Questions tagged [learning]

Questions about learning process in academia, lesson plans, learning problems, etc.

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193 votes
15 answers
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How to stop hopping the learning chain and actually begin somewhere?

Here is what I feel whenever I find something interesting and feel like pursuing it : Oh so I like X (Computer Graphics), let me read up papers/books about it. Ok let me begin with reading up Y (...
Amit Tomar's user avatar
  • 1,879
118 votes
9 answers
16k views

Asking questions in class: how can I "exit" a Q&A when I haven't really understood?

I'm an undergrad and I tend to learn better when I understand the concepts behind things instead of rote repetition. As a result of this, I often have questions. There are times when I don't ...
Melanie Palen's user avatar
93 votes
22 answers
38k views

What is the point of a lecture when you have a textbook?

I never really understood the point of having a course with lectures when the course has a textbook. Sometimes the subject is so high-level or specialized or so modern that the contents are changing ...
math_lover's user avatar
  • 1,211
66 votes
13 answers
23k views

What are the benefits of an oral exam?

A recent question about reducing stress in oral examinations asserted that Oral exams can have various pedagogical benefits in certain circumstances Based on the reputation of the poster I'm ...
David K's user avatar
  • 1,186
53 votes
10 answers
21k views

Is asking your PhD supervisor a basic question considered inappropriate?

I've done my Master's degree in Computational Mathematics. Then, because of several reasons, I decided to pursue my Ph.D. in the field of Quantum Chemistry. The problem is, obviously, my lack of ...
Eenoku's user avatar
  • 2,188
47 votes
8 answers
12k views

How can I deal with being pressured by my department to pass students who failed?

Due to COVID-19, I have found myself teaching a course online. I worked with the university teaching center to transition the course online, prepared an online classroom, and updated the requirements ...
user avatar
43 votes
6 answers
5k views

What is the best way to retain learned materials

No matter who you talk to, students or professors, they all say that the materials they once learned can be quickly forgotten without further experiences that utilizes or enhances on that prior ...
Fraïssé's user avatar
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35 votes
4 answers
4k views

Do exercises in a theoretical reference book need to be solved when doing research?

I am a first year graduate student in a computational math program. Based on my background (I just finished a one-semester graduate real analysis course), instead of reading a specific textbook, my ...
John's user avatar
  • 894
28 votes
3 answers
2k views

Swiss cheese holes in my education. Do I go back and fill them?

In this recent blog post the author lists several interesting concepts he has discovered pertaining to learning. One thing he mentions is the following: Mastery is more important than passing ...
jessems's user avatar
  • 381
27 votes
13 answers
10k views

How can I encourage students to ask questions in class

In my field (as in many others), students are assigned articles or textbook chapters to be read as preparation for classes (i.e. the whole class has to read the same set of texts). I encourage my ...
Robert's user avatar
  • 1,666
25 votes
12 answers
8k views

How to self teach mathematics?

I am a postgraduate in biology. I haven’t had an opportunity to learn mathematics beyond secondary school. In my current project I have to use differential equations, ordinary differential equations (...
Dendrobium's user avatar
23 votes
10 answers
7k views

How do you study a graduate-level textbook that doesn't have any exercises?

I am trying to self-study a graduate-level physics book that was recommended to me, but it doesn't have any exercises. Also, it's a specific enough topic to where I can't really find any other ...
roshoka's user avatar
  • 349
22 votes
6 answers
3k views

Is it possible to do good research on a certain area through self-learning the state-of-the-art of the area?

I’m currently doing my masters in chemical engineering in a relatively unknown university here in the Philippines. For my master’s thesis, I am planning to theoretically model transport processes of ...
Nicotinamide's user avatar
20 votes
10 answers
7k views

How can I pass a statistics exam that overly relies on memorizing formulas?

Long story short, I struggle with a statistics exam at the university. Although I know how to solve all types of exercises and the rationale behind each of them, I still can't pass this exam, because ...
AiRdr0p's user avatar
  • 219
20 votes
5 answers
12k views

Is solving all of the exercises in a textbook a good idea? [closed]

Is solving all of the exercises in a textbook a good idea? I'm particularly concerned with textbooks on mathematics. I have this obsession that I should solve all of the problems that a textbook has. ...
Heptapod's user avatar
  • 303
19 votes
6 answers
3k views

How can a student improve his attentiveness during lectures?

I'll be starting my 4-th year of post-secondary education, in a few weeks, and during my first 3 years, I've had problems with attentiveness. My latest problem was last year, where I don't think I've ...
PaoloH's user avatar
  • 350
18 votes
12 answers
9k views

The Ethics of Preparing for a Course Long Before Actually Taking it

I think this is an unspoken question in academia: how do you factor in the effort put forth by a student before taking your class? I think the answer to this question has several consequences: it ...
Fraïssé's user avatar
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16 votes
7 answers
15k views

How should I reply to an email from a student who took a test and failed, and promises to do better?

Below is an email I received from a student whom I'm giving Spanish lessons to. He took a assessment test and failed it. I received this email (which I've attached below) from him today, and I'm not ...
sarasanders's user avatar
15 votes
5 answers
3k views

Do researchers study topics outside their field for fun?

This question is partially inspired by this one. Do researchers, who actively publish, even have time for that? They seem to be a busy lot. I am not talking about publishing outside the filed, but ...
Pedro H. N. Vieira's user avatar
14 votes
7 answers
4k views

How do I improve my ability to learn?

I am decent at learning from videos. But poor at learning from textbooks, wikipedia articles etc. Unless the material is really easy to follow, I am unable to learn most of text content. How do I ...
raveenatandon's user avatar
14 votes
4 answers
2k views

Does more knowledge enhance your chance of doing better and 'original' research (in mathematics)?

NOTE: I had asked this question in here, in my edit, but since it is irrelevant to that question, I moved it here as it is a separate question... I chose to study bulky books instead of attending ...
MKR's user avatar
  • 921
14 votes
6 answers
2k views

How to keep one's focus during discussions, meetings and lectures

I noticed that I have more and more serious problems keeping focused, and despite my efforts to fix it the problem is just getting worse over time. When I'm in a research-related discussion with ...
Imba's user avatar
  • 141
14 votes
4 answers
3k views

How to read textbooks like you listen a lecture?

When I hear a lecture, If the instructor is the kind I like, then I can easily understand what part of what I'm learning is important and the true crux of the ideas. Like I can pick it up from how the ...
user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
542 views

Is there academic research that supports individual over group work for better learning?

I'm in an undegraduate program in the US where group work is a major focus in most classes. Faculty often cite the important benefits of knowing how to collaborate in teams, claiming how educational ...
aedcv's user avatar
  • 434
13 votes
6 answers
5k views

Discouraged by advisor to take courses, is there a way to navigate through this situation?

Graduate schools in North America usually have a required number of courses that you need to pass. Afterwards, the school is usually pretty flexible at the student taking more courses (and it is often ...
Fraïssé's user avatar
  • 11.4k
13 votes
4 answers
2k views

Leading an Academic "Book Club"

Short form: How should one lead a collaborative "book study group" amongst one's peers, particularly when the leader does not have deep prior knowledge of the book? Long form: I'm an undergraduate CS ...
apnorton's user avatar
  • 334
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

How do you convince students that it's OK to teach them "how to think?"

Often in a Calculus or Linear Algebra class, my students may ask - when am I ever going to use this? The answer I try to give them is "You're not. And that's totally OK. But you do need to learn how ...
Luke Oeding's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
1k views

Skimming through a math paper with a group

I am an M.Sc. student in mathematics. I was recently invited by some Ph.D. students and Post-Docs (a group of 5 people, including myself) to join their study group. We are reading a specific text, ...
user302099's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Performance of the Toronto Paper Matching System (TPMS) for (conference) paper review assignment

[EDIT (2016-11-11) based on a comment] I have been invited as a reviewer for the IEEE International Conference on Image Processing (ICIP 2016, on image processing, in a broad domain sometimes ...
Laurent Duval's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
514 views

Are there any available studies on the effectiveness of "learning by teaching"?

There is a study which claims that "learning by teaching" has a 90% retention rate. However, the study is no longer available and it is not clear what kind of research was actually done to support ...
Renan's user avatar
  • 221
11 votes
4 answers
2k views

How can people with debilitating social phobias get through foreign language? [closed]

I almost didn't get my BS degree because I have never successfully tolerated a foreign language course. My most recent attempt was no exception. I paced about in front of the building trying ...
user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

Try exercises or look at the solutions for self-study

I am currently self-studying The Art of Computer Programming as an undergrad in my free time. To do all of the exercises (or even a portion of them) would be incredibly difficult and time-consuming; ...
Jack's user avatar
  • 121
11 votes
6 answers
3k views

Where to continue my research-oriented studies after Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science?

I have a bachelor's degree in computer science. I am looking for an appropriate master program. I am interested in algorithms. My question is not about where I should continue my education. My ...
com's user avatar
  • 477
11 votes
3 answers
942 views

Online vs hard copy, which texts are students more likely to read?

I am wondering if anyone knows of any studies that indicate whether students read online texts more or less than hard copy texts. I am in the midst of trying to "reboot" the intro stats class I teach ...
Matt Brenneman's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

How to improve self-learning as a PhD student?

As a doctoral student, you take some classes, but most of what you do needs material that you must gather from papers, conferences, and other sources. With limited possibilities for communication with ...
marcman's user avatar
  • 2,616
10 votes
2 answers
212 views

How can I get sufficient guidance from an advisor who's always travelling?

How can I get the most out of my advisor's knowledge if s/he's always travelling and out of office? We communicate by email, but I find it uncomfortable as I am new to the field I am working in and ...
user10853's user avatar
  • 233
10 votes
3 answers
890 views

When teaching, which question types are effective for stimulating deep processing of the material in students?

In our university, we have a discussion about different question types to use in a module in our Electronic Learning Environment called 'self-tests'. We use this module to stimulate active processing ...
Matherion's user avatar
  • 211
10 votes
1 answer
205 views

Is there data or research on the tradeoffs associated with revealing how a student's grade on an assessment compares to the rest of the class?

We're building a teaching platform for projects, and one of the goals is to provide rich feedback to students concerning their performance. I'm fairly data-driven as a student and always appreciate ...
Jedi's user avatar
  • 846
9 votes
1 answer
170 views

Have there been studies about the effect of idle time vs time pressure in learning?

There is a discussion in our institute about how much of their time students should spend on lectures and homework. My own experience has been that idle time and wandering of the mind is necessary ...
Aivar's user avatar
  • 191
8 votes
2 answers
666 views

How to tackle papers filled with unknown vocabulary

Background I am having a lot of trouble wrapping my head around papers for my distributed systems class. I and two partners have to write a research paper, and we must cite around 20 research papers ...
trivialPants's user avatar
8 votes
6 answers
568 views

Should I take undergraduate CS classes if all I do is applied software dev and data science?

I am a PhD student in social science who got interested in programming via data analysis in R and various utility tools in Python, SQL, Java (for web scraping, data querying, etc.). I am considering ...
Heisenberg's user avatar
  • 1,466
8 votes
5 answers
2k views

How to encourage students to attend and participate in class?

I have seen a shrinking trend in the number of students coming to my classes and suspect that it's due to the large number of digital tools that are available to students. What techniques can I ...
Daniel Shen's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
2k views

The best way to prepare an undergraduate student before entering scientific research

I am a student in the second year of a university majoring in mathematics. I am trying to publish scientific research. Of course I know that it will be very difficult to do it at this level of study. ...
Anas's user avatar
  • 171
7 votes
2 answers
468 views

How do I encourage learning to an underprivileged group

Some faculty members are required to perform service to the community. Providing free education that improve societal value is one of the many ways to deliver the service. However, we recently are ...
w2olves's user avatar
  • 173
7 votes
1 answer
225 views

How important is the academic staff to student ratio?

I've been looking at some universities abroad (I'm from Norway) like in Hong Kong (HKUST), but the academic staff to student ratio seems dreadful compared to others with 1:23. Still, people seem to ...
DarkLightA's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Rote learning in South East Asia

I knew from some newspapers that Taiwanese education system prefers rote memorization over creativity. This culture was imported from Japan. This problem is also present in Singapore, Hong Kong, and ...
user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
201 views

Ways to display extra-curricular/independent learning

I am a mathematics student and have been extensively reading textbooks cover-to-cover in my own time. Thus, my transcript does not say that I have (for example) taken differential geometry, even ...
malxmusician212's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
837 views

Is it better to lecture with a board or a document camera?

I will be teaching my first class this fall. The course will be an undergraduate engineering course, so there will be some derivations and other math. I am trying to decide if I should present with a ...
Astor Florida's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
704 views

How can a would-be researcher overcome slow comprehension, obsession and poor communication skills?

I m a current master coursework student in engineering major and I’m planning to do a PhD after graduating from this course. I want to know how to become a qualified researcher. There are several ...
Mr.unknown's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
1k views

Is the correlation between learning a subject and having high grades strong?

I've found myself in a paradoxical situation. I have failed modules over and over, many modules, some modules more than once. One of the failed modules was introduction to computing. After passing it ...
0 kelvin's user avatar
  • 561