Okay! This week our Ultralearning read (which we are doing to help us learn to learn/research faster) deals with retrieving what you've studied/learned. To cut to the chase, author Scott Young says research has determined that testing yourself is a stronger way of remembering material and being able to retrieve it, better than reviewing material before a test or creating a concept map. (writing out concepts in some kind of organized diagram) Putting aside testing's use in traditional education as a method of evaluation, it appears that the effort to retrieve information from the mind the way you do with a test is a learning tool, itself.
Difficulty plays a part, also. "Low-intensity learning strategies typically involve either less or easier retrieval. Pushing difficulty higher and opting for testing oneself well before you are 'ready' is more efficient."
Our Case Study: Something I can use! Don't avoid the hard stuff, Gail! Which, you know, I would.
Interesting point here--Testing ("practicing retrieval") before you've learned material can be helpful in retaining it once you do acquire the information, possibly because your mind has been sort of forewarned and will look for/recognize the information when it is exposed to it. However, you still have to decide what things you want/need to learn in the first place, and thus pre-test yourself on.
Our Case Study: While this makes sense to me, how can I make it work for me? I do not know.
I have finished reading this book, which means that I can make some progress trying to apply the techniques to my project, for future reports.
You might want to check out Scott Young's blog.