How to learn well
Good students learn well, finish all asignments and problem sets with satisfactory quality. They also can pass tests and exams with good grade. They think well and participate actively in class discussion and team projects. They make important contribution to their teams and classes.
So how to learn well? We can learn the lessons from elite performers in various fields – they are called experts. To become an expert in a field, people deliberately practice to improve their skills and knowledge over many years, which can range from a few years to a few dozen years. Popular idea is 10000 hours, but this number is not an exact figure since it depends on the field and the peers in that field.
As expert, to learn well students must learn early, learn from the beginning, not waiting until the end of the terms. Students also need to pay attention to feedback from peers, TA and instructors and work hard to improve the weaknesses.
Experst normally learn with different teachers at different stages of their career. At first, they learn with local teachers who give them generous attention and feedback. When they become better, they need to learn with more advanced teachers. And soon, they learn with elite teachers who had achieved elite performance in the field. Good teachers help students recognize their weaknesses and devise practice to concentrate students’ effort on improving these weaknesses.
How fast you learn depend on how much you learn, practice intensively, and the feedback loop. The faster you receive feedback and act on it, the faster you learn and become better. Until a moment when you can consciously pay attention to your performance as experts do. At the highest level of performance, experts are self-coached. They are aware of their performance to improve themselves. It is self-motivated and commit to excellence.
Good students are self-motivated and commit to excellence. They do what it takes to learn well, finish homework assignments, problem sets and prepare well for tests, exams even if they must stay up late many nights and avoid social gathering. They even search for problems to advance their skills and knowledge.