Learn Better | Ulrich Boser

Summary of: Learn Better: Mastering the Skills for Success in Life, Business, and School, or, How to Become an Expert in Just About Anything
By: Ulrich Boser

Introduction

Prepare to redefine the way you learn with Ulrich Boser’s ‘Learn Better: Mastering the Skills for Success in Life, Business, and School, or, How to Become an Expert in Just About Anything’. This book breaks down the myth that learning relies solely on innate intelligence, showcasing the significance of learning strategies to elevate your learning capabilities. Get ready to enhance your knowledge retention through practical tips such as self-quizzing and techniques for improving focus. Dive into the author’s six fundamental steps of learning and unlock the potential of targeted goals and constructive feedback to optimize your learning and growth.

Mastering the Art of Learning

Discover how employing learning strategies and tools can significantly improve your ability to retain knowledge. Self-quizzing, using learning methods, and blocking out external noise can all help new ideas stick in your long-term memory.

Have you been struggling to retain new information? Did you ever think that the ability to learn was solely based on intelligence? Well, think again. Recent studies have shown that employing learning strategies can improve outcomes drastically. For instance, Anastasia Kitsantas conducted an experiment in an all-girls school in the 1980s and found that the girls who were taught throwing strategies performed better than those who were simply told to do their best.

Self-quizzing is another effective strategy for retaining knowledge. It involves repeatedly recalling and testing yourself on what you’ve been taught. Research indicates that this technique is 50 percent more effective than some other learning strategies. In fact, in a study conducted by Jeffrey Karpicke and Henry Roediger at Washington University, participants who practiced self-quizzing retained information significantly better than those who read the text four times.

Further, external noise can be a significant distractant. However, blocking out external noise by using earplugs can significantly improve concentration. The author of the book himself used this technique as an 11-year-old and found that it helped him concentrate better.

So, if you want to master the art of learning, try using the above-mentioned techniques and tools to improve your learning outcomes. Employ learning strategies, practice self-quizzing, and use earplugs to block out external noise.

Six Steps to Effective Learning

Learning is made more effective through six steps of learning. The first step involves finding value and making skills or knowledge meaningful. A psychology professor inspired his students to be motivated to learn statistics by making them write essays on how statistics could enhance them and their interests. If you can make what you are learning meaningful and valuable, you will be driven to persevere, just like how Jason Wolfson became a master by spending time constructing Lego creations that held significance for him. Finding meaning and significance takes time and hard work, but it is a crucial step to effective learning.

Setting Targets for Learning Breakthroughs

Learning breakthroughs come from setting targets that break up larger goals into smaller, more manageable aspects. This step is crucial in mastering a skill, but it’s also essential to build up background knowledge before diving in. A few fundamental concepts are necessary to make sense of new information. The key is to start small and achievable, enabling better tracking of improvement.

Self-Improvement Through Feedback

Everyone needs feedback to improve in any aspect of their lives, including rehearsing for a presentation or playing basketball. The author emphasizes the importance of developing and honing our skills by getting feedback, whether from an audience or a trainer. He shares his personal experience of hiring a basketball instructor who helped him perfect specific moves and improve his jump shots. Monitoring and recording mistakes is also a useful technique for reducing error rates and becoming more aware of our performance. Brain surgeons, for instance, have successfully lowered their surgical error rates through Mark Bernstein’s feedback system. Embracing feedback can seem daunting at first, but it is ultimately a fantastic way to enhance our abilities and achieve our goals.

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