This is the second installment in my learning to learn series; the first explored four tips to study better.
When, as teachers, we assign group work, we often hear you grumble1. Group work often gets a bad rap. And there are (some) good reasons for it. But there are also significant benefits arising from group work.
So, why do we assign you to work in groups?
I will start with why you have good reasons to grumble and then will cover the advantages of working in groups.
This is a review of the book Ultralearning by Scott H. Young.
Summary The premise of the book is that one can learn vast amounts, and master subjects reputed difficult through intense practice. The book presents some of the principles, tools and techniques to achieve this. It is written in an accessible style and is well-paced.
While the book might first appear as a charge against higher education, this is not the case.
Remembering what you learn is essential if your learning effort is to amount to anything. Ideally, you want to build both short-term and long-term retention in order to pass the class but also be able to use the knowledge in the future whenever required.
We know that a lot of what feels like studying is inefficient in helping us retain information long term. For example, rereading notes and highlighting does not lead to retention (Dunlosky et al.