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#learning #memo
Do not learn if you do not understand

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
will proceed with learning using spaced repetition, i.e. you will not just learn once but you will repeat the material optimally (as in SuperMemo). The 20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning <span>Do not learn if you do not understand Trying to learn things you do not understand may seem like an utmost waste of time. Still, an amazing proportion of students commit the offence of learning without comprehension. Very of




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Learn before you memorize

Before you proceed with memorizing individual facts and rules, you need to build an overall picture of the learned knowledge. Only when individual pieces fit to build a single coherent structure will you be able to dramatically reduce the learning time. This is closely related to the problem of comprehension mentioned in Rule 1: Do not learn if you do not understand. A single separated piece of your big picture is like a single German word in the textbook of history.

Do not start from memorizing loosely related facts! First read a chapter in your book that puts them together (e.g. the principles of the internal combustion engine). Only then proceed with learning using individual questions and answers (e.g. What moves the pistons in the internal combustion engine?), etc.

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
and you may tend to blame yourself for lack of comprehension. Soon you may pollute your learning process with a great deal of useless material that treacherously makes you believe "it will be useful some day". <span>Learn before you memorize Before you proceed with memorizing individual facts and rules, you need to build an overall picture of the learned knowledge . Only when individual pieces fit to build a single coherent structure will you be able to dramatically reduce the learning time. This is closely related to the problem of comprehension mentioned in Rule 1: Do not learn if you do not understand. A single separated piece of your big picture is like a single German word in the textbook of history. Do not start from memorizing loosely related facts! First read a chapter in your book that puts them together (e.g. the principles of the internal combustion engine). Only then proceed with learning using individual questions and answers (e.g. What moves the pistons in the internal combustion engine?), etc. Build upon the basics The picture of the learned whole (as discussed in Rule 2: Learn before you memorize) does not have to be complete to the last detail. Just the opposite,




#learning #memo

Build upon the basics

The picture of the learned whole (as discussed in Rule 2: Learn before you memorize) does not have to be complete to the last detail. Just the opposite, the simpler the picture the better. The shorter the initial chapter of your book the better. Simple models are easier to comprehend. You can always build upon them later on.

Do not neglect the basics. Memorizing seemingly obvious things is not a waste of time! Basics may also appear volatile and the cost of memorizing easy things is little.

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
t puts them together (e.g. the principles of the internal combustion engine). Only then proceed with learning using individual questions and answers (e.g. What moves the pistons in the internal combustion engine?), etc. <span>Build upon the basics The picture of the learned whole (as discussed in Rule 2: Learn before you memorize) does not have to be complete to the last detail. Just the opposite, the simpler the picture the better. The shorter the initial chapter of your book the better. Simple models are easier to comprehend. You can always build upon them later on. Do not neglect the basics. Memorizing seemingly obvious things is not a waste of time! Basics may also appear volatile and the cost of memorizing easy things is little. Better err on the safe side. Remember that usually you spend 50% of your time repeating just 3-5% of the learned material! Basics are usually easy to retain and take a tiny proportion of




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Stick to the minimum information principle

The material you learn must be formulated in as simple way as it is only possible.

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
t usually you spend 50% of your time repeating just 3-5% of the learned material! Basics are usually easy to retain and take a tiny proportion of your time. However, each memory lapse on a basic fact can be very costly! <span>Stick to the minimum information principle The material you learn must be formulated in as simple way as it is only possible. Simplicity does not have to imply losing information and skipping the difficult part. Simplicity is imperative due to the way the brain works. There are two main reasons for which knowle




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Simple is easy

By definition, simple material is easy to remember. This comes from the fact that its simplicity makes is easy for the brain to process in always it the same way. Imagine a labyrinth. When making a repetition of a piece of material, your brain is running through a labyrinth (you can view a neural network as a tangle of paths). While running through the labyrinth, the brain leaves a track on the walls. If it can run in only one unique way, the path is continuous and easy to follow. If there are many combinations, each run may leave a different trace that will interfere with other traces making it difficult to find the exit. The same happens on the cellular level with different synaptic connections being activated at each repetition of complex material.

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
possible. Simplicity does not have to imply losing information and skipping the difficult part. Simplicity is imperative due to the way the brain works. There are two main reasons for which knowledge must be simple: <span>Simple is easy By definition, simple material is easy to remember. This comes from the fact that its simplicity makes is easy for the brain to process in always it the same way. Imagine a labyrinth. When making a repetition of a piece of material, your brain is running through a labyrinth (you can view a neural network as a tangle of paths). While running through the labyrinth, the brain leaves a track on the walls. If it can run in only one unique way, the path is continuous and easy to follow. If there are many combinations, each run may leave a different trace that will interfere with other traces making it difficult to find the exit. The same happens on the cellular level with different synaptic connections being activated at each repetition of complex material. Repetitions of simple items are easier to schedule I assume you will make repetitions of the learned material using optimum inter-repetition intervals (as in SuperMemo). If




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Repetitions of simple items are easier to schedule.

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
nt trace that will interfere with other traces making it difficult to find the exit. The same happens on the cellular level with different synaptic connections being activated at each repetition of complex material. <span>Repetitions of simple items are easier to schedule I assume you will make repetitions of the learned material using optimum inter-repetition intervals (as in SuperMemo). If you consider an item that is composed of two sub-items, you will




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Ill-formulated knowledge - Complex and wordy

Q: What are the characteristics of the Dead Sea?
A: Salt lake located on the border between Israel and Jordan. Its shoreline is the lowest point on the Earth's surface, averaging 396 m below sea level. It is 74 km long. It is seven times as salty (30% by volume) as the ocean. Its density keeps swimmers afloat. Only simple organisms can live in its saline waters

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
to greatly outweigh the cost of (1) forgetting the complex item again and again, (2) repeating it in excessively short intervals or (3) actually remembering it only in part! Here is a striking example: <span>Ill-formulated knowledge - Complex and wordy Q: What are the characteristics of the Dead Sea? A: Salt lake located on the border between Israel and Jordan. Its shoreline is the lowest point on the Earth's surface, averaging 396 m below sea level. It is 74 km long. It is seven times as salty (30% by volume) as the ocean. Its density keeps swimmers afloat. Only simple organisms can live in its saline waters Well-formulated knowledge - Simple and specific Q: Where is the Dead Sea located? A: on the border between Israel and Jordan &




#learning #memo
Well-formulated knowledge - Simple and specific

Q: Where is the Dead Sea located?
A: on the border between Israel and Jordan

Q: What is the lowest point on the Earth's surface?
A: The Dead Sea shoreline

Q: What is the average level on which the Dead Sea is located?
A: 400 meters (below sea level)

Q: How long is the Dead Sea?
A: 70 km

Q: How much saltier is the Dead Sea as compared with the oceans?
A: 7 times

Q: What is the volume content of salt in the Dead Sea?
A: 30%

Q: Why can the Dead Sea keep swimmers afloat?
A: due to high salt content

Q: Why is the Dead Sea called Dead?
A: because only simple organisms can live in it

Q: Why only simple organisms can live in the Dead Sea?
A: because of high salt content

Note in the example above how short the questions are. Note also that the answers are even shorter! We want a minimum amount of information to be retrieved from memory in a single repetition! We want answer to be as short as imaginably possible!

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
he Earth's surface, averaging 396 m below sea level. It is 74 km long. It is seven times as salty (30% by volume) as the ocean. Its density keeps swimmers afloat. Only simple organisms can live in its saline waters <span>Well-formulated knowledge - Simple and specific Q: Where is the Dead Sea located? A: on the border between Israel and Jordan Q: What is the lowest point on the Earth's surface? A: The Dead Sea shoreline Q: What is the average level on which the Dead Sea is located? A: 400 meters (below sea level) Q: How long is the Dead Sea? A: 70 km Q: How much saltier is the Dead Sea as compared with the oceans? A: 7 times Q: What is the volume content of salt in the Dead Sea? A: 30% Q: Why can the Dead Sea keep swimmers afloat? A: due to high salt content Q: Why is the Dead Sea called Dead? A: because only simple organisms can live in it Q: Why only simple organisms can live in the Dead Sea? A: because of high salt content You might want to experiment and try to learn two subjects using the two above approaches and see for yourself what advantage is brought by minimum information principle. This is particu




#learning #memo
the longer the time you need to remember knowledge, the more you benefit from simplifying your items!

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
You might want to experiment and try to learn two subjects using the two above approaches and see for yourself what advantage is brought by minimum information principle. This is particularly visible in the long perspective, i.e. <span>the longer the time you need to remember knowledge, the more you benefit from simplifying your items ! Note in the example above how short the questions are. Note also that the answers are even shorter! We want a minimum amount of information to be retrieved from memory in a single repeti




#learning #memo
Cloze deletion is easy and effective

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
to the blackboard by your teachers. I bet, however, that shining in front of the class is not your ultimate goal in learning. To see how to cope with recitations and poems, read further (section devoted to enumerations) <span>Cloze deletion is easy and effective Cloze deletion is a sentence with its parts missing and replaced by three dots. Cloze deletion exercise is an exercise that uses cloze deletion to ask the student to fill in the gaps mar




#learning #memo
If you are a beginner and if you find it difficult to stick to the minimum information principle, use cloze deletion! If you are an advanced user, you will also like cloze deletion. It is a quick and effective method of converting textbook knowledge into knowledge that can be subject to learning based on spaced repetition. Cloze deletion makes the core of the fast reading and learning technique called incremental reading.

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
d by three dots. Cloze deletion exercise is an exercise that uses cloze deletion to ask the student to fill in the gaps marked with the three dots. For example, Bill ...[name] was the second US president to go through impeachment. <span>If you are a beginner and if you find it difficult to stick to the minimum information principle, use cloze deletion! If you are an advanced user, you will also like cloze deletion. It is a quick and effective method of converting textbook knowledge into knowledge that can be subject to learning based on spaced repetition. Cloze deletion makes the core of the fast reading and learning technique called incremental reading. Ill-formulated knowledge - Complex and wordy Q: What was the history of the Kaleida company? A: Kaleida, funded to the tune of $40 million by




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Ill-formulated knowledge - Complex and wordy

Q: What was the history of the Kaleida company?

A: Kaleida, funded to the tune of $40 million by Apple Computer and IBM in 1991. Hyped as a red-hot startup, Kaleida's mission was to create a multimedia programming language It finally produced one, called Script X. But it took three years. Meanwhile, companies such as Macromedia and Asymetrix had snapped up all the business. Kaleida closed in 1995

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
and effective method of converting textbook knowledge into knowledge that can be subject to learning based on spaced repetition. Cloze deletion makes the core of the fast reading and learning technique called incremental reading. <span>Ill-formulated knowledge - Complex and wordy Q: What was the history of the Kaleida company? A: Kaleida, funded to the tune of $40 million by Apple Computer and IBM in 1991. Hyped as a red-hot startup, Kaleida's mission was to create a multimedia programming language It finally produced one, called Script X. But it took three years. Meanwhile, companies such as Macromedia and Asymetrix had snapped up all the business. Kaleida closed in 1995 Well-formulated knowledge - Simple cloze deletion Q: Kaleida was funded to the tune of ...(amount) by Apple Computer and IBM in 1991 A: $40 mi




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Well-formulated knowledge - Simple cloze deletion

Q: Kaleida was funded to the tune of ...(amount) by Apple Computer and IBM in 1991
A: $40 million

Q: Kaleida was funded to the tune of $40 million by ...(companies) in 1991
A: Apple and IBM

Q: Kaleida was funded to the tune of $40 million by Apple Computer and IBM in ... (year)
A: 1991

Q: ...(company) mission was to create a multimedia programming language. It finally produced one, called Script X. But it took three years
A: Kaleida's

Q: Kaleida's mission was to create a ... It finally produced one, called Script X. But it took three years
A: multimedia programming language

Q: Kaleida's mission was to create a multimedia programming language. It finally produced one, called ... But it took three years
A: Script X

Q: Kaleida's mission was to create a multimedia programming language. It finally produced one, called Script X. But it took ...(time)
A: three years

Q: Kaleida's mission was to create a multimedia programming language: Script X. But it took three years. Meanwhile, companies such as ... had snapped up all the business
A: Macromedia/Asymetrix

Q: Kaleida's mission was to create Script X. But it took three years. Meanwhile, companies such as Macromedia and Asymetrix had snapped up all the business. Kaleida closed in ...(year)
A: 1995

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
ate a multimedia programming language It finally produced one, called Script X. But it took three years. Meanwhile, companies such as Macromedia and Asymetrix had snapped up all the business. Kaleida closed in 1995 <span>Well-formulated knowledge - Simple cloze deletion Q: Kaleida was funded to the tune of ...(amount) by Apple Computer and IBM in 1991 A: $40 million Q: Kaleida was funded to the tune of $40 million by ...(companies) in 1991 A: Apple and IBM Q: Kaleida was funded to the tune of $40 million by Apple Computer and IBM in ... (year) A: 1991 Q: ...(company) mission was to create a multimedia programming language. It finally produced one, called Script X. But it took three years A: Kaleida's Q: Kaleida's mission was to create a ... It finally produced one, called Script X. But it took three years A: multimedia programming language Q: Kaleida's mission was to create a multimedia programming language. It finally produced one, called ... But it took three years A: Script X Q: Kaleida's mission was to create a multimedia programming language. It finally produced one, called Script X. But it took ...(time) A: three years Q: Kaleida's mission was to create a multimedia programming language: Script X. But it took three years. Meanwhile, companies such as ... had snapped up all the business A: Macromedia/Asymetrix Q: Kaleida's mission was to create Script X. But it took three years. Meanwhile, companies such as Macromedia and Asymetrix had snapped up all the business. Kaleida closed in ...(year) A: 1995 Optional: SuperMemo Recipe: SuperMemo 2004 SuperMemo 2000 SuperMemo 9 Creating




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Use imagery

Visual cortex is that part of the brain in which visual stimuli are interpreted. It has been very well developed in the course of evolution and that is why we say one picture is worth a thousand words. Indeed if you look at the number of details kept in a picture and the easiness with which your memory can retain them, you will notice that our verbal processing power is greatly inferior as compared with the visual processing power. The same refers to memory. A graphic representation of information is usually far less volatile

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
e answer field Paste the text cut in Step 5 (e.g. with Shift+Ins or Ctrl+V). Your first item is ready Press PgUp to go back to the outline item created in Step 2 Goto Step 3 and continue adding new items <span>Use imagery Visual cortex is that part of the brain in which visual stimuli are interpreted. It has been very well developed in the course of evolution and that is why we say one picture is worth a thousand words. Indeed if you look at the number of details kept in a picture and the easiness with which your memory can retain them, you will notice that our verbal processing power is greatly inferior as compared with the visual processing power. The same refers to memory. A graphic representation of information is usually far less volatile. Usually it takes much less time to formulate a simple question-and-answer pair than to find or produce a neat graphic image. This is why you will probably alw




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Well-employed mind map images will greatly reduce your learning time in areas such as anatomy, geography, geometry, chemistry, history, and many more.

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
Usually it takes much less time to formulate a simple question-and-answer pair than to find or produce a neat graphic image. This is why you will probably always have to weigh up cost and profits in using graphics in your learning material. <span>Well-employed images will greatly reduce your learning time in areas such as anatomy, geography, geometry, chemistry, history, and many more. The power of imagery explains why the concept of Tony Buzan's mind maps is so popular. A mind map is an abstract picture in which connections between its components reflect the logical c




#has-images #learning #memo

The power of imagery explains why the concept of Tony Buzan's mind maps is so popular. A mind map is an abstract picture in which connections between its components reflect the logical connections between individual concepts.

Less beneficial formulation

Q: What African country is located between Kenya, Zambia and Mozambique?
A: Tanzania

More effective formulation

Q: What African country is marked white on the map?

A: Tanzania

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
ly always have to weigh up cost and profits in using graphics in your learning material. Well-employed images will greatly reduce your learning time in areas such as anatomy, geography, geometry, chemistry, history, and many more. <span>The power of imagery explains why the concept of Tony Buzan's mind maps is so popular. A mind map is an abstract picture in which connections between its components reflect the logical connections between individual concepts. Less beneficial formulation Q: What African country is located between Kenya, Zambia and Mozambique? A: Tanzania More effective formulation Q: What African country is marked white on the map? A: Tanzania Use mnemonic techniques Mnemonic techniques are various techniques that make remembering easier. They are often amazingly effective. For most students, a picture of a 10-year




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Use mnemonic techniques

Mnemonic techniques are various techniques that make remembering easier.

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
More effective formulation Q: What African country is marked white on the map? A: Tanzania <span>Use mnemonic techniques Mnemonic techniques are various techniques that make remembering easier. They are often amazingly effective. For most students, a picture of a 10-year-old memorizing a sequence of 50 playing cards verges on discovering a young genius. It is very surprising th




#learning #memo

There have been dozens of books written about mnemonic techniques. Probably those written by Tony Buzan are most popular and respected. You can search the web for keywords such as: mind maps, peg lists, mnemonic techniques, etc.

Experience shows that with a dose of training you will need to consciously apply mnemonic techniques in only 1-5% of your items. With time, using mnemonic techniques will become automatic!

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
rizing knowledge! This is indeed the easier part. The bottleneck lies in retaining memories for months, years or for lifetime! To accomplish the latter you will need SuperMemo and the compliance with the 20 rules presented herein. <span>There have been dozens of books written about mnemonic techniques. Probably those written by Tony Buzan are most popular and respected. You can search the web for keywords such as: mind maps, peg lists, mnemonic techniques, etc. Experience shows that with a dose of training you will need to consciously apply mnemonic techniques in only 1-5% of your items. With time, using mnemonic techniques will become automatic! Exemplary mind map: Six Steps mind map generated in Mind Manager 3.5, imported to SuperMemo 2004, courtesy of John England, TeamLink Australia)




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Graphic deletion is as good as cloze deletion

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
ome automatic! Exemplary mind map: Six Steps mind map generated in Mind Manager 3.5, imported to SuperMemo 2004, courtesy of John England, TeamLink Australia) <span>Graphic deletion is as good as cloze deletion Graphic deletion works like cloze deletion but instead of a missing phrase it uses a missing image component. For example, when learning anatomy, you might present a complex illustration




#has-images #learning #memo

Exemplary graphic deletion example:

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
missing. The student's job is to name the missing area. The same illustration can be used to formulate 10-20 items! Each item can ask about a specific subcomponent of the image. Graphic deletion works great in learning geography! <span>Exemplary graphic deletion: SuperMemo 2000/2002 SuperMemo 99 This is how you can quickly generate graphic deletion using a picture from the clipboard: Press Shift+Ins to paste the pict




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Avoid sets

A set is a collection of objects. For example, a set of fruits might be an apple, a pear and a peach. A classic example of an item that is difficult to learn is an item that asks for the list of the members of a set. For example: What countries belong to the European Union? You should avoid such items whenever possible due to the high cost of retaining memories based on sets.

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
the collection Brain Anatomy available from SuperMemo Library and on SuperMemo MegaMix CD-ROM uses the above technique A more detailed recipe for creating occlusion tests is presented in: Flow of knowledge <span>Avoid sets A set is a collection of objects. For example, a set of fruits might be an apple, a pear and a peach. A classic example of an item that is difficult to learn is an item that asks for the list of the members of a set. For example: What countries belong to the European Union? You should avoid such items whenever possible due to the high cost of retaining memories based on sets. If sets are absolutely necessary, you should always try to convert them into enumerations. Enumerations are ordered lists of members (for example, the alphabetical list of the members of




#learning #memo
If sets are absolutely necessary, you should always try to convert them into enumerations. Enumerations are ordered lists of members (for example, the alphabetical list of the members of the EU). Enumerations are also hard to remember and should be avoided. However, the great advantage of enumerations over sets is that they are ordered and they force the brain to list them always in the same order.

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
is difficult to learn is an item that asks for the list of the members of a set. For example: What countries belong to the European Union? You should avoid such items whenever possible due to the high cost of retaining memories based on sets. <span>If sets are absolutely necessary, you should always try to convert them into enumerations. Enumerations are ordered lists of members (for example, the alphabetical list of the members of the EU). Enumerations are also hard to remember and should be avoided. However, the great advantage of enumerations over sets is that they are ordered and they force the brain to list them always in the same order. An ordered list of countries contains more information than the set of countries that can be listed in any order. Paradoxically, despite containing more information, enumerations are eas




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you should always try to make sure your brain works in the exactly same way at each repetition. In the case of sets, listing members in varying order at each repetition has a disastrous effect on memory. It is nearly impossible to memorize sets containing more than five members without the use of mnemonic techniques, enumeration, grouping, etc.

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
he set of countries that can be listed in any order. Paradoxically, despite containing more information, enumerations are easier to remember. The reason for this has been discussed earlier in the context of the minimum information principle: <span>you should always try to make sure your brain works in the exactly same way at each repetition . In the case of sets, listing members in varying order at each repetition has a disastrous effect on memory. It is nearly impossible to memorize sets containing more than five members without the use of mnemonic techniques, enumeration, grouping, etc. Despite this claim, you will often succeed due to subconsciously mastered techniques that help you go around this problem. Those techniques, however, will fail you all too often. For tha




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Ill-formulated knowledge - Sets are unacceptable!

Q: What countries belong to the European Union (2002)?

A: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
s that help you go around this problem. Those techniques, however, will fail you all too often. For that reason: Avoid sets! If you need them badly, convert them into enumerations and use techniques for dealing with enumerations <span>Ill-formulated knowledge - Sets are unacceptable! Q: What countries belong to the European Union (2002)? A: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom Well-formulated knowledge - Converting a set into a meaningful listing Q: Which country hosted a meeting to consider the creation of a European Community of




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Well-formulated knowledge - Converting a set into a meaningful listing

Q: Which country hosted a meeting to consider the creation of a European Community of Defence in 1951?
A: France

Q: Which countries apart from France joined the European Coal and Steel Community in 1952?
A: Germany, Italy and the Benelux

Q: What countries make up the Benelux?
A: Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands

Q: Whose membership did Charles de Gaulle oppose in the 1960s?
A: that of UK

Q: Which countries joined the EEC along the UK in 1973?
A: Ireland and Denmark

Q: Which country joined the EEC in 1981?
A: Greece

Q: Which countries joined the EEC in 1986?
A: Spain and Portugal

Q: Which countries joined the EU in 1995?
A: Austria, Sweden and Finland

Q: What was the historic course of expansion of the European Union membership?
A: (1) France and (2) Germany, Italy and the Benelux, (3) UK and (4) Ireland and Denmark, (5) Greece, (6) Spain and Portugal and (7) Austria, Sweden and Finland

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
ntries belong to the European Union (2002)? A: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom <span>Well-formulated knowledge - Converting a set into a meaningful listing Q: Which country hosted a meeting to consider the creation of a European Community of Defence in 1951? A: France Q: Which countries apart from France joined the European Coal and Steel Community in 1952? A: Germany, Italy and the Benelux Q: What countries make up the Benelux? A: Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands Q: Whose membership did Charles de Gaulle oppose in the 1960s? A: that of UK Q: Which countries joined the EEC along the UK in 1973? A: Ireland and Denmark Q: Which country joined the EEC in 1981? A: Greece Q: Which countries joined the EEC in 1986? A: Spain and Portugal Q: Which countries joined the EU in 1995? A: Austria, Sweden and Finland Q: What was the historic course of expansion of the European Union membership? A: (1) France and (2) Germany, Italy and the Benelux, (3) UK and (4) Ireland and Denmark, (5) Greece, (6) Spain and Portugal and (7) Austria, Sweden and Finland Note that in the example above, we converted a 15-member set into 9 items, five of which are 2-3 member sets, and one is a six member enumeration. Put it to your SuperMemo, and see how e




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Avoid enumerations

Enumerations are also an example of classic items that are hard to learn. They are still far more acceptable than sets. Avoid enumerations wherever you can. If you cannot avoid them, deal with them using cloze deletions (overlapping cloze deletions if possible). Learning the alphabet can be a good example of an overlapping cloze deletion:

Hard to learn item

Q: What is the sequence of letters in the alphabet?
A: abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz

Easy to learn items

Q: What three letters does the alphabet begin with?
A: ABC

Q: Fill out the missing letters of the alphabet A ... ... ... E
A: B, C, D

Q: Fill out the missing letters of the alphabet B ... ... ... F
A: C, D, E

Q: Fill out the missing letters of the alphabet C ... ... ... G
A: D, E, F

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
ng mnemonic techniques to memorize the final seven-member enumeration (i.e. the last of the questions above). However, you should take those steps only if you have any problems with retaining the proposed set in memory. <span>Avoid enumerations Enumerations are also an example of classic items that are hard to learn. They are still far more acceptable than sets. Avoid enumerations wherever you can. If you cannot avoid them, deal with them using cloze deletions (overlapping cloze deletions if possible). Learning the alphabet can be a good example of an overlapping cloze deletion: Hard to learn item Q: What is the sequence of letters in the alphabet? A: abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz Easy to learn items Q: What three letters does the alphabet begin with? A: ABC Q: Fill out the missing letters of the alphabet A ... ... ... E A: B, C, D Q: Fill out the missing letters of the alphabet B ... ... ... F A: C, D, E Q: Fill out the missing letters of the alphabet C ... ... ... G A: D, E, F The above items will make learning the alphabet much faster. The greatest advantage of the above approach is that is it easier for psychological reasons: the student does not have to sto




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Combat interference

When you learn about similar things you often confuse them. For example, you may have problems distinguishing between the meanings of the words historic and historical.

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
vement (so that his place shall never be), etc. etc. Does it all sound artificial? It does! But you will never know how effective this approach is until you try it by yourself! <span>Combat interference When you learn about similar things you often confuse them. For example, you may have problems distinguishing between the meanings of the words historic and historical. This will even be more visible if you memorize lots of numbers, e.g. optimum dosages of drugs in pharmacotherapy. If knowledge of one item makes it harder to remember another item, we ha




#learning #memo
If knowledge of one item makes it harder to remember another item, we have a case of memory interference. You can often remember an item for years with straight excellent grades until ... you memorize another item that makes it nearly impossible to remember either! For example, if you learn geography and you memorize that the country located between Venezuela, Suriname and Brazil is Guyana, you are likely to easily recall this fact for years with just a couple of repetitions. However, once you add similar items asking about the location of all these countries, and French Guyana, and Colombia and more, you will suddenly notice strong memory interference and you may experience unexpected forgetting. In simple terms: you will get confused about what is what.

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
often confuse them. For example, you may have problems distinguishing between the meanings of the words historic and historical. This will even be more visible if you memorize lots of numbers, e.g. optimum dosages of drugs in pharmacotherapy. <span>If knowledge of one item makes it harder to remember another item, we have a case of memory interference . You can often remember an item for years with straight excellent grades until ... you memorize another item that makes it nearly impossible to remember either! For example, if you learn geography and you memorize that the country located between Venezuela, Suriname and Brazil is Guyana, you are likely to easily recall this fact for years with just a couple of repetitions. However, once you add similar items asking about the location of all these countries, and French Guyana, and Colombia and more, you will suddenly notice strong memory interference and you may experience unexpected forgetting. In simple terms: you will get confused about what is what. Interference is probably the single greatest cause of forgetting in collections of an experienced user of SuperMemo. You can never be sure when it strikes, and the only hermetic procedur




#learning #memo

Still you should do your best to prevent interference before it takes its toll. This will make your learning process less stressful and mentally bearable. Here are some tips:

  • make items as unambiguous as possible
  • stick to the minimum information principle (many of the remaining rules in this text are based on avoiding interference!)
  • eliminate interference as soon as you spot it, i.e. before it becomes your obsession (e.g. as soon as you see the word inept you think "I know the meanings of inept and inapt but I will never know which is which!")

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
knowledge. Interference can also occur between remotely related items like Guyana, Guyard and Guyenne, as well as Guyana, kayman and ... aspirin. It may work differently for you and for your colleague. It is very hard to predict. <span>Still you should do your best to prevent interference before it takes its toll. This will make your learning process less stressful and mentally bearable. Here are some tips: make items as unambiguous as possible stick to the minimum information principle (many of the remaining rules in this text are based on avoiding interference!) eliminate interference as soon as you spot it, i.e. before it becomes your obsession (e.g. as soon as you see the word inept you think "I know the meanings of inept and inapt but I will never know which is which!") in SuperMemo use View : Other browsers : Leeches (Shift+F3) to regularly review and eliminate most difficult items read more: Memory interference Op




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Optimize wording

The wording of your items must be optimized to make sure that in minimum time the right bulb in your brain lights up. This will reduce error rates, increase specificity, reduce response time, and help your concentration.

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
and inapt but I will never know which is which!") in SuperMemo use View : Other browsers : Leeches (Shift+F3) to regularly review and eliminate most difficult items read more: Memory interference <span>Optimize wording The wording of your items must be optimized to make sure that in minimum time the right bulb in your brain lights up. This will reduce error rates, increase specificity, reduce response time, and help your concentration. Less optimum item: cloze deletion that is too wordy Q: Aldus invented desktop publishing in 1985 with PageMaker. Aldus had little competition for years, and




#learning #memo
Less optimum item: cloze deletion that is too wordy

Q: Aldus invented desktop publishing in 1985 with PageMaker. Aldus had little competition for years, and so failed to improve. Then Denver-based ... blew past. PageMaker, now owned by Adobe, remains No. 2

A: Quark

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
13; The wording of your items must be optimized to make sure that in minimum time the right bulb in your brain lights up. This will reduce error rates, increase specificity, reduce response time, and help your concentration. <span>Less optimum item: cloze deletion that is too wordy Q: Aldus invented desktop publishing in 1985 with PageMaker. Aldus had little competition for years, and so failed to improve. Then Denver-based ... blew past. PageMaker, now owned by Adobe, remains No. 2 A: Quark Better item: fewer words will speed up learning Q: Aldus invented desktop publishing in 1985 with PageMaker but failed to improve. Then ... blew past (PageM




#learning #memo
Better item: fewer words will speed up learning

Q: Aldus invented desktop publishing in 1985 with PageMaker but failed to improve. Then ... blew past (PageMaker remains No. 2)
A: Quark

Or better:

Q: Aldus invented desktop publishing with PageMaker but failed to improve. It was soon outdistanced by ...
A: Quark

Or better:

Q: PageMaker failed to improve and was outdistanced by ...
A: Quark

Or better:

Q: PageMaker lost ground to ...
A: Quark

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
nted desktop publishing in 1985 with PageMaker. Aldus had little competition for years, and so failed to improve. Then Denver-based ... blew past. PageMaker, now owned by Adobe, remains No. 2 A: Quark <span>Better item: fewer words will speed up learning Q: Aldus invented desktop publishing in 1985 with PageMaker but failed to improve. Then ... blew past (PageMaker remains No. 2) A: Quark Or better: Q: Aldus invented desktop publishing with PageMaker but failed to improve. It was soon outdistanced by ... A: Quark Or better: Q: PageMaker failed to improve and was outdistanced by ... A: Quark Or better: Q: PageMaker lost ground to ... A: Quark Note that the loss of information content in this item is inconsequential. During repetition you are only supposed to learn the name: Quark. You should not hope that the trailing message




#learning #memo

Personalize and provide examples

One of the most effective ways of enhancing memories is to provide them with a link to your personal life. In the example below you will save time if you use a personal reference rather than trying to paint a picture that would aptly illustrate the question

Harder item

Q: What is the name of a soft bed without arms or back?
A: divan

Easier item

Q: What is the name of a soft bed without arms or back? (like the one at Robert's parents)
A: divan

If you remember exactly what kind of soft bed can be found in Robert's parents' apartment you will save time by not having to dig exactly into the semantics of the definition and/or looking for an appropriate graphic illustration for the piece of furniture in question. Personalized examples are very resistant to interference and can greatly reduce your learning time

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
Item that uses interfering memories to amplify the correct meaning Q: derog: adj: shamelessly humble and supplicant A: cringing <span>Personalize and provide examples One of the most effective ways of enhancing memories is to provide them with a link to your personal life. In the example below you will save time if you use a personal reference rather than trying to paint a picture that would aptly illustrate the question Harder item Q: What is the name of a soft bed without arms or back? A: divan Easier item Q: What is the name of a soft bed without arms or back? (like the one at Robert's parents) A: divan If you remember exactly what kind of soft bed can be found in Robert's parents' apartment you will save time by not having to dig exactly into the semantics of the definition and/or looking for an appropriate graphic illustration for the piece of furniture in question. Personalized examples are very resistant to interference and can greatly reduce your learning time Rely on emotional states If you can illustrate your items with examples that are vivid or even shocking, you are likely to enhance retrieval (as long as you do not overuse sa




#learning #memo

Rely on emotional states

If you can illustrate your items with examples that are vivid or even shocking, you are likely to enhance retrieval (as long as you do not overuse same tools and fall victim of interference!). Your items may assume bizarre form; however, as long as they are produced for your private consumption, the end justifies the means. Use objects that evoke very specific and strong emotions: love, sex, war, your late relative, object of your infatuation, Linda Tripp, Nelson Mandela, etc. It is well known that emotional states can facilitate recall; however, you should make sure that you are not deprived of the said emotional clues at the moment when you need to retrieve a given memory in a real-life situation

Harder item

Q: a light and joking conversation
A: banter

Easier item

Q: a light and joking conversation (e.g. Mandela and de Klerk in 1992)
A: banter

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
mantics of the definition and/or looking for an appropriate graphic illustration for the piece of furniture in question. Personalized examples are very resistant to interference and can greatly reduce your learning time <span>Rely on emotional states If you can illustrate your items with examples that are vivid or even shocking, you are likely to enhance retrieval (as long as you do not overuse same tools and fall victim of interference!). Your items may assume bizarre form; however, as long as they are produced for your private consumption, the end justifies the means. Use objects that evoke very specific and strong emotions: love, sex, war, your late relative, object of your infatuation, Linda Tripp, Nelson Mandela, etc. It is well known that emotional states can facilitate recall; however, you should make sure that you are not deprived of the said emotional clues at the moment when you need to retrieve a given memory in a real-life situation Harder item Q: a light and joking conversation A: banter Easier item Q: a light and joking conversation (e.g. Mandela and de Klerk in 1992) A: banter If you have vivid and positive memories related to the meetings between Nelson Mandela and F.W. de Klerk, you are likely to quickly grasp the meaning of the definition of banter. Without




#learning #memo

Context cues simplify wording

You can use categories in SuperMemo 2000/2002, provide different branches of knowledge with a different look (different template), use reference labels (Title, Author, Date, etc.) and clearly label subcategories (e.g. with strings such as chem for chemistry, math for mathematics, etc.). This will help you simplify the wording of your items as you will be relieved from the need to specify the context of your question. In the example below, the well-defined prefix bioch: saves you a lot of typing and a lot of reading while still making sure you do not confuse the abbreviation GRE with Graduate Record Examination. Note that in the recommended case, you process the item starting from the label bioch which puts your brain immediately in the right context. While processing the lesser optimum case, you will waste precious milliseconds on flashing the standard meaning of GRE and ... what is worse ... you will light up the wrong areas of your brain that will now perhaps be prone to interference!

Wordy item can cause accidental lapses through interference

Q: What does GRE stand for in biochemistry?
A: glucocorticoid response element

Context-labeled items increase success rate

Q: bioch: GRE
A: glucocorticoid response element

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
oughly equivalent to 25-fold saving in time in the period of 20 years ! Such examples are not rare! They are most effectively handled with the all the preceding rules targeted on simplicity and against the interference <span>Context cues simplify wording You can use categories in SuperMemo 2000/2002, provide different branches of knowledge with a different look (different template), use reference labels (Title, Author, Date, etc.) and clearly label subcategories (e.g. with strings such as chem for chemistry, math for mathematics, etc.). This will help you simplify the wording of your items as you will be relieved from the need to specify the context of your question. In the example below, the well-defined prefix bioch: saves you a lot of typing and a lot of reading while still making sure you do not confuse the abbreviation GRE with Graduate Record Examination. Note that in the recommended case, you process the item starting from the label bioch which puts your brain immediately in the right context. While processing the lesser optimum case, you will waste precious milliseconds on flashing the standard meaning of GRE and ... what is worse ... you will light up the wrong areas of your brain that will now perhaps be prone to interference! Wordy item can cause accidental lapses through interference Q: What does GRE stand for in biochemistry? A: glucocorticoid response element Context-labeled items increase success rate Q: bioch: GRE A: glucocorticoid response element Redundancy does not contradict minimum information principle Redundancy in simple terms is more information than needed or duplicate information, etc. Redundancy does not ha




Redundancy does not contradict minimum information principle

Redundancy in simple terms is more information than needed or duplicate information, etc. Redundancy does not have to contradict the minimum information principle and may even be welcome. The problem of redundancy is too wide for this short text. Here are some examples that are only to illustrate that minimum information principle cannot be understood as minimum number of characters or bits in your collections or even items:

  • passive and active approach: if you learn a foreign language, e.g. Esperanto, you will often build word pairs such as phone-telefono, language-lingvo, hope-esperanto, etc. These pairs require active recall of the foreign word. Active recall does not, however, guarantee passive recognition and you may fail with telefono-phone, lingvo-language, or esperanto-hope. Adding new elements with swapped questions and answers may in some cases be redundant but it does not contradict the minimum information principle! Your items are still as simple as possible. You just get more of them In SuperMemo 2000/2002, you can quickly generate swapped word-pair items with Duplicate (Ctrl+Alt+D) and Swap (Ctrl+Shift+S)
  • reasoning cues: you will often want to boost your reasoning ability by asking about a solution to the problem. Instead of just memorizing the answer you would like to quickly follow the reasoning steps (e.g. solve a simple mathematical equation) and generate the answer. In such a case, providing the hint on the reasoning steps in the answer will only serve helping you always follow the right path at repetitions
  • derivation steps: in more complex problems to solve, memorizing individual derivation steps is always highly recommended (e.g. solving complex mathematical problems). It is not cramming! It is making sure that the brain can always follow the fastest path while solving the problem. For more on boosting creativity and intelligence read: Roots of genius and creativity, as well as more specific: Derivation, reasoning and intelligence
  • multiple semantic representation: very often the same knowledge can be represented and viewed from different angles. Memorizing different representations of the same fact or rule is recommended in cases where a given memory is of high value. This will increase the expected recall rate (beyond that specified with the forgetting index)!
  • flexible repetition: if there are many valid responses to the same question make sure that your representation makes it possible to identify the equivalence and reward you with good grades by providing just one of the equivalent choices. For example, if you learn a language, it rarely make sense to learn all synonyms that meet a definition of a concept. It is more adequate to consider a single synonym as the sufficient answer (e.g. a mark made by ink spilt on sth = blot/blob/blotch)
  • more

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20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
corticoid response element Context-labeled items increase success rate Q: bioch: GRE A: glucocorticoid response element <span>Redundancy does not contradict minimum information principle Redundancy in simple terms is more information than needed or duplicate information, etc. Redundancy does not have to contradict the minimum information principle and may even be welcome. The problem of redundancy is too wide for this short text. Here are some examples that are only to illustrate that minimum information principle cannot be understood as minimum number of characters or bits in your collections or even items: passive and active approach : if you learn a foreign language, e.g. Esperanto, you will often build word pairs such as phone-telefono, language-lingvo, hope-esperanto, etc. These pairs require active recall of the foreign word. Active recall does not, however, guarantee passive recognition and you may fail with telefono-phone, lingvo-language, or esperanto-hope. Adding new elements with swapped questions and answers may in some cases be redundant but it does not contradict the minimum information principle! Your items are still as simple as possible. You just get more of them In SuperMemo 2000/2002, you can quickly generate swapped word-pair items with Duplicate (Ctrl+Alt+D) and Swap (Ctrl+Shift+S) reasoning cues : you will often want to boost your reasoning ability by asking about a solution to the problem. Instead of just memorizing the answer you would like to quickly follow the reasoning steps (e.g. solve a simple mathematical equation) and generate the answer. In such a case, providing the hint on the reasoning steps in the answer will only serve helping you always follow the right path at repetitions derivation steps : in more complex problems to solve, memorizing individual derivation steps is always highly recommended (e.g. solving complex mathematical problems). It is not cramming! It is making sure that the brain can always follow the fastest path while solving the problem. For more on boosting creativity and intelligence read: Roots of genius and creativity, as well as more specific: Derivation, reasoning and intelligence multiple semantic representation : very often the same knowledge can be represented and viewed from different angles. Memorizing different representations of the same fact or rule is recommended in cases where a given memory is of high value. This will increase the expected recall rate (beyond that specified with the forgetting index)! flexible repetition : if there are many valid responses to the same question make sure that your representation makes it possible to identify the equivalence and reward you with good grades by providing just one of the equivalent choices. For example, if you learn a language, it rarely make sense to learn all synonyms that meet a definition of a concept. It is more adequate to consider a single synonym as the sufficient answer (e.g. a mark made by ink spilt on sth = blot/blob/blotch) more Provide sources Except for well-tested and proven knowledge (such as 2+2=4), it is highly recommended that you include sources from which you have gathered your knowledge. In




Flashcard 150913808

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#learning #memo
Question
[...] is as good as cloze deletion


statusnot learnedmeasured difficulty37% [default]last interval [days]               
repetition number in this series0memorised on               scheduled repetition               
scheduled repetition interval               last repetition or drill

Parent (intermediate) annotation

Open it
Graphic deletion is as good as cloze deletion

Original toplevel document

20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
ome automatic! Exemplary mind map: Six Steps mind map generated in Mind Manager 3.5, imported to SuperMemo 2004, courtesy of John England, TeamLink Australia) <span>Graphic deletion is as good as cloze deletion Graphic deletion works like cloze deletion but instead of a missing phrase it uses a missing image component. For example, when learning anatomy, you might present a complex illustration







Flashcard 150913814

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#learning #memo
Question

Use

[...] are various techniques that make remembering easier.

Answer

mnemonic techniques

Mnemonic techniques


statusnot learnedmeasured difficulty37% [default]last interval [days]               
repetition number in this series0memorised on               scheduled repetition               
scheduled repetition interval               last repetition or drill

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Open it
Use mnemonic techniques Mnemonic techniques are various techniques that make remembering easier.

Original toplevel document

20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning
More effective formulation Q: What African country is marked white on the map? A: Tanzania <span>Use mnemonic techniques Mnemonic techniques are various techniques that make remembering easier. They are often amazingly effective. For most students, a picture of a 10-year-old memorizing a sequence of 50 playing cards verges on discovering a young genius. It is very surprising th







Prioritize

You will always face far more knowledge that you will be able to master. That is why prioritizing is critical for building quality knowledge in the long-term. The way you prioritize will affect the way your knowledge slots in. This will also affect the speed of learning (e.g. see: learn basics first). There are many stages at which prioritizing will take place; only few are relevant to knowledge representation, but all are important:

  1. Prioritizing sources - there will always be a number of sources of your knowledge. If you are still at student years: these will most likely be books and notes pertaining to different subjects. Otherwise you will probably rely more on journals, Internet, TV, newspapers, encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc. It is always worth being aware what is the optimum proportion of time devoted to those varied sources. As you progress with learning, you will quickly develop a good sense of which learning slots bring better results and which might be extended at the cost of others
  2. Extracting knowledge - unless you are about to pass an important exam, it nearly never makes sense to memorize whole books or whole articles. You will need to extract those parts that are most likely to impact the quality of your knowledge. You can do it by (1) marking paragraphs in a book or journal, (2) pasting relevant web pages to SuperMemo, (3) pasting relevant passages to SuperMemo, (4) typing facts and figures directly to SuperMemo notes, etc. You will need some experience before you can accurately measure how much knowledge you can indeed transfer to your brain and what degree of detail you can feasibly master. Your best way to prioritize the flow of knowledge into your memory is to use incremental reading tools
  3. Transferring knowledge to SuperMemo - you may try to stick with the 20 rules of formulating knowledge at the moment of introducing your material to SuperMemo. However, you can also literally transfer your notes or import whole files and later use the mechanisms provided by SuperMemo to determine the order of processing the imported material. Probably the best criterion for choosing between formulating or just importing is the time needed for accurately formulating the item or items. If formulation requires more knowledge, more time, comparing with other sources, etc. you can just import. Otherwise, if you believe that formulating an accurate item is a matter of seconds, formulate it
  4. Formulating items - make sure that explanatory or optional components of the answer are placed in the parentheses so that your attention is focused on the most important part of the item. The parts in the parentheses can be read after the repetition to strengthen the memory in its context
  5. Using forgetting index - you can use the forgetting index to prioritize pending items. The sequence of repetitions will naturally be determined by SuperMemo; however, you can request higher retention level for items that are more important and lower retention level for items of lower priority
  6. Learning - the process of prioritizing does not end with the onset of repetitions.

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r, you will rarely want to memorize stamping itself. If you would like to remember the changes of a given figure in time (e.g. GNP figures over a number of years), the date stamping becomes the learned knowledge itself. <span>Prioritize You will always face far more knowledge that you will be able to master. That is why prioritizing is critical for building quality knowledge in the long-term. The way you prioritize will affect the way your knowledge slots in. This will also affect the speed of learning (e.g. see: learn basics first). There are many stages at which prioritizing will take place; only few are relevant to knowledge representation, but all are important: Prioritizing sources - there will always be a number of sources of your knowledge. If you are still at student years: these will most likely be books and notes pertaining to different subjects. Otherwise you will probably rely more on journals, Internet, TV, newspapers, encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc. It is always worth being aware what is the optimum proportion of time devoted to those varied sources. As you progress with learning, you will quickly develop a good sense of which learning slots bring better results and which might be extended at the cost of others Extracting knowledge - unless you are about to pass an important exam, it nearly never makes sense to memorize whole books or whole articles. You will need to extract those parts that are most likely to impact the quality of your knowledge. You can do it by (1) marking paragraphs in a book or journal, (2) pasting relevant web pages to SuperMemo, (3) pasting relevant passages to SuperMemo, (4) typing facts and figures directly to SuperMemo notes, etc. You will need some experience before you can accurately measure how much knowledge you can indeed transfer to your brain and what degree of detail you can feasibly master. Your best way to prioritize the flow of knowledge into your memory is to use incremental reading tools Transferring knowledge to SuperMemo - you may try to stick with the 20 rules of formulating knowledge at the moment of introducing your material to SuperMemo. However, you can also literally transfer your notes or import whole files and later use the mechanisms provided by SuperMemo to determine the order of processing the imported material. Probably the best criterion for choosing between formulating or just importing is the time needed for accurately formulating the item or items. If formulation requires more knowledge, more time, comparing with other sources, etc. you can just import. Otherwise, if you believe that formulating an accurate item is a matter of seconds, formulate it Formulating items - make sure that explanatory or optional components of the answer are placed in the parentheses so that your attention is focused on the most important part of the item. The parts in the parentheses can be read after the repetition to strengthen the memory in its context Using forgetting index - you can use the forgetting index to prioritize pending items. The sequence of repetitions will naturally be determined by SuperMemo; however, you can request higher retention level for items that are more important and lower retention level for items of lower priority Learning - the process of prioritizing does not end with the onset of repetitions. Here are the tools you can use to continue setting your priorities while the learning process is under way: Remember (Ctrl+M) - re-memorize items of high priority that have