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Fast Learning

Implications for Upgrading Accelerated Learning Practices In Educational Systems

Maria Johnsen's PhD research

ISBN 978-82-93384-09-0 (print)
ISBN 978-82-93384-10-6 ( digital version)


Education provides the drive, vision, curiosity and the inventive genius to follow an opportunity to its logical end and achieve great success. With technology at the forefront in every sphere of life, research and advancement in application of technology in education sector has become far more valuable.

Implications for Upgrading Accelerated Learning Practices In Educational Systems



Accelerated learning can only take place if students are physically and mentally ready to learn and teachers have the proper teaching tools and techniques for this accelerated paced learning. One will research techniques such as making links with what students already know, developing students' thinking skills, developing students learning to learn skills, using tools such as mind mapping and logo visual thinking, allowing students to demonstrate what they know and using metacognitive techniques to review what has been learnt and providing a new technique in accelerate learning.

"The human brain consists of about one billion neurons. Each neuron forms about 1,000 connections to other neurons, amounting to more than a trillion connections. If each neuron could only help store a single memory, running out of space would be a problem. You might have only a few gigabytes of storage space, similar to the space in an iPod or a USB flash drive. Yet neurons combine so that each one helps with many memories at a time, exponentially increasing the brain's memory storage capacity to something closer to around 2.5 petabytes (or a million gigabytes). For comparison, if your brain worked like a digital video recorder in a television, 2.5 petabytes would be enough to hold three million hours of TV shows. You would have to leave the TV running continuously for more than 300 years to use up all that storage." ( Steven Kotler, forbes, 2014)


Many have proposed methods of accelerated learning. How many of these methods can be applied realistically among students who come from different cultural backgrounds, age, gender and learning capacities? How can we apply a universal method for accelerated learning in various institutions? What is a realistically time frame for each learning curve? In this research proposal one focuses on these areas and offers a universal solution for accelerate learning in educational systems.


Although there are many methods and materials online and offline related to accelerated learning, one cannot apply these methods at once easily across different cultures. Despite age, gender, geographical location and cultural differences, we can learn anything we want as quickly as possible.


Research:

"Implications for Upgrading Accelerated Learning Practices In Educational Systems".

One presents the current situation along with problems in accelerated learning, hypothesis, unsolved problem in accelerated learning and study setting in order to determine a new method in this regard.

Introduction
Accelerated learning over the past several decades has the predominant focus of research in many countries. Most of these studies and proposals pertain to human's brain activities, psychological issues, cultural differences, gender and race.

Earlier scientists have proposed various methods in accelerate learning in order to grasp knowledge and information as quickly as possible.

What are the approaches used in accelerated learning?

Some of the approaches and techniques have existed since old times while others are as a result of recent research. They include:

Mnemonics - are memory gadgets that help learners review and recall larger pieces of information especially in form of lists, steps, characteristics, stages, phases, parts etc. A study by Gerald R. Miller in 1967 showed that mnemonics increased recall. He found that learners who consistently used mnemonic method increased test scores to more than 77%!( Robinson and Francis.,2008)

SQ3R - It is a reading method having five steps: survey, question, read, recite, and review. Francis Pleasant Robinson introduced this method in 1946 in his book Effective Study on principles.

Spaced repetition- repetition in learning normally increases the optimum inter-val of remembrance before the next needed repetition. For perfect retention, first repetitions need to be made in short periods but later they can be made after long periods.

Learning curves- This term is used in two ways: where the same work is repeated mainly in series of trials or where the information is learned over time. Hermann Ebbinghaus was the first person to explain these curves in 1885. His test involved memorizing a number of syllables and recorded more success over a good number of trials. He used diagrams of learning against the number of trials. He noted that the score can oscillate or decrease.( Bremer and Rod.,2009)

Psychologists and other educational specialists have sought techniques for improving the quality of learning, comprehension, retention of knowledge and most importantly the rate at which knowledge can be acquired especially in an age which the amount of information that people need to deal with is growing quickly and threatening to overpower them.

What are the challenges in accelerated learning in educational systems?



Accelerated learning is coupled with many challenges. First, the concepts might not be understood by the learners even if they can recite or write them down. Use of mnemonics may encourage cramming. Secondly the method leads to a situation where the information is not stored in the brain but simply connected in an obscure way which is unlikely to stick in the brain over time. Someone may spend more time trying to remember the mnemonic than grasping the very work it is designed to mean and symbolize. Also, accelerated learning may cause mental impairment. Taking too much information within a short time among young children may overwork their brains. The older students may forget what they have learnt.

Different Methods for Accelerated Learning


Learning is the secret to success, and learning in itself is a skill that must be developed. Students are taught various ideas, concepts, and pieces of history. They are rarely taught proper study methods, or how to enhance their learning methods.

The following are five methods which can increase comprehension, memory, and the overall learning ability of anyone who has the desire and drive to do so.

Create a Strong Foundation:Everything in learning must be based on a strong foundation, and this foundation must be developed. This foundation will consist of beliefs, skills, and habits. And sense repetition is the mother of all skill, it's important to work on these traits every day. This includes overcoming procrastination, following through, and putting in maximum effort without seeking perfection.

The foundation should be built on a structured system of core beliefs when it comes to study and work ethics.

Speed Reading :Reading will be one of the bases for all learning, this will be done both online and offline. Therefore speed reading is a fundamental technique to develop. Speed reading will improve focus, comprehension, and the retention of memory. It will also help to develop the focus that is required to study and learn effectively.

Working and thinking on Paper:There is a much stronger retention of information when a mind body connection is made. The best way to do this is on paper, it helps to process information and enhance creativity, all of which add to better learning abilities. This includes proper methods for note taking and mind mapping.

Multisensory Techniques :Everyone learns differently, and the better an individual understands how they learn and process information the better they can learn. There are three different ways in which a person typically learns, auditory through the use of sounds, visual through pictures, or kinesthetic or tactical through emotion, experience, and feeling. Each of these can be developed to create a more balanced learning ability. The first step knows which type of learning you use primarily.

Exploring One's Absorption Times: Everyone processes information at different rates and better at different times. For some people think better in the morning than at night.
Each of these methods incorporated together help to create an accelerated learning process. Each is a skill which needs to be developed and will take time. Anyone who has the persistence and desire can quickly become a more focused and disciplined learner.

What are the main problems of accelerated learning in educational systems?


The educational systems have been factories of making useful individuals. There are various methods of accelerating learning. Preparing the mind and the environment is among the key steps of accelerated learning. However, starting from lower levels of education (primary and high school) to higher levels of education, there are various problems affecting accelerated learning.
The main problem in accelerated learning in higher education is that some methods have limited application. Higher education requires proper understanding of concepts that would be applied in work environment making it crucial and important to take time studying unlike using other methods like mnemonics. It is also challenging to get all individuals learning accelerated since some are slow learners.( Keith Harry.1999).
Ordinary education system is also faced with many problems mainly in adapting the techniques of accelerated learning. All depend on the ability of learners to grasp the content of learned material.

Methods of accelerated learning in lower education system


- Use of pictures and diagrams - It is an upgraded version of visualization
- Memory trees - It is a way of summarizing bigger information into smaller pieces.
- Anthropomorphization - It is the process where non-human things and given human characteristics. Describing a mountain as being lonely would be an example. Using this tool gives abstract ideas about human qualities so they become easier to remember.
- Song or Story - This is a memorizing technique that links information together by placing it in a song or a story form.
- Dramatization - Acting the ideas to look and sound real.
Methods of accelerated learning in higher education system

- Use of acronyms and other mnemonic devices. Mnemoics are tricks for remembering information. Some of these tricks are so effective that proper application will let you recall loads of information over a long period.


- Symbolism and semiotics. Semiotic is the study of signs and symbols. Understanding the symbols of particular information aids in learning and allows recording information more efficiently.

- Stimulating ideas. Playing rhyming games, uttering nonsense words. These loosen up the learner making the information more receptive to learning.

- Brainstorming. This is a technique that combines verbal activity, writing and collaboration.

- Writing instead of typing. Typing notes into the computer is normally great for posterity; using hand to write stimulates ideas. The simple act of holding a pencil or a pen stimulates the mind to give more ideas.

The right method for accelerated learning is persistently practicing the idea and using memorizing techniques. Test, practice and use of what has been learnt in real life situations improves accelerated learning.( McDaniel et al.,2008)

Unsolved problems of accelerated learning


Accelerated learning mainly depends on how our brains have been programmed. Some people are accelerated learners while others are slow learners. Several research studies have been carried out on accelerated learning with some of the reported data coming out inconclusive. This is simply because the brain is one of the most complex organs of the body. Some problems remain unsolved up to date.

One of these unsolved mysteries is how information is coded into the neural activity. Many have found the brain’s information relay system very perplexing. Spikes inside the brain appear to be the ones responsible for carrying information in the brain. The more the spikes in the brain, the stronger the body responses. This means that more spikes represent a stronger feeling. In accelerated learning, a person with more spikes is more intelligent than the ones with lesser spikes. Information in the brain has been suspected to be stored in different cells that form a pattern instead of in a single cell. The relaying of data takes a surge of voltage for the body to respond to it. Many studies have been conducted to determine exactly how signals are carried across the body as a result of a voltage burst.

Another unsolved mystery is how memory is stored in the brain, as well as how it is retrieved. New information introduced to the brain causes physical changes in its structure. The problem is that no one understands what these changes are, how they take place over millions neurons and synapses, how knowledge is embodied or how it is retrieved. Accelerated learners usually have a long term memory as opposed to slow learners with a short memory. However, there are certain things that both can do in a quick interval like remembering a number long enough to dial it and birthday dates of favorite people. Studies have turned out unsuccessful when it comes to explaining how this fact works.

The meaning of the word intelligence may have been defined as having a high intellectual ability but when seeing how people react to certain things around them contradicts that definition. A person with a very low intellect may be watching a movie and suggest a correct ending of the movie. Does that mean that person is intelligent? This is one of the unsolved problems. On the other hand, people with a high intellect are usually accelerated learners with the ability to resolve cognitive conflict in a very short time and are able to restructure information stored in the brain very quickly. However, intelligence may not be from a single neural area. This unsolved fact may be explained by the fact that human beings are the only species that can solve many different problems. This is as opposed to other species wired to solve particular problems.

A major unsolved problem in modern science to date is the explanation of consciousness. It is imagined to be turned on when we are fully aware of our surrounding, i.e. when we are awake. Neuroscientists believe that it pops because of changes in the brain experiences such as drugs introduced to the system causing powerful alterations to subjective experiences. The main problem is the inability to put together pieces causing consciousness as the mere theory is yet to be explained. The theory behind the explanation is yet to be found.

Based on the above discussion, it is possible to identify a two-fold problem that will serve as a point of departure for the present investigation. One problem area is the fact that many students face various hurdles that can impact their overall state of learning. Some adults are able to grasp learning materials through self-learning efforts, while others find themselves less well equipped to cope with such concerns. The second problem area involves better understanding why some people turn to learning for meeting personal needs, while others do not.

In essence, learning abilities varies considerable among students between ages 5- 17 years old and the ones in higher education between ages 19 - 55 years old. It is these variances that lie at the heart of the problem areas proposed for this study. If a method can be proposed for accelerated learning which spares time, people will be able to learn anything they want in a short amount of time.

Purpose

The purpose of this study, then, is to explore ways in which students’ perceptions as accelerated learners compare with the degree of satisfaction that they ascribe to their learning lifecycle. Specifically, the study will focus on two primary objectives:

1. To determine the relationship between environmental surroundings and personal readiness for accelerated learning.

2. To determine the extent to which components of personal readiness combine with selected demographic variables to predict a person’s level of accelerated learning readiness.

In addition, because so little is known about accelerated learning among students in higher and lower educational systems, a third objective will complete the research effort: 3. To examine various methodological and substantive considerations in studying accelerated learning.

Hypotheses Emotional Hypothesis:The result of strong emotional states such as anxiety, anger, depression, stress or fear of failure affect the speed of learners. The performance speed of a child decreases when emotions interfere with focusing or cause the child to react to the task at hand. Those learners who are calm and focused are likely to perform their best and do it quickly.

Time Pressure Hypothesis: Some learners know the concepts of math and can calculate well when they are not timed. Their self-esteem is damaged by the persistent anxiety and frustration caused by timed test. Due to the poor performance in exams they tend to avoid timed tasks generally.

Visual /Auditory Processing Hypothesis: The brain processing speed of children differ due to how the brain was developed when they were young. The input channel of the brain i.e hearing, vision, taste and touch may have a relative strength that enhances speed. However, a child can have a problem in the way the eyes process visual information which will lead to slow recording of concepts in the brain.

Medical Condition Hypothesis : Many medications influence the speed of performance and learning of an individual. For instance, stimulants normally speed up responses while antihistamines slow them down. Homeopathic may also affect processing speed as well. Temporary and chronic medical conditions e.g cold or flu adversely slows processing speed.

Cerebellum Function hypothesis: Fast reception of information in the cerebellum leads to efficient and fast performance. Once cerebellum of an individual has practiced a task like bi-cycle riding, it sticks and remembers how to do it. When there is no automatic processing of information by the cerebellum, the practice must be done with a slower pace each time it is performed.

Review of Literature

Learning requires input from sources that should help an individual to memorize whatever is taught. When proper methods are used to teach individuals, they memorize more, improve their mentality, explore the material taught to them, and apply that learnt material in their practical lives. For good output, efficient and effective input is required.

There are basically four ways of fast and easy learning namely, listening, speaking, reading and writing. These four require equal contribution by teacher and the student. If anyone among these is negligent, miscommunication occurs, which causes either poor learning or the learning strategies are changed and the student learns what he is not supposed to learn and teacher teaches what he is not supposed to teach.



There are various theories used in learning, for example socialism aspects, psychological aspects, anthropological aspects and theological aspects. Anthropology describes human brain’s working at the time of learning something. Sociological aspects are the reasons due to which an individual becomes faster in learning or becomes slower.

Psychological aspects describe the happenings inside the learner’s brain that may help or harm learning. Theological aspects describe supportive elements regarding learning and things that the theological approach forbids as not allowed to be learnt.

There are two types of education namely Outcome Based Education (OBE) and Traditional Education (TE). OBE is student centered, which means that output of students is measured, whereas in TE, education source is considered and student’s output is not analyzed. Now a days, all learning education centers as well as professional organizations are working on OBE, because due to this, the teacher is able to find out that how much an individual has understood and memorized and where is the room for improvement.

It is important to evaluate the performance of an individual through tests, quizzes and exams, as well as presentations, speeches and debates. Weak students must be picked up and must be given special attention to learn about their weaknesses and to work on their weaknesses to make them like others. Efficient students must also be highlighted and must be given roles to help their weak classmates. The purpose of this investigation is to explore sources of literature which helps one to reach the result.

The challenges of learning If there is anything that plays a vital role in the development of the personality, then it has to be learning. Accelerated learning refers to that kind of learning in which the methods that are used that have the objective of obtaining higher learning rates. But this is done without having to adjust in factors like retention or comprehension. It simply means that accelerated learning aims at enhancing the learning rates without drop in retention or comprehension. The method which may be included in accelerated learning may comprise of reflection, questioning, listening, conversation and observation.

Though the emphasis is always on the quality of learning, when it comes to accelerated learning there are certain areas which have been not solved completely. One of the most important issues that have kind of created challenge in the area of accelerated learning is related to the rapid advancements in the technology. For instance, the schools have to constantly match up to the pace at which digital innovations take place so that it could be incorporated in the technical infrastructure as well as in creating new programs.

Another area may be in regard to the information. With so much information being shared, in accelerated learning it becomes a bit challenging to assimilate the information without having to lose out on anything significant. It is also important to divide the information so that each part is well understood. Another challenge in the area of accelerated learning may be the different learning styles of different individuals. This would simply mean that the sharing of the information has to be done as per the broad learning styles taking into consideration the main styles of the different individuals. The mental capabilities may differ from learner to learner and hence a generalized approach in accelerated learning may not be feasible. Though multi-dimensional approach may be difficult to carry out it would help in catering as per the capability of the learner. One way by which this could be done is with the help of interaction.

Accelerated learning also needs to take into consideration the challenges of learning which may cover the factors like anxiety, noise which falls under the environmental factors and so on. These have to be identified and taken care of so that there are minimal obstacles in accelerated learning. The differences in the personal characteristics of the learners may also be required to be understood well. This is because each learner may have different characteristics and while undertaking the accelerated learning program it would be helpful in giving out the information.

Establishment of social relationships is also needed so that the outcome of the efforts of accelerated learning could be understood. The accelerated learning thus faces the problems of assimilation of the huge amounts of information, differences in the abilities of the learners and ensuring that no vital information gets lost in the process of accelerated learning. Though there are efforts taken by the researchers to deal with the various issues related with accelerated learning the above mentioned problems are the ones which are not fully addressed.

Summary

We focus on possible and easier ways to learn quickly despite of age, gender, geographical, cultural influences and differences. We also focus on different methods and techniques appli-cable separately to lower level of education and higher levels of education system.

The best methodology in this research is utilizing memorizing tips that allows concepts and information to stick on the minds of the learners. The three keys for developing a tremendous memory are: association, imagination and location. The essence of memory is to form associations between new information and already existing information. We remember things that have meaning for us and things that have meaning when we associate them with what we already know.

Accelerated learning in primary and high school is very important in retaining points. I propose that they use more of mnemonics and dramatization. Most of the information in primary and high school involve listing, stating, naming and labeling parts.

For higher education, one proposes test, practice and use of what they have learnt in real life situation. The learners should make an effort to seek out occasions for them to use their new knowledge or skill repeatedly until they master it.

The major hypothesis area is that accelerated learning is important both in lower level (primary and secondary) and higher levels of education system. We measure our finding in this problem approach by appreciating the various methods that have been successfully used in the past to make accelerated learning applicable in all systems of education. Methodology The accelerated learning has benefited most learners and assisted them to participate actively on the learning process. This is based on research feedback from the learners regarding the effectiveness of accelerated learning they gain. Findings have found that there are six methods of studying implications for accelerated learning which include: - Creation of an interesting learning environment-A conducive environment for learning should be the first step to prepare and this sets the base of mind to a comfort-able nature to study. - Creation of emotional connection by using visuals—Eye processing is among the key initiators of accelerated learning. The higher the ability of the eye to process in-formation the higher speed of learning new concepts. - Creatively present by using colors and sounds- Bright colors accelerate learning since the brain tend to keep most of the attractive information perceived by the eye.

- Activation and integration of learners through fun activity, exercises and learning games.-Involving the learners to perform a task they have studied in class awaken their mind to keep that practical part as a way of life. The activity should also be humorous and entertaining.

- Motivate learners to engage actively in learning process- Use of gifts to appreciate a well done learner motivate them to work more harder hence accelerating learning. Uses of soft language to the learners create a relaxed mind and ability to grasp the in-formation faster.

- Facilitative rather than a teaching approach should be utilized- Learners should be allowed to do their learning individually without giving them fine details so as to expand their thinking capacity. Couching should only be to facilitate them and not giving everything. Accelerated programs will require regular and close monitoring to prevent learner from dropping out.

Accelerated or fast learning strengthens the relationship between the learners learning and working. However, when these methods are well-managed, the programs would lead to a greater gratification and a more rewarding experience for both learners and teachers. There are still mixed feelings on this format but it has become apparent that fast or accelerated courses and units in higher education are likely not to disappear.

We will run a test at college in order to calculate learning ability. To measure the rate of learning by students, a statistical tool of Analysis of variance (ANOVA) will be used in order to calculate the differences in their percentage score during a test. We will measure various Hypotheses which are introduced in previous section.

Study Setting

In its broadest conceptualization, this study is intended to address the population of students in the United States. However, the vast diversity of this population in terms of socioeconomic status and other related variables would make for a monumental undertaking. Therefore, it is necessary to delimit the setting from which a sample for the study will be drawn. This part will be proposed later.

Research Design

The proposed study employs an ex post facto after-the-fact research design as described by Kerlinger (1973):

Ex post facto research is systematic empirical inquiry in which the scientist does not have direct control of variables. Inferences about relationships among variables are made from any determined variations between the studied variables. (p. 344)

Therefore, the study plan will involve the gathering of information about accelerated learning readiness among students. No manipulation of the variables by the researcher will be possible; instead any determined differences will be ex post facto in nature in that they will stem from differences in results in the measurement efforts according to age, gender, residential setting, life satisfaction scores, and accelerated learning readiness scores.

Data Collection Procedures

In the proposed study, one will apply certain instruments in order to measure one independent variable, one dependent variable, and three moderator (demographic) variables.

Data Analysis

In this section one will apply data analysis for the hypothesis given in previous section.

Concluding Remarks One will conclude the analysis in this section and provides the significance and limitations of this research.





References
Keith Harry (1999). Higher Education Through Open and Distance Learning: World review of distance education and open learning (Vol. 1). 307 pages. London: Routledge/Commonwealth of Learning. ISBN 0-415-19792-9

James, W.; Gardner, D. (2009). "Learning styles: Implications for distance learning". New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education 67.

McDaniel, M.; Rohrer, D.; Bjork, R. (2008). "Learning styles: Concepts and evidence".

Psychological Science in the Public Interest 9: 105–119. doi:10.1111/j.1539-6053.2009.01038.x.

Article- Hacking Knowledge: 77 Ways to Learn Faster, Deeper, and Better(Nov 30th,2006).

Article- 50 Tricks to Study Better, Faster and with Less Stress

Bremer, Rod(2009). The Manual - A guide to the Ultimate Study Method (USM) (Amazon Digital Services)

Gunning. G. (2002). Creating Literacy Instruction for All Children (4th ed.). Allyn & Bacon. ISBN978-0-205-35539-6

Robinson, Francis Pleasant (2008). Effective Study (6th ed.). New York: Harper & Row. ISBN 978-0-06-045521-4

Grant, Robert M. (2004), Contemporary strategy analysis, U.S., UK, Australia, Germany: Blackwell publishing, ISBN 1-4051-1999-3

Steven Kotler ( 2014). Learning To Learn Faster: The One Superpower Everyone Needs, http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenkotler/2013/06/02/learning-to-learn-accelerateder-the-one-superpower-everyone-needs/





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