Learning and Memory

Quick Links - PDF Handouts

Instructions, Resources, Tips and Tricks

Organize/categorize the information you are learning
  • Watch Stephen Chew's Video #5 "Putting Principles for Learning into Practice"
  • Identify key course concepts. Your course syllabi will list outcomes for each concept/topic/class. Use these to identify the important concepts and areas of focus. It is impossible to learn everything in your text, so it is important to spend time identifying crucial information.
  • Map/graph/chart what you are learning as you learn it. You can do this daily with that day's lecture/reading content or weekly with the material that you learned that week. Get comfortable with some uncertainly and messiness. It is normal to struggle with organization when you start. The process of figuring out the organization will help you learn the material and will make it easier to remember.
    • How to develop a concept map tutorial
    • The ALC handout "Graphic Organizers" provides examples for examples of different ways to organize concepts. (Compare and contrast, Venn diagrams, cause and effect, and branch diagrams will all work well with Nursing content)
  • When not mapping, take notes and summarize information. Make sure that you can articulate what you are learning. Just memorizing is ineffective in the long term and will serve as a roadblock as your progress through your degree.
    • The Academic Learning Centre has an online workhop on Note-taking.
  • Pay attention to how your instructor is organizing information in the class. What are their key/central points? The syllabus often includes learning outcomes for each lecture. These are an excellent way to start organizing your learning/reading/studying.
  • Do not depend on memorization! Memorizing works in the short term, but will create more work for you in the long term. We remember information that has context and meaning, so the more you use maps/diagrams and summaries, the longer the material you are learning will stay with you.
  • Watch "Taking Class Notes"