Memorizing Study Techniques - Presentations

Students need to be able to memorize a lot of material nowadays. It is always helpful to have more techniques to get studies and theories to stick in your mind. You may hate when your teacher makes you do presentations but there is new research suggesting presentations may be one of the best ways to remember important material.

This study was related to semantic, deep processing of material which is part of the IB psychology syllabus. The researchers wanted to investigate whether participants' memory of material would be affected by knowing they had to teach the information afterwards. Using an independent measures design (between subjects), both groups read the same passage of text. One group was told they were going to teach the material afterwards while the other group was not told anything. The dependent variable was the participants' memory for the material. They found that the group which believed they were going to teach had significantly better recall and more organized memory about the passage they read compared to the other group. This suggests believing you are going to teach increases your attention to detail and the way you organize information when you know you have to pass it on to others.

This is quite a cool study but in practice it makes little sense for every student to teach every point on the syllabus. In addition, in a follow up study they used fill in the blank questions as the dependent variable and the teaching group only had marginally better recall. Perhaps testing students by having them write an essay or create a powerpoint and having other participants judge the quality of information would be a better measure.

Still, we all know when we have done presentations on a topic the information generally sticks better than if we just skim read. This could still be a viable technique for revising, I always recommend students to create their own study guides and practice lots of exam questions.


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