There are two aspects to memory. One is how well you remember something (how well is it learned). The other is how easy it is to recall. The strategies for making your brain work hard to learn and distributed learning primarily focus on helping you learn the material well. The strategy of creating clues helps your memory by making associations between things you regularly see or use each day.
The environment you study in creates mental clues that can help you remember what you have learned.
The first method of creating clues relates to varying your study habits. For example, imagine that yesterday you were studying the Learning Model while you were riding the bus. The next day when you get on the bus, it could trigger that memory (in other words, “help you remember”) about what you have learned. Or perhaps, you were listening to Beethoven while you were studying your math lesson. When you heard a Beethoven song again, you remembered what you studied in your lesson. The idea is that your brain records context clues from your environment while you are learning. So if you vary your learning environment, you’ll create more triggers to help you remember your learning.
Don’t get carried away, however, creating clues is a great way to help you remember things, but if you have too much going on, your brain won’t know what to focus on. These distractions can keep you from focusing on your learning. Examples of bad distractions include TV, social media, email, and a loud environment. To eliminate bad distractions, turn off the TV, close your email, put your phone on airplane mode, and find a quiet place where you can study that invites the Holy Ghost to teach you.
The second way to create clues is to create a reminder that will help you remember what you’ve learned. Examples of reminders include the following:
- Taking notes in your Learning Journal
- Using hints like writing down the first letters of each word of a scripture you’re trying to memorize
- Setting a reminder on your phone to finish studying for your quiz
These strong reminders are very effective in creating habits and learning things that are not easy to associate with things that you are already familiar with.
Ponder and Record
As you review and reflect on the material above, please consider the following questions and record some of your thoughts in your Learning Journal:
- How does Satan place triggers in media and advertising to tempt you?
- How can you vary your study habits to create more contextual triggers?
- When should you use a strong hint or clue to create a reminder?