Effective reading is a central component of your education. Much of the material you will need to learn will come from the textbooks and other readings assigned. Effective reading requires much more than simply sitting down and reading the assigned chapters. You will retain much more of the material if you use the active reading strategies that follow.
Learning the material from the reading means that you encode it into your long-term memory. You have to actively attend to what you read in order to move the information into long-term memory.
- You must FIRST store information sensory inputs (information) into your sensory memory. While your sensory memory has a large capacity, it can only hold information for a brief period of time.
- You must then move information from your sensory memory into your working memory. In order for this to happen, you must "do something" with the information. If you are not successful in moving the information into your working memory, it will fade away.
- Finally, you activate your long-term memory. When you move information into your working memory, you simultaneously retrieve related information and schema from your long-term memory. By acting on the combination of the old and new information, you build new long-term memories.
Set Goals Every Time You Read. Understand Why You Are Reading. Activate Prior Knowledge In Your Working Memory. Examine The Structure Of The Text.
Use active reading strategies to connect new information with prior knowledge. There are two kinds of active reading strategies: Elaboration and Organizational. Typically, you will use elaboration strategies while you are reading and organizational strategies after you have completed the reading
After you have completed the reading assignment, try the following strategies...
- Scott W. Vanderstoep and Paul R. Pintrich, Learning to Learn: The Skill and Will of College Success (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003).
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