Enhancing learning approaches: Practical tips for students and teachers
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BACKGROUND: In an integrated curriculum such as problem-based learning (PBL), students need to develop a number of learning skills and competencies. These cannot be achieved through memorization of factual knowledge but rather through the development of a wide range of cognitive and noncognitive skills that enhance deep learning. AIM: The aim of this article is to provide students and teachers with learning approaches and learning strategies that enhance deep learning. METHODS: We reviewed current literature in this area, explored current theories of learning, and used our experience with medical students in a number of universities to develop these tips. RESULTS: Incorporating the methods described, we have developed 12 tips and organized them under three themes. These tips are (1) learn how to ask good questions, (2) use analogy, (3) construct mechanisms and concept maps, (4) join a peer-tutoring group, (5) develop critical thinking skills, (6) use self-reflection, (7) use appropriate range of learning resources, (8) ask for feedback, (9) apply knowledge learnt to new problems, (10) practice learning by using simulation, (11) learn by doing and service learning, and (12) learn from patients. CONCLUSIONS: Practicing each of these approaches by students and teachers and applying them in day-to-day learning/teaching activities are recommended for optimum performance.
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