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Passive vs Active Studying

Thread: Passive vs Active Studying

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  1. wubmed's Avatar

    wubmed said:

    Thumbs up Passive vs Active Studying

    Passive vs Active Studying

    In principle, there is no wrong way or right way to study. There are many theories on study methods but essentially it depends on the individual. This article will explore the elements of passive and active learning, as it pertains to studying. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages.

    Passive learning is when students assume that the instructor is an expert on the subject, and as a result, willingly absorb the information. Passive learning can come in the form of lectures, slides or handouts. This is the traditional way of teaching.

    Passive Learning
    Advantages Disadvantages
    ∑ Large amounts of information can be presented in a short period, to numerous students. ∑ Unable to accurately assess studentsí understanding of the material.
    ∑ It is structured. ∑ There is little to no time for discussion.
    ∑ The information is prepared ahead of time and therefore, no time is wasted. ∑ No opportunity for application.
    ∑ Students tend to become bored and zone out.

    For passive studying, students take the information discussed during the lecture and memorize it. They often try to cram the information before an exam, only to forget it soon after. Therefore, the objective is to pass the exam and not use the information afterward. Passive studying usually consists of:

    ∑ Reading a textbook.
    ∑ Memorizing notes by rereading or rewriting them.
    ∑ Highlighting the relevant texts.
    ∑ Watching a documentary or instructional video.
    ∑ Unstructured study times.

    However, passive studying maybe useful for students who study factual based material, such as history, where students are required to accurately remember dates and events.

    Active learning, as one might guess, is the complete opposite of passive learning. This method is more student-centered. Students are encouraged to participate in the lessons. For example, conduct experiments, debates, discussions, etc.

    Active Learning
    Advantages Disadvantages
    Tutors interact with students more and are able to access their understanding. Not all of the material is taught because lessons tend to run long, and time runs out.
    Promotes analytical thinking. Possibly poorer test performances.
    Students are engaged and therefore have longer attention spans.
    It helps with long-term memory. If a student practices and the core concepts, they are likely to remember the material.

    Active studying means that students take the information they learned in class and apply it. Disciplines like science, medicine, and even English Literature work best with active learning and studying. Students may:

    ∑ Summarizes the material in their own words.
    ∑ Create a realistic schedule.
    ∑ Relate previous information to the new.
    ∑ Teaching the material to others.
    ∑ Review information intermittently.
    ∑ Create a concept map.

    Below is an image that illustrates what students tend to retain after two weeks of active and passive learning.

    In conclusion, there are numerous ways a student can effectively retain information based on the tutor and the student. Whether, you choose passive or active studying, or in some cases both; keep studying. For it is required to succeed.
  2. Lil_Gail said:
    Thank for this! This is really helpful!
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