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Learning Through Recall and Questions


How Does It Work?

The recall method of active learning works by trying to retrieve the information you've just learned without viewing the material. Some examples would be trying to remember the main ideas of a paragraph you read while refraining from looking at the text or remembering the main ideas of a lecture before reviewing your notes. The basic idea is to keep repeating the method until you can pull all the needed information from your brain without having to look it up. If done habitually, you can even understand how you learn based on what is difficult to recall.

Why Should You Use This Strategy

This learning strategy has the benefit of helping you analyze yourself as a learner. This is because as you are using the recall method some concepts will be pulled from your mind more easily than others. The harder-to-remember concepts are what you are struggling to learn, thus you can adjust your study habits accordingly. Another benefit of the recall method is its adaptability, as it can be used in a variety of different subjects.


How Does It Work

Using questions as an active learning method can be done in a couple of different ways. While reading you can come up with predictive questions about what will come up in the text or after reading you can write questions about the main ideas of the text. In a class that does not require reading you could make questions based on the concepts you are learning in class. The key to this method is to make your questions challenging as opposed to basic so that you are forced to think more critically about what you are learning than you normally would.

Why Should You Use This Strategy

This strategy will help you move from basic understanding of a subject to a more thorough level of comprehension. This is because you are pushing yourself to make substantial questions about what you need to learn, thus forcing you to really understand the material enough to use the method properly. Much like the recall method, the active learning method of writing substantive questions can be applied to various subjects since all you need is a firm grasp on the material being learned.

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