Now we're recording great. We are in business. This presentation is Strategies for Studying and Retaining information. We're going into finals coming up in the next couple of weeks. Hopefully you can use some of these strategies to help you as you prepare for your upcoming exams. This slide is just in there just in case you're not aware, you may be already that we do offer tutoring here on campus. If you're interested in requesting a tutor, you can click on this website. It'll take you to some information for our math table, writing table, meeting with specialists. There is some information on this website. What is memory? Well memory is really important to learning and that's probably pretty obvious but it helps us to recall, and apply what we've learned.
It also prevents us from needing to continually relearn material. It offers a connection to our past learning and experience. Our ability to recall things that we've done, things that we know, it really helps us. That's why it's so important particularly with learning, because we don't want to have to keep relearning things over and over again. We want to get it from our short-term to long-term memory so that we know it. What is this just a little bit about memory. Short-term memory is our ability to store a small amount of information, keep that information in our minds, and have it readily available for a short period of time. Some things we don't need to know for example, I memorized the Zoom just now, the Zoom ID because I have a pen but nothing to write it down with so I quickly memorize the ID, and rehearsed it a few times. I went over to the computer, typed it in, got it, its set up, but I don't remember it now. I don't need to remember it now, it's done. Had I continued to rehearse it, maybe made it into a song which is something we're going to talk about in a little bit, I might remember it tomorrow.
But if we don't really involve ourselves with certain memories or information, if we don't rehearse it, if it's not actively maintained that it's only going to last a few seconds and maybe that's all we needed to use it for. It's also commonly suggested that our short-term memory really can hold only seven items at once, maybe plus or minus two. Maybe as little as five as much as nine. When we think about like phone numbers and social security numbers that's how they're set up. They're actually broken down which we're going to talk about. That's done purposefully so that we can help remember them in chunks. We're going to talk a lot about rehearsal, and ways to approach studying for exams and to remember other information, because the goal is that we can move what we know and what we're learning from that short-term where we have it and it's gone, to long term so it can be recalled later. If you're studying for an exam, some people will cram the night before, and that might be okay for the next day for some people, but the likelihood that that information is going to go into long-term memory is low, because it's not being rehearsed.
It's just you crammed and crammed to dump what you know the next day, but you're not really going through the process to get it from short-term to long-term memory. If you have an exam in three weeks that is comprehensive and covers a lot of material, if you crammed before you're likely going to need to go over that material again and study effectively because you probably haven't remembered everything that you crammed for. It's not a really good strategy. I always recommend that you review notes and other information repeatedly, until it is committed to memory. There's some tricks and tips that I'm going to share with you for how to do that. Again, cramming is overload. Beyond that short period of time, it's probably not going to stay.
Maybe you're just planning for something you have to present some information in the morning and you cram the night before, you really work and it's just a one and done, then that might be okay if you don't need it later. But when it comes to academics a lot of the information we need, and if you likely don't have just one exam so if you're taking multiple classes, cramming is just way too much. You want to make sure that you're really being a part of the information, a part of the material, and rehearsing it so that you will know it. This is just a little chart. We get input. That could be for example I looked at the screens, saw that Zoom ID. I took it for a second it's lost now because I didn't attend to it. If I attended to it, rehearsed it, made it into a song, then hopefully it will go to from, it can stay in my short-term memory, but if I'm really involved with it, I write it down, I study it every day, in 10 days, in two weeks, maybe even next year I'll still remember that. But over time it will be lost. The ultimate goal for learning is to get important information that we need to know from our sensory memory, to a short-term memory, and then eventually to long-term memory. Really the goal here now that we know some of the basics about learning and memory, what are we going to do with this information? What are some strategies to help us retain that information? How do we rehearse it? How do we manipulate it?
One of the recommendations that I always have, first and foremost is how you study. Where you study? Because you need to be focused in order to remember material and to really rehearse that material so that it can be remembered later, you need to be in a situation where you're not overloaded with other sensory input or other input or noises and things like that. A lot of people will tell me that they fall asleep when they read and I'll ask them why do you read? Well I read in bed. Well, that's very likely going to happen because when we get into bed, we feel sleepy. Not always. I read in bed at night sometimes, but if that's your go-to to try to study, and you're falling asleep then it's definitely interfering with your recall. I know if I'm reading a chapter in a book and I'm starting to get sleepy I'm reading that paragraph over and over and then the next day I have to go back a page or two because I don't remember the material. Finding places to study; now this guy looks like he's on his couch, but maybe he needs to be a little bit more active or maybe he needs to take breaks, move around, drink more of that water, stay alert. Finding places to study either at home or on campus, taking breaks, that's first and foremost. Get yourself into a really good habit of finding a location that works for you. Reducing media. Now, I love to listen to music, and so listening to music might be fine.
But if you've got music, your phone there, and you're on the computer and somebody's his TV on, that's a lot of overload. You may think that you're handling it, but these are distractions. Having all of that going on is not always a good thing. It's okay to take breaks, but I would say if you're going to take a break from the material, then go to the TV or whatever after and use that as your break rather than having it all going at once. Remember you're trying to work with your brain to help you retain and recall information. Social media, that's another thing that I would say if you can try to use that as another break. If you get alerts on your phone that somebody put a Facebook posts or Instagram or something, you're going to be distracted and it's going to interfere. I'm not saying you should never look at that, but trying to make sure that you're really focused on the material is going to help you with future recall. One of the things that's really important if you take anything from this presentation today, it's that we remember in people, remember information that is meaningful.
Meaningful meaning it's something we can relate to, it's either a story or a song. It might be something funny. It might be a visual. It might be for example there's a girl on the screen here and she's laughing. You might remember that. If I were to say to you what are some important things about mnemonics? You might remember that there's a girl laughing and you say, well, if you make it into something funny, you'll remember it because you remember that girl. We remember things that are meaningful rather than just random information that doesn't have a connection. Mnemonics which you may already do or know about, are off it. They're either like a word or a phrase or a poem to help people remember information, particularly lists. They're easy to remember constructs, and it can stick with you for life in some ways. Because again we remember personal, humorous, or otherwise meaningful information than meaningless sequences. Here are a couple of examples. I did this for nursing students, which is, hence we have a rice bag here. Now I did not know about the Great Lakes.
That there was a mnemonic for this but now I know homes. I would always forget Lake Huron. I would never like if you were to ask me the lakes I don't know that I would remember Huron. But now I will, because I've done this presentation and I found this mnemonic, and the other ones I'm familiar with. Now if I have to remember the Great Lakes I just need to think of the word homes, and then I can easily remember the different lakes. Nursing. I've been working a lot with nursing students on some of this and there are a lot of mnemonics for the medical profession because there's so much information that they need to remember. I found this, I'm not a nurse, but this is one thing that they have to remember. Like if there's a sprain, if somebody sprains their ankle, they'll say, ''Rest it, ice it,'' for compression and elevation and that's how they remember that. I will remember that now because I've done this. I've gone over it a few times and I'm going to remember this rice tag and what it stands for. We've taken otherwise meaningless information and made it into something that we can help remember and you can create your own. There are ways that you can create your own mnemonics making it into a sentence or something fun with whatever you have to memorize. This is one that's been around for a long time. ROYGBIV, the colors of the rainbow. Easy to remember what they are. If you're not familiar with that one, there's other ones.
Did I talk about this one? Let me see. Sorry about the scrolling. I'm going to go back up, sorry for the scrolling. This is one that I learned very young and ROYGBIV and you just remember it. Another one is PEMDAS, which is the math sequences and parentheses, it's like for math and that's one that I learned as please excuse my dear Aunt Sally, but they call it PEMDAS now. It's another example of an easy way to remember information by making it meaningful. I know that we have one person on Zoom and one person in the room, so I'm not going to ask you to out loud on. What I'm going to do is show you some letters and what I would like you to do is think about them and then try to remember them when I pull the blank screen up. I'm only going to show them to you for a minute.
Like not even a minute. That's tough. I didn't show it to you for that long. Even if I show it again, you might have some of it, but what if I were to show it to you this way? Was that easier? I know I don't have let see if i have anything in the chat. Yeah. It was easier. I'm getting them in the chat. These are the same letters, but they don't mean anything to us. I didn't really look at exactly how much time I was showing them to you, but this is information we can remember. These are acronyms. You see this and you're going to remember this and you might even remember these tomorrow. Because if I were to ask someone, do you remember what they were? Maybe not all four of them, but you might remember the first three because they're really common. This is called chunking and it's a way to help us remember information. Again, phone numbers. If you were to say what's your phone number, I guarantee you got whatever your area code is here, so you might say 315-298-7761. I'm just making that up. We actually do that on purpose. We pause so that we can remember it easier.
It's easier to remember them in groups. Once we know our area code, we've got that. Sometimes people will tell me their phone number and if I hear it's 315, I just throw that. I just put the, I already know that. That's ingrained in my memory. I've lived in Central New York pretty much my whole life. I need to only focus on the other seven numbers to remember a phone number. Social Security is done the exact same way and people will pause 123-45-6789. Did I do that right? 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 it's 10 numbers, but that's done on purpose. One really cool memorization strategy is to use flashcards and you can also put some mnemonic on some flashcards. I recommend if you're going to do a definition on one side and the term on the other that you make them colorful, maybe add a picture, anything to help make that information stick. This is a little snippet of information about how making sure that you're using both sides and then I would review even the ones that you already know because the more repetitious you can make your studying, the more likely you'll remember it. But then if you're stuck on some maybe put that in the no pile. The yes, I've studied these, I've got these the yes, the ones I'm like, I got it this time, the last time I didn't sort them out and making sure that you're repeatedly looking at them. Again, using visuals, using color. We remember all of that. We remember that information.
Some other strategies you can use. These are some visualization tricks, silly images, memorizing information as mental images or chaining. Here is a mental chain. Let's take the one down here, the first four words are shoe, piano, tree and pencil. If I were to just read all of these and say, tell me what they are. Maybe right now you could if I went, because you've looked at them a few times, you'll probably miss some. But unless you look at this over and over again, there might only be one or two that stand out. Maybe it's because you saw pizza and you were thinking, I remember thinking I had pizza last night. Remember, the pizza was on that slide or I love basketball and I saw that. But another way to help remember it and keep it in your memory is to find some weird, funny image. Even if you can't draw, just do the best you can. A piano with shoes on it, tree had pianos in it and there was a pencil stuck in a tree. While regardless, when you take this away, you're going to remember, I just remember shoes on a piano, something about a tree and there was like a pencil. Now you've got the first four down.
You could do the same thing you could do, the dog was eating pizza. Well, I was reading my book on the bus. There's another four that you could do. Anything you can do. You're trying to use your brain to remember things that are meaningful, things that are fun. You might not have to memorize this list, but there might be other terms. Biology has a lot of terms, the sciences do. Psychology might, so try to make it into something meaningful. I can't say enough about repetition. Can you remind me of your first name? Luwanda. Luwanda is in the room with me and I don't know if you saw it when I was trying to remember that ID for Zoom, I was saying it, I was repeating it, and I didn't want any distractions. If somebody had come into the room, I probably would have lost it.
But I set it over and then I punched it in and it was good. That helped me to get from my computer to the other computer to type in the Zoom link, the Zoom ID. But if you want to remember it beyond that, you need to more than once repeat it out loud, create those flashcards, make it into something funny so you can use it later while you're studying. Repetition helps everyone even doing things. If you've said like, here's another example, this room is set up so that I can have somebody in Fulton being on this an online person which we have and then somebody in Auburn. I haven't been down here to set this up in like a month and a half. Now, I'm here and I had to remind myself, it didn't come easy to me. But if I was doing this every day, it would be I have learned it and it would be in great. Maybe if I don't do this for another two years where I've just set up all this technology, I might need the cheat sheet again that they have here. It is okay to sometimes have to, everything isn't riding a bike. But the more we do something and see something, the more likely we're going to remember.
I'm Dr. Grella, I should have said that right from the get-go. I am the Accessibility Specialist here at the college, so I work in Auburn and Fulton and I'm really appreciate if you need to contact me, my information is here and this will be recorded and put on. It is recording, so it'll be on the website and I'm going to just stop the recording now and see if there's any questions.