Over the past few months, I’ve been sharing some of the ways you can improve your online study skills in your psychology licensing prep. The suggestion I’ve offered have been rooted in the latest advances in brain science, including some discoveries that are still considered cutting-edge. Now that we’ve completed running that series, it may be helpful to summarize the ground we’ve covered and provide a complete list of links for future reference.
We opened the series with our post ‘Online Learning: The Way of the Future.’ This article looked at some of the important shifts that have occurred in the history of the university, culminating in the rise of online education. We suggested that, as with other changes in the past, special skills are required to maximize the benefits of the new tools available to students.
Our follow-up post, ‘Making The Most of Online Learning,’ surveyed the landscape of online learning and suggested that most online universities are failing their students by neglecting to train them in the skills needed to process online content as efficiently as possible.
In ‘Missing the Medium for the Message’, we explored some of the ideas propounded by communication theorist Marshal McLuhan, with particular attention to McLuhan’s insight that there is a reciprocal link between medium and message. We suggested that because of the relationship between form and content, specific skills are required to maximize the benefits of the internet and minimize any potential drawbacks.
Our post ‘From Localizationism to Neuroplasticity’ began a survey of current neurological discussions in order to build a framework for future suggestions about study habits that channel our neuroplastic minds in effective and brain-enhancing ways.
Our post ‘The Adaptive Brain’ built on this by looking at the way our tools—including the internet—are always unconsciously training our brains in ways that are either neurologically beneficial or detrimental.
In ‘Tools and the Changing Brain’ we challenged you to take your brain’s evolution you’re your own hands through reflective engagement with the devices you use, particularly the internet.
Our post ‘Managing Hyperlinks (part 1)’ moved the discussion from theory to practice, exploring ways that the internet in general, and hyperlinks in particular, can create for us an ecosystem of interruption technologies that militate against sustained and thoughtful engagement. This ecosystem of distraction is not inevitable and can be resisted through the application of a few simple steps.
In ‘Managing Hyperlinks (part 2)’ and ‘Managing Hyperlinks (part 3)‘, we looked at some specific ways internet users can respond to hyperlinks in a way that enhances rather than diminishes effective cognitive processing.
Our articles ‘The Virtues of Printing’ considered some key neurological differences between reading a website off the screen vs. reading the same text in a printed form. This led to our suggestion that when you are studying, it is beneficial to print your text whenever possible.
In ‘Managing Email (Part 1)’ and ‘Managing Email (Part 2)’ we looked at the way email can easily distract us from our studies, and what you can do to mitigate the effects of this as you prepare to pass your EPPP.
Our post ‘The “Off” Button’ argued that the omnipresence of the internet militates against the type of sustained concentration needed for effective learning. We outlined some specific strategies for avoiding these and associated problems.
In ‘Make the Internet Work For You’ we discussed some of the ways you can use social media effectively. We also highlighted the potential social media has to distract you from your studies, and what you can do about it.
In ‘Long-Term Memory and the Dangers of Multitasking’ we examined the relationship between long-term memory and understanding, as well as outlining some ways that the online-learner can enhance his or her capacity for both.
Our post ‘Resist the Tyranny of the Urgent (part 1)’ gave some practical suggestions how the online-learner can resist the “tyranny of the urgent” perpetuated by the internet.
In ‘Resist the Tyranny of the Urgent (part 2)’ we discussed some of the added benefits that come with properly applying the study strategies outlined earlier. Such benefits include an increased ability to distinguish those things that are enduring from those things that are of only passing interest.
Our post ‘Don’t Overcrowd Your Working Memory’ looked at some specific step-by-step strategies for how to avoid reaching cognitive overload when studying online.
In our post ‘Don’t Get Too Tired (part 1)’ and ‘Don’t Get Too Tired part 2)’, we explained how getting over-tired can hinder effective study. We suggested some practical steps you can take to prevent yourself becoming too tired when studying online, and thus to maximize the efficiency of your mind and body.
Our post ‘Be Careful How You Train Your Brain’, we discussed ways to keep your mind sharp when you are not studying. In particular, we shared research showing that indiscriminate internet use can actually impair intellectual growth.
In ‘When You’re Not Studying’, we continued the discussion of how to keep your mind sharp, and we suggested some specific activities that promote healthy cognitive functioning.