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Beyond ROY G BIV: Enhancing Memory for Course Information using Mnemonics

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Uploaded on Nov 3, 2015

In order to pursue higher-order learning objectives in their chosen disciplines, students need to acquire basic definitional content as a first scaffold. Particularly at introductory course levels, mnemonics (i.e., memory strategies driven by organization, elaboration, and often visual imagery) have the potential to greatly enhance student learning for this type of information. In this presentation, I will focus on how mnemonics work at a conceptual level, how I have incorporated mnemonics into my own pedagogy (with particular emphasis on memory and metacognitive outcomes of classroom instruction in the keyword method and the method of loci), and what we know about students’ self-reported use and perception of mnemonics from web-based survey research. I will conclude with a broader discussion of the role of mnemonics in higher education, myths and misconceptions about mnemonics, and specific strategies for educators to incorporate mnemonics as impactful learning tools in their courses. Mnemonic training is applicable to many disciplines, and is one way we can support the development of our students’ metacognitive skills, in service of the big-picture goal that they will be successful self-regulated learners.

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