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Sunday, 26 January 2014

Using Ausubel's EMO to Help you Study & Get 'A+'

Most teachers are familiar with the proven study techniques learnt during their years taking diploma/degree/Master in Education. Here I would like to share with my students some valuable tips to study and store the information you learnt more effectively for your upcoming exams & lifelong learning using Ausubel's Theory of Meaningful Learning.

According to the theory, one interesting topic is about the three processes of effective long-term memory storage. They are the EMO (Elaboration, Meaningful Learning, & Organization). Here are the explanations:

ELABORATION/ PENJELASAN/ 

The info we learnt is not enough until we elaborate them. Our brains simply loves new stimulation via fancy stuffs. That's why in my notes I put ridiculous pictures, graphics  diagrams with colours, and absurd drawings. 

Here is an example of my Master-level note of Curriculum Development...
Observe the drawings & different colours used
For you guys, I suggest put more drawings and colourful highlighters. The weirder, the better. 

They key here is how you fancy up your info/notes.  

MEANINGFUL LEARNING/ PEMBELAJARAN BERMAKNA/ 有意义的学习

According to Ausubel, we may forget raw data, but we largely remember what it means to us. That's why you might forget the dialogues in the Titanic, but your surely remember how it makes you feel. That's why in my notes I put memorable stories, similes, metaphors, & analogies which the students can easily relate to in their life. 

For example, the process of blood clotting we learnt in Biology F5 is similar to the quest of Harry Potter and friends fighting Voldermort.

For you guys, I suggest you use relate your notes with anything that catches your mind. It could be the Miley Cyrus' shameful act. It could be the recent song by Psy. It could be vegetables like kangkung. It could be your cat's playful acts. 

The key here is how to dramatize your info/notes.
Yup, this is blood clotting all right...
ORGANIZATION/ SUSUNAN/ 组织

The stories & colourful notes would be useless unless you organize them. Our brain is a pattern-seeking machine. It loves to tidy things up into a certain pattern. So, like the well-arranged books in a library, the tidy organization of information makes it easier for our brain to store & retrieve information. That's why I arrange the notes using mind-map style. 

Observe my note above & you can see I use it myself even for advanced level of education. In this post, I use the acronym EMO to organize my points.

For you guys, I suggest you use mind-maps if it suits you. Ask your school teachers - they are trained professionals - on how to build an effective mind-map. A good mind-map should let you see clearly the direction of your topics -what you going to learn from beginning until the end. 

The key here is how clear the direction when you use the mind-map.
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There you go, the secrets of most successful students for getting the best of their study (in short time!) and achieve flying-colour results. Not so secret isn't it, when you know the techniques. All you need to do now is study hard and have fun along the way. Best of effort, guys! :-)

RESPECTO.

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