Learning is hard and can be demotivating by itself but when I have an objective that requires learning it becomes the driving force/motivation behind it and improves my focus and concentration by a large margins. It also allows me to connect the dots and provides me context.
An important addendum to this is that the objective has to be closely tied to the work — the feedback loop for learning and then seeing some results from that learning has to be tight.
I think this may be why in school grades were not a good objective, for me anyway. They were just too distant a reward from the work.
Sort of like a Civilization tech tree, but for applications of mathematics. "If you want to do 3D graphics, learn this but also this which leads to this which leads to this."
That way students can say "I'm hating Taylor series but if I learn that I can use it in X" or "This is hard but if I get through it I can learn quaternions and do Y" or whatever.
Schools do a pretty bad job at providing context to the problem. What we are taught are solutions. And these solutions came from problems that were objectives to the authors. I need to "live" the problem and relate to it to understand the motivation behind the solutions.
Research shows that the best way to learn is to challenge oneself. Self-testing, in particular, is a highly effective way of avoiding the illusion of fluency (Long-term Learning != Current Performance) and creating durable memories.
1. Make it Stick
2. "Making Things Hard on Yourself, But in a Good Way:
Creating Desirable Difficulties to Enhance Learning" by Bjork & Bjork [https://teaching.yale-nus.edu.sg/wp-content/uploads/sites/25...]
3. For a survey of student misconceptions about learning: "Instructor and student knowledge of study strategies" by Morehead et al.
Make it stick
Both heavily cite research.
I want to get to "a mind for numbers", but haven't actually read it yet. I've heard great things though.
I’m having a hard time finding intrinsic motivation to study at this (Master’s) level, even if I absolutely know how good it feels when you have internalized a couple of famous results...
> Adhere to Goals
They talk about it like it's easy af. This is the hardest thing.
Motivation is the hardest part. I for one use operant conditioning and waterboard myself when I don't adhere to my goals. Just kidding. But I guess I would be much more motivated. Or develop a fetish for waterboarding, the human mind is complex.
Would love to know how I can design those predispositions to change my own behavior. I guess behavioral therapy could work, but that's hellofa lot effort to learn some math.
It's a bummer, but I still believe in many of the listed cognitive biases.
Finding that why for me is (1) go really deep with your goals, (2) find ways to remind yourself daily of the big picture goal, and (3) connect the task at hand to the big goal. For example, maybe you're doing your program to get a job... but what does that job in turn get you? Maybe its more autonomy in your life, or what have you. For my own reminders, I use Stickies on macOs and just always have it there :) I don't always, but sometimes before I start reading a chapter or watching a video, I try to think for a second how what I'm about to do gets me to that bigger picture.
EDIT: Redacted, but kept up to link to the version WITH citations - https://stories.sagefy.org/eight-big-ideas-of-learning-c17a1...
You definitely can, and probably already are, learning multiple things in parallel in the scope of weeks or months. You want to make sure you have time to commit to each of those things. You probably only have about 3-5 hours a day of full effort to expend. So I wouldn't go beyond three or so different subjects in the same overall interval.
In the moment, you want focus. If you tried to learn to play piano using scores written in Chinese as an attempt to learn both at the same time, you'd probably overwhelm yourself. In the moment, the more specific and focused you can get the better. So maybe its a specific piano technique, like arpeggios in major scales. Or the Chinese characters for colors. The more you can remove distractions and break down what you're learning into smaller parts, the faster you're going to learn both in the short term and long term.
I'm inclined to agree that being able to recognize and recall information is a different (and often prerequisite) skill from applying the same information. Bloom's taxonomy https://bit.ly/1KRj4ZH is the way I think about it: recall/recognition, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of the same piece of knowledge are all distinct skills. You have to teach or seek to learn each separately... its not automatic that learning one gives you the other skills. (There's been some criticism of the taxonomy. But I'm not sure I've seen a better model.)
The latter part of your question, about academic v practical education in CS programs... I'm not familiar with the research about what improves retention in academic programs. That said, the more you can align and connect to someone's values and beliefs -- what gives them purpose -- they more motivated they are to learn.
Tanking in consideration how much information your brain can hold in given moment, what is the maximum amount of study hours you should have per day?
It's been a long, iterative development process. I started back in April 2013, had the first go live in January 2016. Since then its been iterating and improving the software, getting feedback and making updates as I go. I'm a bit limited in how much time I get to spend on it due to having a full-time job. Getting more content is at the top of my list ( https://sgef.cc/wanthelp ). I really want to show what Sagefy -- and these learning ideas -- can do :)
Thanks again, cheers!
I've started looking into migrating the services from Python to Golang to make deployments easier. We'll see how it goes :)
- Moreno, R., & Mayer R.E. (2000a). A coherence effect in multimedia learning: The case for minimizing irrelevant sounds in the design of multimedia instructional messages. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92(1), 117–125.
- Gibbons, C. (2007, December 29). Professionals take work out of their workplaces. The Arizona Republic, D1.
- Kenz, I., & Hugge, S. (2002). Irrelevant speech and indoor lighting: Effects of cognitive performance and self-reported affect. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 15, 709–718.
- Ransdell, S.E., & Gilroy, L. (2001). The effects of background music on word processed writing. Computers in Human Behavior, 17, 141–148.
The studies here seem to suggest most people learn better in quiet most of the time.
That said, I listen to music without lyrics myself while learning :)
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