Meta-learning essentials - What do you need to learn before you learn?

In the essentials series, we would refer to the uncanny ideas and assorted techniques that we believe in and implement at SOAL. With a succinct idea of our ideology, we will aim to expedite thoughts and pursue ideas that should propagate into conventional education.

Learn. Practice. Revise. Discuss. Take notes. Watch videos. Go for mock tests.

Repetitive notions highlighted generation after generation with 1 proposition - create memory banks for traditional examinations on which to grade students and gather a sense of their collective, average intelligence. Now don’t get us wrong, we are against examinations in any manner. The idea to stress-test a concept does have its pros for conventional careers.

However, there is certain obsolescence to all the methodologies associated with effective learning. More so because there are only 2 noted beliefs or contentions that are pushed for classic learning -

• Repeated exposure and Revision ‘burns’ material onto your memory and is the most effective way to memorise - the belief that if I reread my notes or repeat my lines enough, they’ll stick eventually. Kinda like burning a CD.

• Massed practice is the best route to mastery - the belief that the best way to gain mastery in a skill or field of knowledge is through single-minded, rapid-fire repetition or “practice-practice-practice.”

In practice, the assembly line - manual labour technique rarely makes thinkers for the modern world. To that, there is an alternative process of learning devised to create an intrinsic process of self-realized learning - often quoted and directed by psychologists and cognitive scientists.

As a concept, Meta learning has been talked about in extent in all forms and shapes. You might have watched a TED video describing the intent behind learning. Or even read Tim Ferriss’ books and gauged an idea of how it works. The essence of it, however, remains quite simple and is based on a simple and innate question.

Can you think about how you think?

What it means, is that can you observe and make educated remarks and analyze your learning process as a third person - getting a better hang of self-realization, self-actualization and reasoning? Well, if you can, then you need to evaluate that process a live problem set. Or maybe just polish your process.

Now, without further ado, here’s what you need to learn before you get into intensive learning programs or careers with a steep learning curve -

  1. Plan: Appropriate selection of strategies, approach and reception of concepts a. Listening - Prime aspect to gather inputs and associate the thoughts to a hook or an anchor to serve as a perspective b. Problem assessment - Assessing the field at hand a create a trajectory or a framework for possible plan creation c. Resource analysis - Checks on the resource present within the sample space of the concept
  2. Monitor: Awareness of comprehension and tasks with an idea of underlying constructs and assumptions as well as the environment and conditions in place
  3. Evaluating: Assessment of the final product in tandem with efficiency at which the task was performed. . Introspection and Articulation - An explanation of the thought process post-implementation while taking biases and distractions into account a. Critique - A re-look at the process within the constraints presented b. Improvement - Relearn the same concepts with precise feedbacks

In addition to these methodologies, you can also -

  • Create and Curate self-tests for yourself - Self-testing will enable you to tackle real-time problems by showing you what you’ve actually learned - think of it as a stress test for your synapses

  • Ensure spaced recollection - Spaced retrieval strengthens the memory and re-iterates concepts making learning deeper and more durable.

  • Practice - We do not like cliches but mixed reflective practice does help you intersperse different parts of a subject or skill, which in turn makes you better at picking the right solutions in unfamiliar situations - especially useful in a fast-paced career.

Once you’ve adapted to create a meta-cognitive manner of looking at learning, the concepts and fields that you delve in will be seemingly simple to grasp and ace. The only limit which then would present is the scope and extent that you want to get into.

A New Way to Learn, Un-Learn & Re-Learn - that is the prime essence of education that we endorse and implement at SOAL. Built on the pillars of research and feedback and enhanced with positive feedback loops, SOAL enables deeper, meaningful learning for future pioneers by providing the right stimuli, training and resources to its students. Through hybrid learning spaces powered by their proprietary behaviour engineering platform, we ensure that we redefine learning to create a more effective and robust learning experience.

Register for our Product Engineering program to make yourself future-ready.

Go Meta with SOAL.