in solving difficult and abstract problems, such as a wicked problem. Let’s take a look at each step of the algorithm.

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          1. Identify what you are trying to solve or learn.

          Using this article as an example, here we are trying to understand what smart students do to learn fast with good results. This would form the question or problem we are trying to solve or understand.

          2. Clearly state the purpose.

          It is important to have a clear direction and understanding of your objective. In this article, my objective is to clearly outline how students can learn fast with the best results.

          3. Identify what you’ve already known.

          This provides students a perfect opportunity to use Solo Taxonomy as discussed earlier.

          4. Use a Deep Rabbit Hole (DRH).

          Here we are using a combination of chunking with a semantic tree. With this tool, you are deconstructing the concept, question, or idea. We are clearly identifying the parts of the rabbit hole we want to apply. We do this by coloring or circling those components we would like to further apply or break into their own DRH.

            5. Use an Analogy.

            An analogy is simply a comparison between two concepts for the purpose of explanation.

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              6. Create or use a Diagram.

              A diagram is a drawing that represents the appearance or structure of something in graphic form. This could be anything from a simple sketch, to a detailed outline of a building.

                7. Form your Theory or Hypothesis.

                A powerful approach we can use to form a Hypothesis is to use a form of deductive reasoning called syllogistic reasoning. For example, let’s take a look at one of Aristotle’s famous syllogisms.

                • Premise #1: All humans are animals (represented as H).
                • Premise #2: All animals are mortal (represented as A).

                Conclusion: Therefore, all humans are mortal (represented as M).

                8. Practice and apply your Theory or Hypothesis.

                Finally, let’s look at how we can firmly secure what we are studying or learning in our memory. By applying what we learn, we are able to secure it in long-term memory. Let’s look at two powerful techniques to use in order to practice and apply our new knowledge.

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                To enhance your memory: The Method of Loci

                The Method of Loci is a mnemonic device dating back to Ancient Greek times. It is a method of memory enhancements using visualization combined with spatial memory. [4]

                  To learn a difficult concept: ADEPT

                  The ADEPT method of learning is a way to help us learn a difficult idea or concept by using the following: Use an Analogy, create or find a Diagram, personally Experience the concept, try to explain the idea or concept in Plain English, and then describe the Technical Details of the concept.

                    Start to take up these powerful approaches and make them your good study habits to learn fast and smart!

                    Featured photo credit: Flaticon via flaticon.com

                    Reference

                    More by this author

                    Dr. Jamie Schwandt

                    Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

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                    Published on April 25, 2019

                    How Creativity Can Help You Get Ahead in Life

                    How Creativity Can Help You Get Ahead in Life

                    Have you ever felt limited in your abilities to do something you really wanted to pursue? Maybe it was an ambition you had, or an idea to start something. Perhaps it was an opportunity that came your way, but you weren’t able to take it because something held you back.

                    Often, we’re unable to progress towards our goals because such obstacles stand in the way. We let our limitations stop or overshadow our abilities to see through to a goal.

                    Yet, there’s one thing that we rarely think of to use when trying to overcome limitations.

                    Creativity.

                    What is Creativity?

                    When I say creativity, I’m not talking about an innate talent. Creativity is a much needed, but often neglected, skill that everyone has! It’s a skill with huge leverage that allows you to generate enormous amounts of value from relatively little input.

                    Creativity at its heart, is being able to see things in a way that others cannot. It’s a skill that helps you find new perspectives to create new possibilities and solutions to different problems.

                    Everything, including brilliant inventions, cannot come from nothing; it all derives from some sort of inspiration. Creativity works by connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value.

                    From this perspective, you can find creativity at play in many areas.

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                    For example, Mark Zuckerburg rapidly became successful by taking the previously existing concept of social media, and combining it with an incredibly simple interface that appealed to a much wider audience. Uber and Lyft combined the idea of a traditional taxi service with an incredibly efficient smartphone app.

                    Both of these examples connect different ideas, find common ground amongst the differences, and create a completely new idea out of them.

                    That’s creativity in a nutshell, and anyone can improve theirs.

                    Limitations are Actually Opportunities

                    The advantage of using creativity, is to help you see limitations as opportunities. Take any limitation that you may find yourself facing, is there a way to look at things differently?

                    Let me illustrate with an example.

                    On the day of my son’s 5th birthday, my wife and I arranged a party for him at a children’s adventure park. His friends and family were all invited, and the plan was to have a long, fun day out to celebrate.

                    However, the day didn’t go exactly as planned…

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                    At Lifehack, we pride ourselves on a healthy work-life balance, so I wasn’t concerned about taking the day off to celebrate. But, on the big day, a call came through to my phone.

                    It was a manager from Lifehack. He excitedly told me that a group of investors were quite interested in our business proposition, and were wanting to meet later that day.

                    This was great news! A potential investment could be coming our way. But, I was already miles away from home and the office. Plus, it was my son’s birthday…

                    I asked if I could call him back once we got settled into the park.

                    To be honest, I was pretty certain I was not going to be able to make it. Asking to reschedule would be a risky request, but there was no way that I was going to miss my son’s party.

                    My son could sense something was off, and he asked me what was wrong. So I let him know that I just received a call about a meeting today, but also told him not to worry as today was about celebrating his birthday.

                    But like all kids, he continued questioning me…

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                    “But daddy, is it important?”

                    “No, of course not,” I bluffed.

                    Then, with childlike intuition and creativity, he asked: “Can’t you just meet with them at the park?”

                    And, then it struck me! This was the idea that I was missing.

                    Even though my son didn’t quite understand that it would not be possible for the investors to meet me at the park, it made sense for me to simply do a video call!

                    I could miss 25 minutes of the party to do a quick call while the rest of the party walked through the aquarium. And, in the end, that was exactly what happened.

                    I called back my teammate and asked him to briefly explain to the investors why I couldn’t be there in person to meet, but would be happy to join via video. I took the call, and was able to spend the rest of the day at the park with my son.

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                    Not only did my son enjoy his birthday, his simple idea led to a successful investment meeting that allowed us to get funding for a new project.

                    This is where I was able to turn a limitation into an opportunity that enabled me to reach my success.

                    Creativity is One Key to Success

                    When you use your creative ability to turn your limitations and setbacks into opportunities, you’ll find doors opening for you in areas you may have never imagined.

                    Remember, your attitude is also important when it comes to achieving a goal, and tackling a setback or problem. That’s because a positive attitude transforms not just your mental state, but your physical and emotional well being. It is the key to lasting total transformation.

                    Check out this article to learn more about how you can tune your attitude towards positivity.

                    So, the next time you’re feeling limited by your abilities, setbacks or challenges, don’t give up. Really look at the situation, and see how you can leverage on your creativity to find an alternative solution.

                    Featured photo credit: Photo by William Iven on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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