Lights, camera, action: Engage students with videos
Have you tried using videos to resolve problems or provide innovative solutions in your online classrooms? Effective video usage can foster both individual student learning and increase a sense of community in an online world. Teaching via video can be synchronous like a live Webinar or Zoom conference, but there are many other methods, including […]

Have you tried using videos to resolve problems or provide innovative solutions in your online classrooms? Effective video usage can foster both individual student learning and increase a sense of community in an online world.

Teaching via video can be synchronous like a live Webinar or Zoom conference, but there are many other methods, including asynchronous video, to enhance your students’ online learning environment. In these COVID times, with so many instructors new to online teaching and attempting to provide or mimic the face- to-face learning environments, many have turned to the use of synchronous meeting tools.

There is often the feeling students are being deprived by being forced out of the classroom and online. This phenomenal upswing in synchronous online learning has been nicknamed the Zoom Boom. However, research is indicating this synchronous surge is simply not sustainable in the long run. There are issues with different time zones, mobile connectivity, as well as teacher and student screen time burnout.

A deeper dive into asynchronous videos

For these reasons, I’m focusing on asynchronous methods of using video to enhance the online classroom and engage your students more fully. There are four areas or goals where using effective videos can help instructors solve some unique challenges in the online learning platform.

  1. Videos can increase student engagement in ways that enhance their understanding of the material.
  2. Videos can help you assess the formative stages of their learning. Are they making the progress needed to succeed?
  3. Videos can offer you methods of presenting difficult or demanding concepts, requiring students to demonstrate their mastery.
  4. Videos can provide feedback to your students on their submissions in timely, meaningful and personal ways.

I have eight suggestions for video activities that enhance the digital learning environment, hitting all four of the goals stated above.

  1. Expand on the written content.
  2. Personalize the digital experience.
  3. Flip your classrooms so they become learning centered rather than teacher centered.
  4. Give clear and memorable feedback to students.
  5. Demonstrate processes or concepts difficult to convey through written content.
  6. Encourage your students’ creativity, demonstrating their mastery of the content.
  7. Be informed about students’ formative learning with populated analytics.
  8. Using the same type of analytics you can evaluate your students’ engagement.

Introducing micro lectures and more

Here are three suggestions for expanding on the written content through instructor-created, short videos. These activities focus on your specific course, adding to the content for added clarity and depth.

  1. Micro lectures
  2. Course overviews
  3. Chapter or concept overviews

Micro lectures are not long, nor do they attempt to cover the entire chapter. Above all, they are not boring. They should be short and interactive. And they need to chunk content in short management increments. You should capture your students’ attention as well as meet accessibility standards, such as closed captioning.

As a communication professor, I can offer you some production tips for making your movies of these micro lectures.

  • Think about covering the difficult single concepts you know students have struggled with in the past. Keep them short (3-5 minutes max).
  • Make good eye contact with the camera.
  • Be enthusiastic! You want to be a Tigger on film, not an Eeyore.
  • Be sure to use good light coming from the front rather than the side or behind.
  • Use a headset with microphone for optimal sound quality.
  • Make the videos interactive by asking questions, providing questions before and after.
  • Provide a transcript.
  • Keep your lectures focused with no more than four main points.
  • Be sure to use some type of attention getter in the first 15-30 seconds. It might be a question, a brief story, a startling statistic, a striking picture, a piece of music, or any other method that draws the students into the presentation.
  • Use far more images than bullet points when using a PowerPoint with your micro lecture.
  • New visual material every 10-15 seconds. It keeps listeners’/viewers’ attention.
  • Edit or re-record if needed.
  • And, be sure to use closed caption so your videos are accessible.

You can apply these same principles when creating walk-through demonstrations for your students of the course overview or a module/chapter overview.

Make a personal connection

Next, let’s look at how videos might personalize both the digital presence of you and your students. These are methods that put “skin” on the computer, that let your students know more than a cyborg is monitoring their progress.

  • Provide a video introduction from you to your students on the first day of class.
  • Provide course navigation videos from you to the students that are specific to their course, walking them through how to use the online tools.
  • Have students create a self-introductory video. You might suggest they share some type of story, like the best thing they’ve ever eaten, or the vacation of their dreams. Do not let them get away with, “My name is Betty Boring. I was born in Borington, and I went to Boring High School.” Really true stories keep us interested, and they’re memorable. It’s why we all understand the phrase, “Tell me another story.”

These introductory videos are powerful ways to create community within the course. We know that emotional connections are one of the most powerful components for student persistence. Any method that increases the connection between instructor and student, and between students increases that emotive piece of the puzzle for decreasing student attrition.

Making class learning centered

Using video assignments can provide information you need to flip your classroom, teaching to the most challenging concepts to that specific group of students. You might use:

  • Micro lectures
  • Video quizzes
  • Student discussion forums

These types of activities vary the way students interact with the content before classes or before the next week. Having students view a micro lecture before class, completing a short online quiz on difficult concepts offers information to you about student engagement and student progress.

Video quizzes can gauge engagement through data such as time on task, as well as information on questions most missed. You can then fill in the gaps with your own teaching strategies. And don’t forget your Learning Management Systems such as Canvas, Blackboard, Brightspace by D2L or Moodle provide data, informing instructors about student progress.

Videos can also provide us with the ability to give asynchronous talking feedback in an online environment by:

  • offering students recorded individual or group feedback from you.
  • recapping the week’s progress using a video message.
  • briefly discussing the week’s challenging material and common errors.

I began providing a video on Sunday night when COVID created massive changes in schools in March. My students, already in online classes with me, expressed such appreciation for my new weekly summaries with them about class progress with the material. And, it gave me a chance to speak with them about the challenges they were facing in their personal worlds as well, offering to help students find the support they might need.

Give them the microphone

Videos are the perfect environment for the demonstration of processes, skills, and course navigation. Let students demonstrate their mastery of the skill or concept by tapping into their creativity, engaging them with tools they are already familiar with such as:

  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • Snap Chat
  • Drones
  • Video gamification

Harness their inner director and ask them to create videos that demonstrate their proficiency with assignments such as:

  • Individual presentations such as speeches
  • Group projects presentations
  • Demonstrations of a skill or principle
  • Peer evaluations

Using the right tools

Once you’re comfortable with some of the tools at your disposal, you can take it to the next level with the many tools offered for video production and presentation. I’m just going to highlight some of the more recognizable tools and what they can do.

Pre-created videos are a great way to start. They are often accessibility compliant and professionally made depending on the site you choose.

  • YouTube has the broadest range, but may not be academically sound.
  • Publishers often provide clips which adhere to academic standards and are accessibility compliant like Pearson’s Clips, or premade video quizzes.
  • TEDx often provides videos that are both compliant and academically sound.

There are tools to help with video mixing, or combining several videos to demonstrate a concept. These can encourage student creativity and a deep understanding of the content of the course. Two of these are:

  • Nearpod (creating your own video quizzes)
  • And, MediaBreaker (Students can create a mix of videos they locate, encouraging them to find current materials that demonstrate critical thinking about course content in a current real-world application).

Backchanneling is another way to engage your students. This is what we do when we are messaging friends during a less than engaging meeting. Phone messaging and Twitter were the original backchannels. And, while we might view these as distractions from the main event, backchanneling is engaging, community building and maximizes time if directed and focused on the lesson. Tools for this include:

  • Twitter. Students are very familiar with Twitter, but this does not provide protected space, nor is it academically designed.
  • Backchannel Chat can provide live time streaming commentary on videos students are viewing. Students can also make comments or ask questions.
  • Hotseat was designed by Purdue University based on a Twitter model and provides a free backchannel tool in an academic setting.

If you want to create your own movies designed just for your course and your students, there are tools offering you a range of possibilities.

  • EdPuzzle allows you to create your own video quizzes with embedded questions rather than a beginning essential question.
  • Loom allows you to screen share and create short easy walkthroughs for a class or just one student.
  • Camtastia is a robust video tool with many creative possibilities, but it is not free. Snagit allows you to screen share and save computer space as your videos are housed in their cloud.
  • TEDEd is a well-used video creation tool allowing you to stand on the shoulders of educators around the world as well as to share your repository of educational video creations with others.

Easy as pie

So, if you’re just beginning to use video in the online environment, or if you are well into your video use, keep it simple and easy as PIE.

Plan what you want the video assignment to solve for you or your students.
Implement the tool that does this for you in the easiest and most effective way.
And then Evaluate not only the students’ performance and engagement, but how well the tool worked for you.

About the author
Terri-Moore

Terri Moore

A native Floridian, Terri worked in North Carolina for 15 years, directing non-profit agencies primarily in the fields of health care and services. Terri moved into academia where she has taught in higher education for over 19 years, teaching communication courses first at Guilford Technical and Community College, completing her master’s degree in communication studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Returning to her native state, she taught communication and college success courses with Polk Community College as she completed her Ph.D in Psychology with an emphasis in social psychology.

As a dual credentialed professor with Eastern Florida State College, Terri has been teaching both psychology and communication courses for over 13 years, using Pearson products in classes first with with MyLabs and continuing with Revel as it expanded the list of authors and developed additional integrations such as Shared Media. She has taught extensively, both in face-to-face and online platforms, a wide range of communication and psychology courses, designing a number of master courses for online programs. She has been a free-lance Faculty Advisor with Pearson for approximately 11 years, making the choice in 2019 to leave full time academia for full time employment with Pearson as a Revel Faculty Advisor for liberal arts.

A skilled presenter with excellent oral and written communication skills, Terri’s preferred research methods are qualitative with a special interest in social psychology and well-being across the life span. Most recently, she published an article based on her research of women choosing to make new committed relationships in later life.


While we all may follow our own unique pursuits in a lifetime, the quest for purpose through self-improvement and knowledge is among the great unifiers of humankind. Progressive thinking is the backbone of society’s progress. Great visionaries and their quests for knowledge have inspired the majority of the modern marvels we rely on today. While the process of seeking purpose in your life may not seem as universal or consequential as Einstein’s, it is important to find how to learn in a way that works for you, which can lead to greater self-awareness and wisdom—not to mention a new travail, better pay, a new hobby, or simply knowledge for knowledge’s sake—whatever is important to you as an end goal.

While we all mayThis brand of introspection and knowledge is not necessarily acquired through traditional means, and the learning techniques that work best may differ from one person to the next. In fact, some of these tips may surprise you. Imagine all of the ways you may have been perfecting how to learn to find your smartest self for years without even knowing it !

Reduce stress depression : Stress and depression can affect the ability to recall information and cause short-term memory loss. In mild cases, depression can sometimes be improved simply by exposing yourself to more white light and eating fewer refined foods.

Shake a leg : Lack of blood flow is a common reason for lack of concentration. If you’ve been sitting in one place for awhile, bounce or bend and flex one of your legs for a minute or two. It gets your blood flowing and sharpens both concentration and recall abilities.

Food for thought : Eat breakfast. A lot of people skip breakfast, but creativity is often idéal in the early morning and it helps to have some protein in you to ' feed ' your brain. Plus, a lack of protein can actually cause headaches.

Food for thought, part 2 : Eat a light lunch. Heavy lunches have a tendency to make people drowsy. While you could turn this to your advantage by taking a ' thinking nap ' ( we’ll get to that later ), most people haven’t learned how to actually make this work on a regular basis.

Ginkgo biloba : Ginkgo biloba is a natural supplement that has been used in China and other countries for centuries and has been acclaimed for its brain-energizing properties.

Sleep on it : Hitting an REM cycle not only helps you rest and reset, it may also help with high-level problem solving. Researchers at University of California, San Diego noticed that getting some rest and dreaming allowed creative thinkers to work through some of their toughest problems.

Take a break : Sometimes, in order to change your physical or mental perspective and lighten the invisible stress that can sometimes occur when you sit in one place too long, it helps to take a 5-15 minute break every hour during study sessions. Studies show this is more beneficial than non-stop study, as it gives your mind time to relax and absorb information.

Take a hike : Changing your perspective ( and surroundings ) often relieves tension, thus freeing your creative mind. Taking a short walk around the neighborhood may help you liberate those latent learning skills.

Change your focus : Sometimes you just don’t have enough time to take a long break, however you can always just change subject focus. Try alternating between technical and non-technical subjects, for example.

Do walking meditation : If you’re taking a hike, don’t stop there ! Go one step further and learn walking meditation as a way to tap into your inner resources and strengthen your ability to focus. Just make sure to not get so carried away that you disregard safety and traffic rules.

Change your focus, part 2 : There are three primary ways to learn : visual, auditory, and kinesthetic ( VAK ). If one isn’t sérieux for you, simply try another. Full immerse yourself : Focus only on whatever you’re studying, not watching TV at the same time or worrying yourself about other things. Anxiety is known to inhibit the absorption of information and ideas.

Turn out the lights : If meditation isn’t for you, this can be another way to focus your mind. Sit in the dark, to literally and figuratively block out extraneous influences. This is especially helpful for learning something kinesthetically, such as guitar chord changes. Take a bath or shower : We know this one may be a bit surprising, but both activities can loosen you up, making your mind more receptive to recognizing brilliant ideas.

Listen to music : Research has long shown that certain genres of music can act as a ' key ' to open doors and recall memories. The theory is that Information learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled simply by replaying the songs in your head. Speedread : Some people believe that speedreading causes you to miss crucial information, however the idea is that, when done right, speedreading results in filtering out irrelevant information. If necessary, you can always read and re-read technical subjects that often require slower reading, though some studies show slow reading actually hinders the ability to absorb general ideas. Trying this reading technique online ? Try the free Spreeder outil.

Use acronyms and other mnemonic devices : Mnemonics are essentially tricks for remembering information. Some tricks are so effective that proper application will let you recall loads of mundane information months or even years later.

Every picture tells a story : Draw or sketch whatever it is you are trying to achieve to help you visualize it. Having a concrete goal in mind can help you progress towards reaching your goal. Brainmap it : Need to plan something ? Brain maps, or mind maps, offer a compact way to get both an overview of a project as well as better manage it. Through mind mapping, you can see the relationships between disparate ideas and better utilize brainstorming techniques

Learn symbolism and semiotics : Semiotics is the study of signs and symbols. Having an understanding of the iconography of a particular discipline not only aids in the learning process, but also allows you to retain information more efficiently. Use information design : When dealing with information that has an inherent structure, applying the tenets of information design can help to convey that information more clearly. A great resource is Information Aesthetics, which gives examples of different types of information design and provides links to their sources.

Use visual learning techniques : Try gliffy to explore all kinds of structured diagrams, flow charts, and more and to see what might pique your visual interest. If this works for you, find even more webbing and outlining ideas, plus graphic organizers, concept maps, and plots at Inspiration. com. Map your task flow : Learning often requires gaining knowledge in a specific sequence. Task flow mapping your course of actions, or organizing your thoughts on what needs to be done, is a powerful way to prepare yourself to complete tasks or learn ' how to learn. '

Laugh : This might seem counterproductive to the seriousness of studying, but that’s precisely the point : laughing relaxes the body, and a relaxed body is more receptive to new ideas. Stimulate ideas : It’s important to not overthink this one : play rhyming games, utter nonsense words, use word-association or stream-of-consciousness methods. These techniques can help loosen you up, making you more receptive to learning.

Brainstorm : This is a time-honored technique that combines verbal activity, writing, and collaboration. While one person can brainstorm, it’s more effective in a group. For effective brainstorming, follow these simple rules : firstly, don’t shut anyone’s idea out. Secondly, don’t ' edit ' in progress; just record all ideas first, then dissect them later. Participating in brainstorming can help to assess a topic objectively and thoroughly.

Learn by osmosis : Turn your iPod into an educational tool : find some podcasts that speak to you or are relevant to what you’re learning now, upload them, and sleep on it. Literally. Put your iPod under your pillow and play back your préférés to let them seep in overnight. Binaural beats : Binaural beats involve playing two pure frequencies simultaneously to produce alpha, beta, delta, and theta waves, all of which can inspire either sleeping, restfulness, relaxation, meditativeness, alertness, or concentration. Binaural beats are often used in conjunction with other exercises to enhance ' super-learning ' abilities. Check out this free online binaural beat machine to see which tones will work for you.

Write, don’t type : While typing your notes into the computer is great for posterity, writing by hand stimulates ideas. The simple act of holding and using a pen or pencil may seem old-fashioned in this day and age, but just think of all the visionaries it’s worked for throughout the years. Carry a notebook at all times : Samuel Taylor Coleridge dreamed the words of the poem ' In Xanadu ( did Kubla Khan ) … '. Upon awakening, he wrote down what he could recall, but was distracted by a visitor and promptly forgot the rest of the poem. Forever. Should ideas suddenly come to you through ' walking meditation ' or any other methods on our list, record them immediately or you might regret it.

Keep a journal : This isn’t exactly the same as a notebook. Journaling has to do with tracking experiences over time. By adding in visual details, charts, brainmaps, etc., journaling can be a much more creative way to keep tabs on what you are learning. Organize : Use sticky colored tabs of folder flags to divide a notebook or journal into sections. They are a great way to partition ideas for easy reference. Use post-it notes : Post-it notes can provide a helpful way to record your thoughts about passages in books without defacing them with permanent ink or pencil marks.

Prepare yourself for learning : Positive thinking alone can’t always help us to successfully achieve our goals, which is why it is especially important if you are an adult with many distractions surrounding your daily life to implement ways of reducing these distractions, at least for a few hours at a time. Give yourself credit : Ideas are actually a dime a dozen. If you learn to focus your mind on getting the results you want, you’ll recognize the good ideas, and your mind will become a filter for them, which will motivate you to learn more. Motivate yourself : Why do you seek knowledge ? What do hope to achieve through learning ? Exploring the reasons behind why you want to learn and what motivates you can help keep distractions at-bay. Set a goal : W. Clement Stone once said ' Whatever the mind of man can conceive, it can achieve. ' This phenomenon in goal achievement dictates that if you prepare yourself by whatever means necessary, any and all hurdles will seem surmountable. Those who have experienced this phenomenon likely understand its validity.

Think positive : After all, what’s the point in setting learning goals for yourself if you don’t have any faith in your own ability to learn ? Every skill is learned : Bodily functions notwithstanding, every skill in life is learned. Generally speaking, you can learn something new just as easily as anyone can. It takes us all a varying amount of effort, but once you’ve set your goal, it’s likely as achievable as it is believable. Prepare yourself, part 2 : Unfortunately, not everyone in your life will be a well-wisher of your self-improvement and learning plans. They may intentionally or subconsciously distract you from your goal. If you have classes to attend after work, make sure that work colleagues know that you are unable to work late, for example. Diplomacy works best, if you think your boss is intentionally giving you work on the days he/she knows you have to leave. Reschedule such meetings to a later time if possible and/or necessary.

Constrain yourself : Most people fundamentally need structure in their lives. Freedom is sometimes a scary thing—like chaos. But even chaos has order within. By constraining yourself by giving yourself deadlines, limiting your time on any one idea, or focusing the tools you are sérieux with, you can often accomplish even more in less time.

Read as much as you can : This tip is perhaps the most self-explanatory on our list. Use Spreeder if you have to. Pursue a broad range of topics as well as depth of field. Cross-pollinate your interests : Explore interdisciplinary study to your heart’s content. After all, neurons that connect to existing neurons give you new possibilités and abilities to use knowledge in new ways. Learn another language : New possibilités can also give you the ability to cross-pollinate cultural concepts and expand worldly inspiration. Sometimes reading a book in its différent language will provide you with insights that might otherwise be lost in translation. Learn how to learn : Management Help has a resource page especially geared towards online learning, but they’re also a valuable resource for any type of learning. If you’re serious about optimizing your learning habits, check out this crash course in learning theory.

Learn what you know and what you don’t : Many people might say, ' I’m dumb, ' or ' I don’t know anything about that. ' The fact is, many people are largely unaware of what they already know about a topic. If you want to learn about something, you need to determine what you already know, figure out what you don’t, and then fill in the gaps. Learn to effectively multi-task : Effective multi-tasking allows you to devote focused yet limited time to accomplish several tasks at once. By effective multitasking, I don’t mean doing two or more things at exactly the same time—It’s not possible. However, multitasking with the right approach and prepping your mind for it are what can make it an effective technique. For example, a successful freelance writer learns to manage several articles at the same time. Research the first topic, and then let the background processes of your mind takeover before you move on consciously to the second topic. While on the second topic, the first one will often become clear to you. Think holistically : Holistic thinking might be the solo most ' advanced ' learning technique to help students learn new things. You may have even heard this word used to describe an overall mindset rather than as a solo technique.

Think holistically : Holistic thinking might be the single most ' advanced ' learning technique to help students learn new things. You may have even heard this word used to describe an overall mindset rather than as a solo technique. Use the right type of repetition to your advantage : Complex concepts often require revisiting in order to be fully absorbed. For some people, this can take months or even years. Repetition of concepts and theories, including concrete examples, improves absorption and speeds up the learning process. Apply the Quantum Learning ( QL ) model : The Quantum Learning model is being applied in some states schools to extend beyond typical education methods to engage students through five core components : foundation, atmosphere, environment, design, and delivery. Get necessary tools : Obviously, there are a variety of tools designed for learning. If you are learning online like the majority of people are these days, then consider online study aids such as Quizlet and StudyBlue, as well as education communities like Edmodo and Schoology, among countless other tools. Learn critical thinking : Critical thinking is a skill that is not only essential to the learning process but will carry you through life. Read Wikipedia’s discourse on critical thinking as a starting point. It involves good analytical skills to aid in one’s ability to learn selectively. Learn complex problem solving : For human beings in general, life is a series of problems to be solved, and learning is just part of the process. Especially If you have a complex problem, you need to learn the art of complex problem solving.

Be engaging : Lectures are often one-sided and thus can be counter-productive. Information merely heard or observed ( from a chalkboard across the room, for instance ) is often forgotten. Teaching is not simply talking. Discussion is more important : ask students questions, present scenarios, and engage them. Use information pyramids : Learning happens in layers. Build a solid base of knowledge upon which you can continue to add advanced concepts. Use scène games : Video games get a bad rap because of the many distinctly non-educational violent titles out there nowadays. But some film games can actually be an effective aid to learning, believe it or not. Role play : Younger people often learn better by being part of an interactive learning experience. For example, history is easier to absorb through reenactments, and can be further enhanced by using costumes, props, or other visual cues. Apply the 80/20 rule : This rule is often interpreted in different ways, but in this case, the 80/20 rule means that some concepts, say about 20% of a curriculum, require more effort and time than roughly 80% of others. So be prepared to carve out time to expand on complex topics.

Tell stories : However you can make a complex concept more relatable by telling a story or using metaphor, take the opportunity. When a story works to help a student understand something they might otherwise see as too boring or complicated, you’ll see understanding sparked in the student’s eyes. Go beyond the public school curriculum : The public school system is still generally lacking in teaching advanced learning and brainstorming methods. It’s not that the methods cannot be taught; they just aren’t. tera be afforded these advanced learning methods, you typically have to pay a de haute gamme in additional time, effort, and money. While the standard for public schools and what is available to all students regardless of economic status is still a work-in-progress, you may need to seek supplemental resources such as tutoring or community programs to enhance learning for your kids. Use applied learning : If a high school student were having trouble in math, say with fractions, one example of applied learning might be to teach fractions using photography, lenses, or f-stops. Another example is through cooking and measuring ingredients. Tailor the applied learning to the interest of the student and the subject at-hand.

Be engaged : Sometimes students are bored because they know more than is being taught, maybe even more than a teacher. Hopefully teachers will assess what each student already knows prior to that lesson. Students should discuss with a teacher if they feel that the material being covered is not challenging enough, or consider asking for additional materials. Teach yourself : Teachers cannot always change their curricula at their own discretion. If you’re not being challenged, challenge yourself. Some countries still apply country-wide exams for all students. Even if courses from the top online education programs don’t cover a topic you’re interested in, you can learn it on your own. Don’t wait for someone to teach you. Even class lectures are more effective when you’ve pre-introduced yourself to a concept. Collaborate : If studying by yourself isn’t sérieux, maybe a study group will help. Teach something : One of the best ways to learn something better is to teach it to someone else. The process forces you to learn more yourself when you share your knowledge with another person. Write about it : An effective way to ' teach ' something online is to create a wiki page containing everything you know about a topic. Or even create your own blog about it. Doing so helps you to realize what you know and, more importantly, what you don’t. You can still grab a freebie account on old préférés like WordPress or Blogger.

Learn by experience : Seems pretty obvious, but it simply means to put in the necessary time. An spécialiste is often defined as someone who has given their all and put countless hours of blood, sweat, and tears into a particular experience or endeavor. Are you an expert without even realizing it ? If not, do you have the dedication to become one ? Quiz yourself : Testing what you’ve learned will reinforce the information. Flash cards have stood the test of time as one of the best self-test tools for kids and adults alike. Learn the right things—or the basics—first : Case in point : consider the way a baby learns a new language ( hint : it’s not to learn grammar and spelling and sentence constructs first ). An adult or young adult should be no different. Try immersing yourself in the basics instead and see the difference for yourself. Plan your learning : If you have a long-term plan to learn something, then to quote Led Zeppelin, ' There are two paths you can go by '. You can either take a haphazard approach to learning, or you can put in a bit of planning and find the optimum path. Plan your time and balance learning with living your life.

Persist : Don’t give up the pursuit of learning in the face of intimidating tasks. Anything one human being can learn, most others can as well. Take it from Thomas Edison, who said, ' Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration '. Challenge yourself : People are often more éclairé than they realize. In a world that compares and criticizes everything so publicly, it’s harder and harder to know where we fit in. And unexpected genius can be found in all walks of life. If you suspect you have more potential than you’ve shown to others or yourself, try an IQ test such as the one offered by MENSA. Unlike the standardized IQ contrôles given in many schools, this test helps to comprehensively assess a student’s knowledge and learning ability. And the mere ability to learn is far, far more important than what you already know.

Party before an exam : OK, maybe not a party, but the key is to relax. The worse thing to do is cram the night before an exam. If you don’t already know a subject by then, cramming isn’t going to help. If you have studied, simply review the topic, then go do something pleasant ( not studying ). Doing so tells your brain that you are prepared and that you will be able to recall anything that you have already learned. On the other hand, if you didn’t spend the semester learning the ideas you need, you might as well go party anyway because cramming at the last minute isn’t going to help much at that point.

Don’t worry; learn happy : Have a real volonté for learning and want to share your tips and tricks with others ? Join a cooperative learning group to spread the knowledge.

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