5 Powerful Strategies for Deeper Learning
June 02, 2021

Learning can be tough. This is especially true if people generally perceive the subjects under consideration to be tough. Maths and Science are some of the most common examples we can think of in this category. Though most of us undergo some form of basic training in them through our schooling years not many understand them conceptually.

This is because getting successful at them in the long term requires skills like analytical reasoning and complex problem-solving. The type of education that promotes the development of such advanced skills is known as deep learning. However, schools are usually not equipped to handle such requirements. So, what can individuals do to develop deeper learning? Let’s find out.

1. Expose Yourself:
Memory tends to diminish over a period of time. It happens at a faster rate in the initial phases of learning and quite slower later on. This is explained scientifically using the concept of the Forgetting Curve.

The forgetting curve graph

This curve shows how information is lost over time when there is no attempt to retain it. So, the more you phase out your learning and the more times you expose yourself to any information the better you will retain it. Exposing more will also allow you the scope of thinking more and asking more questions. This will eventually lead to a deeper level of understanding of any given topic.

2. Drill the Basics:
Big problems are nothing but a combination of smaller problems. So, the real skill lies in breaking them down into solvable chunks. For that the knowledge and identification of basics are important. The same is true in the case of science and maths. They all seem so easy when studying the basics.

However, when given an application-based problem to solve, it poses a challenge for most of us. The solution is to make sure your foundation is right. Try to look at the concepts from different angles. Ask as many questions as you can. Make your basics so strong that you don’t need to think a lot while trying to identify the building blocks of those big complicated problems.

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3. Slow Down:
Speed is not always great, especially when you are trying to really understand something. So, when you are building your foundation, it is important to slow things down and give your brain ample time to assimilate the concepts. Use multiple modes of learning like writing down what you see or hear or teaching someone what you recently learnt.

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4. Clear your confusion:
Understanding a problem is the first step in solving it. So don’t shy away from something that confuses you. A lot of times confusion is a sign that your brain is really working at it. Understand what confuses you and clarify your doubts before proceeding to the next step. Look it up on the internet, read more about it or talk to your friend or teacher about it. The more questions you ask the better will be your conceptual clarity.

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5. Never Multitask:
Being a multi-tasker is a passé. We never really do multiple things at the same time. Even though we may think so, our brain either doesn’t spend equal amounts of attention on each one of those tasks or one of them might be muscle memory for us. So don’t listen to lyrical songs or watch TV while studying. If you want to take some time off, do it while not studying simultaneously.

Image by Richard Duijnstee from Pixabay

These are just a few tips you can implement in your study routines to help you achieve deeper learning. What is your motivation behind learning something? Is it just to pass the tests or get better at what you know? Do share your views in the comments section below.

Answering FAQs About Deeper Learning

What is Deeper Learning, and How is it Defined in an Educational Context?

Deeper learning is an educational approach that encourages students to go beyond rote memorization and engage in critical thinking, problem-solving, and the application of knowledge to real-world situations. It focuses on developing a deep understanding of subjects and competencies.
Three important points about deeper learning:
1. Depth of Understanding: It emphasizes the depth of understanding rather than surface-level knowledge, enabling students to comprehend and connect concepts deeply.
2. 21st-Century Skills: It aims to cultivate 21st-century skills such as critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration, which are essential for success in a rapidly changing world.
3. Authentic Assessments: It often involves authentic assessments, where students demonstrate their knowledge through projects, presentations, and real-world applications.

Why is Deeper Learning Important in Education?

Deeper learning is important because it prepares students to think critically, solve complex problems, and apply their knowledge in diverse contexts. It equips them with the skills needed for success in a rapidly changing world.
Three important points about the importance of deeper learning in education:
1. Critical Thinking: It nurtures critical thinking skills, preparing students to analyze complex issues and make informed decisions.
2. Problem Solving: It equips students with problem-solving abilities, which are essential for addressing the challenges of the modern world.
3. Global Competence: It fosters global competence, enabling students to engage with diverse perspectives and contribute to a more interconnected world.

How Can Educators Promote Deeper Learning in the Classroom?

Educators can promote it by using active learning methods, project-based assessments, open-ended questions, and opportunities for students to explore their interests and passions.
Three important points about promoting deeper learning as an educator:
1. Active Learning: Incorporate active learning strategies such as group discussions, case studies, and hands-on activities to engage students and encourage critical thinking.
2. Scaffolded Instruction: Use scaffolded instruction to guide students from simpler tasks to more complex ones, gradually building their understanding.
3. Feedback and Reflection: Provide constructive feedback and opportunities for students to reflect on their learning, promoting metacognition and self-regulation.

What Are the Challenges of Implementing Deeper Learning?

While it offers valuable benefits, it also presents challenges for educators and students.
Three important points about challenges in implementing deeper learning:
1. Time and Curriculum Constraints: Traditional curricula and time constraints may limit opportunities for in-depth exploration and interdisciplinary studies.
2. Assessment Difficulties: Assessing deeper learning can be challenging, as it often involves complex, open-ended tasks that may not have clear right or wrong answers.
3. Student Motivation: Some students may initially struggle with deeper learning, as it requires more effort and persistence, making it essential to foster intrinsic motivation.

How Can Students Foster Deeper Learning?

Students also play a significant role in fostering deeper learning by taking an active approach to their education.
Three important points about how students can foster deeper learning:
1. Inquiry and Curiosity: Cultivate a sense of inquiry and curiosity by asking questions, seeking out additional resources, and exploring topics of personal interest.
2. Collaboration: Collaborate with peers on projects and assignments, as engaging in discussions and cooperative learning can deepen understanding.
3. Real-World Applications: Connect classroom learning to real-world applications and personal experiences to make the material more relevant and meaningful.

What Are the Key Components of Deeper Learning?

Key components of deeper learning include critical thinking, effective communication, collaboration, self-directed learning, and the ability to connect knowledge across different subjects and disciplines.

Can Technology Support Deeper Learning in Education?

Yes, technology can support deeper learning by providing access to resources, facilitating collaboration, and offering interactive learning experiences. When used effectively, technology can enhance the depth of learning.

What Role Does Assessment Play in Measuring and Encouraging Deeper Learning?

Assessment in deeper learning goes beyond traditional testing. It includes performance-based assessments, portfolio evaluations, and other methods that require students to demonstrate their understanding and application of knowledge.

Are There Specific Strategies for Helping Students Develop Deeper Learning Skills?

Strategies for helping students develop deeper learning skills include fostering a growth mindset, encouraging curiosity, providing opportunities for exploration and experimentation, and offering constructive feedback.

Where Can Educators Find Resources And Support For Implementing Deeper Learning in their Classrooms?

Educators can find resources and support for implementing deeper learning through educational conferences, professional development programs, online courses, and educational organizations dedicated to innovative teaching and learning.

In conclusion, deeper learning is an educational approach that emphasizes a deep understanding of subject matter, critical thinking, and the application of knowledge. It is important for equipping students with essential skills and competencies for the 21st century. Educators and students can work together to promote deeper learning by employing effective teaching and learning strategies, despite the challenges it may present.

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