Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Using Cognitive Psychology to Improve Student Performance, Part Five: Putting it All Together by Louis Schulze
Professor Schulze has posted another article in his series on cognitive psychology and learning:
"This series has addressed four concepts from educational and cognitive psychology: (1) retrieval practice (“the testing effect”); (2) metacognition and self-regulated learning; (3) spaced repetition; and (4) cognitive schema theory. Each of these concepts alone can improve students’ performance in law school and on the bar. Together, they can make an enormous difference. The problem is that it’s hard to convince students to use these methods when so many forces convey the message that they should stick to popular but antiquated and ineffective methods.
In this post, I’ll describe a number of specific methods that differ from traditional ones but improve students’ success in law school. In my final post, I’ll do the same in the context of bar exam study."
"While I try to persuade students to take this approach from day one, some do not. When students underperform in the first semester, however, switching them to this plan in the second has led to statistically significant grade increases. I’ve seen students go from sub-2.00 first semester GPAs to 3.50 second semester GPAs; from the bottom of the class to Dean’s List; from the brink of dismissal to a top 10% semester GPA and booked 1L courses. Because this approach comports with what we know about how learning really works, especially compared to traditional methods, it produces results." (emphasis added)