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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Readings – too much information

Because this is an intensive course taught over five weeks, there’s almost too much to read. Here's some advice for handling the readings and podcasts. Listen to my video podcasts first. They are all short and will outline the major points of the readings. They should bring the subject for the session together. Then attack the readings and other podcasts. And yes, some are deadly long. You need to read actively, which means Read the first and last paragraphs carefully. Take a few notes. Then read or skim the rest and make note of interesting facts or ideas. Then review the intro and conclusion. If the author wrote well, everything is in those two or three paragraphs. Try not to read too slowly, where the words echo in your head. That’s called passive reading and doesn’t work as well when you are trying to actively learn.

All your notes for each reading should fit on two sides of an index card. One side for ideas, the other for topics. no more. The cards will serve as prompts for the discussion threads. Of course, you can take notes on paper, one reading to a page.

Taking notes on the article, highlighting the text, or taking notes into a computer is not the same as actually writing up notes by hand. You’ll find you retain more if you write it out.

The older you are, the harder it is to cram and memorize. You just do not retain information the same way as when you were 20. Take the time to learn the information. You’d be surprise how refreshing it is to take a break every hour, even if all you do is stretch and walk around the room.

As time goes on, you'll see themes in your notes and in your reflective journal.

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