Advice/Tips On Learning

I am curious as to what are the best learning practices that can be adopted as a student.

I was wondering if it is enough, if as a learner someone just goes through the process of learning something.

Multiple things happen inside our own minds when we just go through that process- watching a lecture, understanding bits of it deeply, thinking, analysing, trying to build a structure in our minds, trying & experimenting stuff, reading relevant readings, and so on! Is just going through this process alone sufficient to make sure we learn something without bothering about other stuff.

To add a cherry on the top, once we go through this complete process, we try explaining it to someone, perhaps by creating a blog for example as strongly advised by Jeremy. Again this process of preparing to explain something organizes things in our minds and sort of fits the gaps that might exist!

Will this be enough?

Please share your approaches of learning new material/skill.

Thanks!

hi, in my personal experience after I’ve studied a subject the best way to make myself understand it to a deeper level is to teach it to others. For example make some slides and prepare a 45 min session, try to get a few people from your company or your professional space to attend to your tech-talk. This will give you valuable feedback on how much you understand the subject, if you’re too technical or too simple in the explanations.

If you feel the anxiety may be too much for a live audience, another way is to record yourself and upload your tech-lesson as a free course in youtube or another platform.

Happy learning.

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Here’s a book by @radek on exactly this topic!: Meta Learning: How To Learn Deep Learning And Thrive In The Digital World

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There’s also the ‘Lesson Zero’ video (notes by me here) which is worth a watch on this topic.
Video:

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One important aspect, I would say, is to link everything you’re learning together; create a logical flow. Not only will it help you understand, it will also help you remember and recall much more easily.

In a nutshell: create a mental mindmap. To help you create one, draw one up! Some points when drawing one up:

  • Don’t write each teeny tiny detail; it’ll litter the map. Not writing them also helps with recall.
  • Use as few words as possible; don’t be verbose. Draw images instead!
  • There should be an overall direction/flow in the map
  • Emphasize different links by creating different sorts of connections/arrows/lines
  • Group/chunk different portions of the map

Through creating such a map, you structure learned content logically in your mind, and I can’t emphasize enough how much such a flow helps. It’ll allow you to much more easily absorb new content, it’ll help you relate to existing content you’ve learned, and again, it’ll help you recall much more easily.

And on top of that, any time you’re about to start learning something, you want to have an idea about what you will be learning.

Let’s say you’re going to begin the fastai course. Read/skim through each lesson’s summary and create a map from what you’ve read. It doesn’t matter if the links you’ve made are incorrect or of the sort, you can always change it later. By priming yourself about what you are going to learn, it’ll make the process of learning itself much easier. Then when you will begin, say, lesson 1, read through the lesson summary in much more detail, extend upon the map you made for the entire course, and then begin watching the video. After watching the video, complete the map!

It may seem like a lot more effort up front, but it’ll save time and effort in the long run. Learning isn’t something casual, you gotta feel your brain work!

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Wow! This is highly insightful۔ Thanks for the detailed explanation۔ I sort of had a similar idea but it wasn’t vividly clear۔

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There’s this YouTube channel that goes through this really well, it’s worth watching some of his videos: https://www.youtube.com/@JustinSung/featured

He’s a study coach, and is not like those typical “How to Learn” or “Study Hacks” YouTubers.

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Damn! This guy validates a lot of things. Things I never could explain it to people when learning. I was somehow not a big fan of jotting down every word from the Prof’s mouth or every word from a textbook. JP said this in one of his lectures. We live in this facade of learning but actually don’t.

Anyways, thanks for sharing this treasure of a thing :heart:!

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We live in this facade of learning but actually don’t.

Well said :smile:. I was the teacher assistant for Physics and Mathematics in high school, and I can attest to that heh.

Learning isn’t about writing down notes, memorizing things, or grinding through practice. It’s about actually understanding the concepts, and linking them all together.

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