22 Sea To emphasize. Techniques of study 1/8.
With this home a series of posts that goes directly to the marrow of the work of the student: to the study techniques. But also to the marrow of any professional who needs to update himself continuously.
To the university student the study abilities assume to him, as the value to the soldier (1).
But, when it learned those abilities? Adapt their do abilities to the university surroundings?
If I must speak by my experience and the one of others, the principles are hard. You arrive to fight itself with examinations of a few subjects, 40 or 50 pages of a book at the most, and you face suddenly full whole books of a totally new slang for you and subjects that demand a form entirely different to study. Anatomy, embryology, physiology, histology. Leaves and more leaves full of schemes and figures marked with the minimum detail.
It is as if you happened to go in bicycle to drive a motorcycle without classes to drive previous. All do not adapt easily.
TO EMPHASIZE TEXT: CLASSIC A CANNOT BE WAIVED ONE
Still I am about to find the first student who does not emphasize his notes or their books. It is with fluorescent labelling thicknesses, with pencils, or with a sad ball-point pen, the landscape of the university notes is plagued of lines of colors.
Certainly whatever it is reading this article remembers that compa±ero/a enthusiastic that agilely handles the labellers on its notes in the library. Perhaps the fan to the colors is even the own reader.
He is not strange: all guide of study techniques advises to the student who emphasizes the important concepts that she is finding in the text. He is demonstrated in multiple studies that are easier to remember what it has marked itself (2).
In addition, it is easy to do, he learns himself quickly and he much more does not demand time of which you need to read.
Why to emphasize he would have, in theory, to work?
- Because he uses the effect of isolation: within a list of words, it is easier to remember that one than he distinguishes himself semantically of the others, or that he belongs to another language (P. ex. car in a list of animal names).
- Because, before emphasizing, it is necessary to include all the text to decide what word or phrase must be marked, and this implies an active work on the material that later will be necessary to remember.
Then, to emphasize it is good? He is not nothing clear¦
TO EMPHASIZE DOES NOT OFFER ANY ADVANTAGE OVER, SIMPLY, READING THE TEXT
This is the conclusion at which Dunlosky and cabbages (3) in a revision published in 2013 arrive. It is a demolishing conclusion, but by itself it does not change lives. I have read it more than a dozen of times and still itself emphasizing the text of this revision while I read it and I learn more on this technique and many others¦
Most of the studies demonstrate that the results in later tests and examinations are similar in subjects to which are allowed them to emphasize and those that only read the text on which they are going away to examine.
We are going to see the reasons by which to emphasize can lose its mental effectiveness.
1. Excess of underlining: If you go marking text, you are not able to remember it so well. You begin not to distinguish a phrase emphasized of another one and lose the advantages of the effect of isolation. In addition, to emphasize much text is more passive, mentally speaking, that to emphasize little. If you emphasize much, you are not selecting, you are not processing so well the information.
The English-speakers call jaundiced text to the excess of underlining in that mythical fluorescent yellow that all we have used sometimes. (*ictericia: yellowish coloration of the skin and mucous due to an increase of the bilirubin in blood that ends up being accumulated in weaves)
2. Inadequate selection of the noticeable thing: the more you dominate a matter or a set of disciplines, better you use the technique of the underlining. The students novate to them have more difficulties to decide what is important (That can explain a purely personal observation: I emphasized text much more when she was in 1º of race that when I arrived at 3º and 4º from Medicine. By greater maturity, greater knowledge of the medical matters).
Also the motivation is important. In a study in which it was awarded with money to the experimentation subjects that better notes removed, those that they had allowed to emphasize secured the best score (and the prize), on the contrary that those that only read.
3. Loss of connections between concepts: to know to what type of examination you face can be crucial at the time of deciding if to emphasize or not: In a study of 1992 it was observed that to emphasize a history text it helped to answer better the questions on data, but not those that forced to make inferences. In this case, to emphasize emphasized the concepts, but it prevented to process the connections between the concepts. It seems that to emphasize type test adapts far better to the examinations (multiple answers) who to the questions with short answer.
4. Loss of opportunity: for Dunlosky and cabbages, to emphasize is not detrimental by itself, that is to say, it does not prevent to learn. But it can occupy a time that could be dedicated to more productive strategies.
5. Illusion of competition: the risk exists of which the student believes that she has learned the matter because already there is underlining. This does not have to occur by seated. All we have had the experience to have memorised concepts and processes after to have read and underlining the notes, but this probably is due to the facility of the matter at issue or to that we were especially alert in that occasion.
The problem resides in which to emphasize is relatively easy and therefore it can be a passive process, and not always gives rise to the same result, that is to say, to begin to memorise.
THEN, WHAT TO DO? MY ADVICE
I have been some weeks reflecting on the subject and commenting it with Medicine students of several courses. Some have tried to follow the advice of the experts and to emphasize less, although they have not obtained it, at least of entrance. All almost agree in a thing: they do not think to resign to emphasize.
And if search in my person, I occur of noses with the evidence of which there am underlining not few phrases of the article of Dunlosky. I have marked the conclusions, but it is certain that of that form something cost to me more to read the nonnoticeable text, where also there are interesting commentaries.
What I recommend to you?
- It perfects your techniques: you do not emphasize in excess. It tries to at the most limit the underlining a phrase by paragraph. If you feel the urgent necessity to emphasize more, it holds and simply it recites aloud what it seems important to you. That also helps you to determine ideas.
- It uses the material that adapts: the alive and fluorescent colors can tire the view after long hours studying. They are the materials most spectacular and entertained to use (and already we know that at the time of examinations one is wishing to entertain itself and so it is), but are not essential. A simple pencil of two colors (blue and red) or of graphite even can be sufficient.
- You do not emphasize to emphasize: we have already seen that to color text he does not mean that you have memorised it. If you perceive that you are cansado/a and not you are internalising what you are marking, leaves it and limits to you to read. The erroneous underlining can confuse to you more than to facilitate the later study to you. Instead of that, motivate changing the study strategy to you: it reads while you walk, takes a little tea or coffee (if he is early, it remembers how you must use caffein), go out to give a fast return to the apple (it activates the cerebral circulation), or makes a few cards of review (flashcards).
- Test and decides: you do not create to me nor you create to Dunlosky on feet juntillas. Its fantastic revision has provided us a valuation of the scientific evidence available, but each student is a world. The study techniques are to YOUR service and not the other way around. You test and uses what it works to you here and now.
AND ARE YOU, PRONADOR OR SUBRAYADOR? HE LEAVES YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE COMMENTARIES
Other entrances on study techniques:
- 2/8 mental Images
- 3/8 comparative Tables
- 4/8 Releer
- 5/8 To examine to you
- 6/8 Espaciar reviews
- 7/8 Interleave
- 8/8 Autoexplicaci³n
- Lorch RF. Text-signaling devices and to their effects on reading and memory processes. Educational Psychology Review 1989; 1:209-234.
- Dunlosky J, Rawson KA, Marsh EX, Nathan MJ, Willinghamd DT. Improving students' learning with effective learning techniques: Educational Promising directions from cognitive and psychology. Psychological Science in the Public Interest 2013; 14:4-58.