The process to remember, retaining information can be a difficult process, this especially for students or the elderly where they’re required to absorb various details, information. It becomes more difficult to retain this in subjects that they have no interest in.
This when the student finds the material boring, static, or repetitive. If there’s interest in a particular subject, they’ll retain it better since their emotions and thus memory receptors are more stimulated, which makes absorbing the information a lot easier.
So there are proven strategies, this for anyone in the learning process to develop an efficient method of better memory retention. According to advanced memory research, information is always more easily retrieved once it’s stored using a cue.
Then this “cue” can be used at the time when the information needs to be retrieved. For instance, using the acronym “HOMES” can be used when remembering the Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior.
Learning To Learn
What those who needs to remember needs to understand is how memory works, and then identify their particular profiles of memory which strengths or challenges. All students should be learning some type of memory management strategy.
Giving Direction In Different Formats
Students can learn directions better once the information is given in visual along with verbal formats. The understanding along with memorizing instructions can be checked, this by encouraging them to repeat it over and over again.
Once the directions are given out, then the meaning or the explanation of the directions are repeated repeatedly. What doing so does is it becomes helpful when enhancing memory and retention.
Instruct Students To Over-learn The Material
Students should be encouraged to “over-learn” new information. Then they should be able to retain to the point that they’re error free. What’s needed are several consecutive error free repetitions to solidify the information.
Learning Visual Images
A proven memory strategy is word substitution. The substitute word system is used for information that’s hard to visualize. For instance, the word “occipital.” This word can be converted into other words that sounds familiar and can be visualized.
The word occipital can be visualized as an exhibit hall, since it sounds similar. The student then makes a visual image of an art museum and seeing a painting of a brain with bulging eyes, as occipital is the region of the brain which controls vision.
The vocabulary word the student is attempting to remember becomes the cue for the visual image, which then cues the definition of the word.
Becoming Active Readers
To enhance better short term memory, or improving working memory when reading, instruct students to underline, highlight, or write down the key words in the margin when they’re reading the chapters.
They can then review what’s underlined, highlighted, or written when studying later. To consolidate this in their long-term memory, they can use graphic organizers or mind maps. Research has shown using graphic organizers increases memory retention.
Providing Retrieval For Students
Research has shown that long-term memory can be enhanced when engaging in retrieval practice. Taking exams is considered to be a retrieval practice. For instance, recalling information that’s been studied from long-term memory.
As a result, it can become helpful when taking practice exams. When teachers are reviewing the information this prior to the actual exam, they could ask the students questions or have them make up questions, rather than telling their students the information that needs to be learned.
Once the students are asked or encouraged to make up their own tests and then take them, it gives the teacher additional information regarding whether they know the specific information or not, or if they’re focused on information which is less important.
Priming The Memory Prior To The Teaching
Cues which prepares the students for the task of presenting can be helpful. This is referred to as priming the memory. For instance, if a reading comprehension test is given, students will generally get an idea of what’s required by discussing the vocabulary and the topic beforehand.
This allows them to focus on all of the salient information while engaging in more effective depths of processing. Advance organizers also serves this purpose as well. For older or advanced students, “Cliff Notes” or other similar study guides can often be helpful aids when priming memory.
Using Post-It Notes
It’s been known that by using the classic “Post-It” notes for jotting down information can be extremely helpful for students who may be having short-term memory issues, or having working memory challenges. These sticky notes can then be organized in a mind map.
Activating Prior Knowledge
In order to enhance the odds that students will absorb and elaborate new incoming information quicker, teachers can activate their prior knowledge and then make the new information more meaningful to them.
The easiest way of accomplishing this is by asking, “What do you know,” or “What do you want to know.”
Using All Senses
Once someone experiences the subject through multiple senses, then they’re much more likely to retain it. So by using as many senses as possible when teaching, such as seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling, the better.
Reviewing Material Before Bed
It’s found that the best time for students is to review the material directly before they going to sleep at night. There’s research which supports that information is better retained.
It’s also thought that any other task that’s performed directly after reviewing the information and prior to sleeping, such as watching TV, using technology, brushing teeth, listening to music, or getting a snack, can interfere with the consolidation of that information in memory.