Your experience in college Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) classes likely include lectures. A lecture is an oral presentation, combined with visual aids, that is designed to introduce information to a group audience. Many professors use lectures as their primary “teaching” tool. As a student, you need to be very careful about confusing the … Continue reading Deep Learning Practice: Create Lecture Note Systems
The lecture-based model for instruction forces you to do the hardest learning tasks when you are by yourself outside of class. In this model, a teacher dedicates in-class time to low-level learning tasks. Specifically, in the lecture-based model for instruction, a student gets their first exposure to course content during in-class meetings via a live … Continue reading The problems with lecture
Balancing the demands of life in college can be overwhelming and stressful. This is particularly true because so many of our current educational policies are designed to train assembly line workers in an industrial economy rather than to support knowledge workers in a knowledge economy. Crucial skills in knowledge work include the ability to manage … Continue reading Schedule to Succeed: Draft Your Term-Long Calendar
A powerful and nuanced aspect of college-student life is your ability to create your own schedule. You decide which classes to take, what times to attend these classes, what you will do to learn, and when to study. This is an awesome level of autonomy. However, with great power comes great responsibility. By enrolling in … Continue reading Schedule to Succeed : Beware of Scheduling Traps
In this post, we create the first draft of your weekly schedule. We are not yet ready to finalize this draft nor to commit to a weekly study routine. The point of this draft is to help you assess your current time commitments. In fact, this first draft of your weekly schedule is designed to … Continue reading Schedule to Succeed: Draft Your Weekly Schedule
Last updated: Wednesday 2/16/2022 @ 5:25amLead presenter: Dr. Katherine LeeCo-presenters: Henry Fan, Jeff Anderson This is a companion blog post for our talk Teaching and Learning for Liberation Through Community Building and Interdisciplinary Collaboration that our team gave on Friday 2/25/2022 from 11:00AM – 12:00PM EST as part of the Columbia University’s Teaching College 39th … Continue reading Teaching and Learning for Liberation : Winter Roundtable 2022
This is a companion blog post for a breakout session, entitled Get Paid to Learn that I co-facilitated with Henry Fan on Friday 2/11/2022 from 4:00pm – 4:45pm EST as part of the SIMIODE Expo 2022 Virtual Event. SIMIODE is “a community of practice focused on a modeling first method of teaching differential equations.” The … Continue reading Get Paid to Learn : SIMIODE Expo 2022
College classrooms are supposed to be spaces where learning happens. However, far too often, neither college professors nor their students explore fundamental questions about the nature of teaching and learning in college, questions like: What is learning? How do people learn? What models for learning inform the design of my college classes? What types of … Continue reading The no-teacher-training-for-college-professors problem
In many colleges in the United States, almost half of first-year college students do not make it to graduation. Stop and think about this for a minute. Our current US higher education system is designed in such a way that it kills the dreams, hopes, and aspirations of almost 50% of the students who enter … Continue reading To thrive in college, become a scapper
In this post, I share one of my favorite passages ever written about mathematical thinking and problem solving. This is George Pulya’s definition of the inductive attitude. Enjoy!
This post is a landing page for The Learning Code’s Get Paid to Learn project. Our mission at the TLC is to empower you to thrive in your education. One way we do this is to support you in learning how to navigate your degree at whatever institution you choose. We provide ideas, support, training, … Continue reading Get Paid to Learn
I hate the question that we often ask kids: “what do you want to be when you grow up?” An equally obnoxious question is “what do you want to do for the rest of your life?” My objections to these questions are not based on a distaste for planning or career-focused introspection. I love to … Continue reading “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is a horrible question
Our mission at The Learning Code is to encourage, support, and inspire you to create value in your college education. We know that you can succeed in your classes, earn your degree, and build a foundation for a career that you love. The Learning Code community is here to help you in that journey. However, … Continue reading Make Learning Meaningful: What is Foundational Knowledge?
Our mission at The Learning Code is to empower you to thrive in college and beyond. We want to support you in becoming a strategic deep learner. But we know that one of the most difficult and frustrating aspects of college is the expensive price tag attached to the college experience. This Get Paid to … Continue reading Get Paid to Learn: Six Practices to Earn Scholarships
In the Get Paid to Learn series, I share ideas about how you can get paid to learn. In each post in this series, I explore strategies you can use to earn scholarships, internships, and get financial aid as you navigate your college experience. My hope is to help you minimize your college debt, alleviate … Continue reading Get Paid to Learn: Advocate for Change
As a straight, able-bodied, bilingual Chinese Californian male citizen with an associate degree, who will not be evicted if I lose my primary source of income, it’s good practice to under claim rather than over claim. here I am baby, no shade, but shade. Please verify the claims I or anyone else makes in your … Continue reading Diversify Your Narrative
In this article, we expand our previous discussion of the five stages of deep learning. Specifically, we explore techniques you can use to accelerate your progress through each stage of your learning. Moving from stage 0 into stage 1 requires different type of practice routines than moving from stage 1 into stage 2, and so … Continue reading Progress Through the Five Stages of Deep Learning
This quarter I have greatly benefited from my study group and office hours to make my education richer and engaging. This would not have been possible if I did not embrace being uncomfortable when actively seeking help. Starting with the first week of the class, I made the effort to keep my camera on despite … Continue reading Setting a Precedent for Leadership
There is ‘nothing’ an initiative, a foundation, or a school is creating, that’s gonna save 1st gen, black, indigenous, students of color, that does not exist in the imaginations of the hearts and souls of those populations already.
In this post, we develop a model for five stages of deep learning. Remember that we defined learning as a process that leads to change. The 5-phase model we explore in this article helps identify distinct stages in this process of deep learning. This model will help you figure out how to push your learning … Continue reading The five stages of deep learning
Trust the Process. This is the motto that has stuck by my side through the hardest of times. I wish that I could say the end of my hard times in academia are near, but that moment barely seems to be getting any closer. It is easy for me to fall into the trap of … Continue reading Trust the Process
If haters are always telling and publishing stories of our downtroddeness, they will always see us as victims and never see us as victors.
One of the great things about being human is always being able to improve your craft. As much as I wish I could have been a perfect student by now (six years in higher education), I continue to learn about myself, skills I want to develop, and habits I fall back on. Here are three … Continue reading Steve’s Winter Quarter Reflection
Our mission at The Learning Code is to help you thrive in your college classes and to support you in completing your college degree. We hope to ignite your passion, stimulate your curiosity, and strengthen your belief in yourself. One of our major goals is to encourage you to become a strategic deep learner so … Continue reading A model for deep learning
I have so much joy seeing my peers learn from each other in their supplemental instructional sessions for data structures and algorithms. I am dedicating this post to why creating a safe, then productive learning environment equates to being free. If you are an educator, recognize the answer has always been in the room. Here … Continue reading What if we were free?
I used to really enjoy learning! Having been in higher education for six years now, I feel as if that ambition has been picked away at more and more each quarter. The emphasis on grades is mentally taxing! I want to be the best student I can be. However, in the eyes of the current … Continue reading Confessions of a College Student
It is not easy to figure out how to learn deeply. In the early stages of developing your identity as a deep learner, one of the smoothest ways to engage in deep learning is to seek out skilled coaches who understand the principles behind deep learning. If the mentors you find are good coaches and … Continue reading Why is deep learning so hard?
We can refuse to be brainwashed into accepting the existing conditions, beliefs, and mental models, and we can commit to finding the human / resources, engaging with them and learning significantly. If we care enough
With only so much amount of time in the day, I have felt the need to evaluate what my priorities have to be as I sit through my lectures. Although each lecture is only about 50 minutes in length, to dissect and engage with every 15 minutes of content takes me around an hour on … Continue reading Reading Mathematics
Our mission at The Learning Code is to help you make your learning meaningful, achievable, and purposeful. We focus our energy on supporting students who want to earn a college degree in the United States. We do so by using three powerful tactics. First, we share with you research-based principles of learning. These principles are … Continue reading What is deep learning?
Plan, act, and reflect. As defeating as it is to know events have not turned out as planned, it is just as empowering to know that one can adapt to the circumstances. These last two weeks in school I had high hopes for a stellar start to my quarter, but I have found myself falling … Continue reading Steve’s Personal Plan, Act, Reflect Cycle
So it’s quite natural to work at one of these large companies. But when human capital goes there, what products are they working on?
Part of our mission at the learning code is to empower you to advocate for system transformation in honor of the next generation of learners. The process of transforming the college education system starts by identifying and acknowledging problematic policies in your classes, institutions, and governments. From that perspective, I can think of nothing more … Continue reading Antiracist Learning: Start with Small Steps
When Chairman Mao Zedong launched the Great Leap Forward to reconstruct the country, he decreed to increase grain yields 🌾 and steel production 🏗️ while turning the countryside to a systematized industrial production machine. Local officials in the countryside were fearful of Mao’s wrath and judgement from his unachievable claim…
Every quarter, I sit and think about where I fell short in terms of my potential as a student navigating higher education. I have many skills that work for me now, many I probably even do unconsciously, but I am always looking to refine my workflow. In the past I have fallen for the trap … Continue reading Steve’s Game Plan Ritual
Reading is one of the most magical activities designed by the human mind. The written word provides a time travel machine in which ideas that exist in an author’s brain can jump across space and time to invigorate the brain of the reader. Reading also allows us to accelerate our learning by leveraging the expertise … Continue reading What is deep reading?
What does spoiled milk have to do with education? Frederik Douglas (1818-1895), from his Narrative of the Life as an American Slave, written by himself, tells us that: “If you teach that n**ger, speaking of himself, how to read there would be no keeping him. It would forever unfit him to be a slave. He … Continue reading Spoiled Education
The use of flash cards to train with active recall is something I have been wanting to incorporate for a long time. It was not until my latest quarter that I finally began to implement this study tool, but from that experience I learned so much about how much more effectively I can be using … Continue reading Steve’s Study Corner: Using Flash Cards
In this post, Before each term begins, colleges ask students to sign up for classes. If you are a student who wants to routinely set and achieve your academic goals, your scheduling decisions are crucial to your long-term success. Unfortunately, schools seldom provide useful guidance on how to think about this high-impact decision. In this … Continue reading Schedule to Succeed: Plan to Fudge It Up
While gym memberships cost around $30 a month, upper division undergraduate college education in America may cost anywhere from $300 to $3000+ a month… After 5 years of living through that, I (sadly only recently) realized: lectures, sections, homework, exams, are merely ‘opportunities’ for increased critical thinking, citizenship, integrity, humanity, justice, compassion, curiosity, and autonomy … Continue reading A Vote for Cognitive Calisthenics
An important study skill I have continuously tried to implement into my arsenal of tools is previewing material before lecture. The idea of being exposed to material more often would obviously make me better at retaining and understanding that information. I could use this benefit to be more engaged in lecture and ask more questions. … Continue reading Study Skills: Previewing for Lecture
In this post, we explore the highest three levels of the horizons of focus model for organizing your goals. This is a continuation of my previous post on the same topic. The major purpose of this hierarchy is to support you in building strong motivation and grit as you work to complete your college degree. … Continue reading Write down your goals, continued…
The phrase Chinaman’s Chance from 100+ years ago is related to “The Unrest” that is 2020; my claim (I welcome you to stand for or against in the comments) is we can connect Chance and Unrest to examine how students like myself are learning (or not) this academic year. One origin to the phrase Chinaman’s … Continue reading Not a Chinaman’s Chance
Fresh out of high school and going directly to a four-year university, I had not yet defined what an undergraduate education meant to me. Just like most of my peers in the same situation, I embraced the common belief that all I needed was to just get by enough to hopefully get a diploma in … Continue reading Defining your own undergraduate education
Your level of motivation is very important in determining how hard you work and what type of learning you do. Sadly, strong motivation cannot be purchased nor can it be built in an instant. Instead, motivation is something that you need to grow on a daily basis. One powerful way to cultivate your motivation is … Continue reading Write Down Your Goals
The lecture ends, we take a break, the next one begins… soon enough the day is over with ~10 hours of material (delivered in 3) dumped on us – for us to synthesize and comprehend. We do our “best” to engage in lecture and make these ideas relevant by salvaging as many concepts and ideas … Continue reading The Misery of Autonomy: From a Student’s Perspective
Why is asking questions important? Learning is too often associated with answering questions, but the bread and butter of learning comes from creating and asking questions. When drafting a question, we become conscious of what we do and don’t know, this helps us navigate and expose our assumptions, vagueness, and errors. Learning requires a deep … Continue reading Asking Questions (Simple, but not easy.)
Ever wonder why advisors, parents, and professors say, college is a full time job? 😕 “For X units you take, be prepared to spend 3X hours per week to succeed?” – deluded proclaimed wisdom.😨 Well… what they didn’t tell us was where those hours are to be spent, and how to go about doing so … Continue reading 10 Principles To “Lecture” Literacy
You can learn anything. You can develop any skills and cultivate any abilities. When you work hard, use effective learning strategies, persist in the face of difficulties, and reflect on your progress, you can become anything you want. Here at The Learning Code, we know these things are true about you. In this post, we … Continue reading We believe in you!
I’ve had incredibly good luck meeting the people I’ve met at Foothill College, SJSU, and at OpenStax – but having a good experience with higher education shouldn’t be a matter of luck. “There are students so afraid of what the emancipatory practices are, so afraid of being able to live freely, so afraid of having … Continue reading Quarantining our Learning Needs
Part of our mission here at The Learning Code is to help you develop habits of strategic deep learning. We focus our efforts on learners who want to complete a college degree in the United States. We do so by sharing with you a set of research-based learning principles designed to help you navigate your … Continue reading Our Mission at The Learning Code
by Henry Fan What? Tutoring and receiving tutoring has enabled me to be a much more well rounded student, but more importantly, a well rounded adult. “Anyone who thinks they are too small to make a difference has never tried to fall asleep in a room with a mosquito” – Christine Todd Whitman Tutors often … Continue reading Transformational Tutoring
by Henry Fan I Can & I Will – Extended Opportunities Program Summit. Led by Adam del Castillo, Jahmal Williams, and Joshua Kas-Osoka “Give ordinary people the right tools, and they will design and build the most extraordinary things” – Neil Gershenfeld, American professor at MIT focused on physics and computer science As a student … Continue reading Mission to Refocus: How to Learn and Why?
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