Virtual learning lab title - Becoming an expert learner

8 Essential Lessons, Unit 4: Understanding Memory and Learning


Research on learning and the brain indicates that learning impacts changes in the brain throughout life. Learning causes the cells of the brain to develop new connections between them, and existing connections become stronger. The implication of this research is by taking courses that stimulate your mind and by using appropriate ways to learn, you become smarter!

In this unit, you will learn about the information processing system that explain how some information gets into your long-term memory while other information is lost almost seconds after you receive it. By understanding how memory works, you can learn to use appropriate learning strategies to move information into memory and retrieve it when needed.

Learners who do not realize that different learning strategies need to be used for different types of learning often become frustrated and feel inadequate when the problem is not that they can’t learn, but they have not learned how to learn. The information in this unit will help you understand how the brain operates and what you can do to increase the probability that you will remember important course content and be able to retrieve it on examination.

Unit Objectives

At the end of this unit, you should be able to:

  1. Identify flaws in human memory.
  2. Explain how the information-processing system works.
  3. Develop behaviors that move information into long-term memory.
  4. Distinguish between rote and meaningful learning.
  5. Distinguish between passive and active learning.