02Sep, 2016


In our studies there is a time and a place for surface learning and deep learning. Surface learning is when we need to memorise information such as facts, dates and acronyms; whereas, deep learning requires a more analytical approach. We don’t just memorise the material we ‘do something to it’ How exactly can we ‘do something’ to what we are learning?

  1. Annotate

When reading content for class get into the habit of not only highlighting important information but making notes in the column. You can make notes on the following:

  • What questions does this raise for you?
  • What are some examples of how this links to your own life or practice?
  • How does this link to other readings, compare and contrast?
  • Do you agree or disagree, why?
  • Is there any evidence for what they are stating?
  • What is the strength of the evidence?
  1. Make your own notes covering:
  • Summary in your own words including  links to your own life/other theories/experiences
  • Identify main ideas of the reading and supporting details
  • Organising info in a new way – you can use graphic organisers
  • Add images to your notes
  1. Study Groups

Verbalising and discussing content is a great way to promote deep learning. This can be done face to face or online. You could do a variety of activities together including:

  • Teach each other
  • Discuss class content
  • Summarise & analyse content
  • Link content to your own experiences and life and practice
  • Compare and contrast opinions, readings and ideas about content
  • Debate. What do you and your classmates agree and disagree about.

   Here are some study smarter tips:


Further Reading:  

Purdie, N. & Hattie, J. (1999). The Relationship between Study Skills and Learning Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis. Australian Journal Of Education, 43(1), 72-86. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/000494419904300106