Accelerated learning. What is it? What techniques are best for adults? If you want to learn more about super learning, you are in the right place.
Overview: Accelerated learning is a concept of using simple techniques to enhance learning retention and make the process quicker and more streamlined. Students get the information they need faster and better retain and apply the knowledge in the academic world.
- The definition of accelerated learning
- How to prepare for accelerated learning practices
- The best-accelerated learning techniques for adults (No. 5 is indeed highly effective), including:
- Small goals, short sessions
- Finding your motivation style
- The 80/20 principle
- Multi-sensory and multi-dimensional learning
- Sensible highlighting
- Coach and mentor
We’re sure you’re looking forward to diving into this phenomenon. So, let’s get started
Best Accelerated Learning Techniques for Adults: What Is Accelerated Learning?
- Retention improvement
- Better job performance
- Creativity and imagination ignition
- Effective learning environment construction
The problem is that most techniques people say activate accelerated learning, actually make learning take longer. Who wants that? Nobody! Thankfully, you’ll find only the most effective super learning techniques here.
Best Accelerated Learning Techniques for Adults: The Preparation Phase
- Remove physical distractions — Mobile phones, fictional books, and anything outside of your need for study are distractions. Set them out of reach in a different room.
- Clean and tidy — If your environment is cluttered and unclean, you’ll find it difficult to concentrate. Tidy and clean before you start studying.
- Manage internal distractions — Internal distractions are defined as our mental negative stories. Our thoughts may tell us that we’re not smart or good enough for the route we’re taking. Try meditating, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep to ensure your thoughts are as positive as possible.
Once you’ve taken care of the above, it’s time to get down to business!
The Best Accelerated Learning Techniques for Adults
No. 1. Set Small Goals, Complete Short Learning Sessions
Let’s say you wanted to learn how to speak German. You may set this as your goal — “learn how to speak German.” But how do you measure whether you’ve completed it?
A better goal would be to “learn the 100 most common German words“. This way, you can measure your progress and know for sure you’ve achieved it.
Breaking your main ambition into multiple small, achievable, measurable goals is the biggest key to success. Learning the 100 most common German words is a lot less challenging than learning the entire language.
Thanks to these smaller goals, you can start microlearning. What is microlearning, we hear you ask? Well, it’s a type of studying that happens in short bursts (sometimes as quick as 5 minutes!).
You can easily fit these micro sessions into your day. Not to mention you drastically reduce the chances of experiencing cognitive burnout.
No. 2. Find Your Learning Motivation Style
- Explorers — You’re drawn to making maps, exploring secret areas, and find satisfaction in discovering hidden treasure.
- Killers — You love player-to-player competition.
- Socializers — You thrive on communicating with other players.
- Achievers — You have a soft spot for gaining points/levels/equipment/badges and other measurable success factors in a game. You do whatever it takes to earn the prestige of having certain rewards.
When you know your learning motivation style, you can choose the right experiences. For instance, if you’re a “killer,” you may learn best with leaderboards and trophies. On the other hand, if you’re an “explorer,” you may prefer more problem-solving activities.
No. 3. Collaboration is Key
Sharing the knowledge you’ve learned is a great way to ensure you’ve remembered everything correctly. Working collaboratively with your friends or colleagues will help you understand whether more revision is needed.
Ideally, you’ll want to work with those who have done/are doing the same course as you. But if that’s not possible, try teaching them what you’ve learned. Not only does this test your skills, but it also improves your retention skills.
Learner Tip: Collaboration doesn’t need to be in-person. You can find online groups related to your subject and work with them to hone your skills.
No. 4. Employ the 80/20 Principle
The Pareto Principle states that you will receive 80% of your results from 20% of your effort. It’s a principle developed by Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923) that applies to a plethora of situations in the world, not just studying.
He recognized that 20% of the world’s population held 80% of the world’s wealth. Pareto then went on to develop mathematical models that described the distribution of wealth and other factors. Thus, the Pareto Principle was born.
For accelerated learning, you want to focus on the most critical sections of the material. In other words, whatever will give you the “most bang for your buck.” The 80/20 will help shorten learning sessions to decrease cognitive burnout and manage your time efficiently
No. 5. Multi-Sensory and Multi-Dimensional Learning
- Use visuals like videos and images
- Switch up your location (head outside, walk around the block, sit in a cafe, lie on the floor, etc.)
- Play games and make it fun
- Make posters and mindmaps
- Use color
- Incorporate movement
- Try classical music
- Involve scents
No. 6. Sensible Highlighting Only
Highlighting can be useful if done correctly. Often, it’s tempting to highlight everything since it all seems important. However, key terms, definitions, dates, and names are a better use for your highlighters.
It’s worth noting that sensible highlighting is designed explicitly for delayed accelerated learning. For example, when you look back at the text, you can quickly find the required information.
You won’t see/understand the results initially, but you will later down the road.
Learner Tip: If you don’t want to highlight inside your books, try putting dots in the margin instead. While it won’t pinpoint an exact word, it makes scanning much more straightforward.
No. 7. Try Re-Reading (Trust Us, It Works)
- Pre-read by scanning the titles, headlines, captions, the first sentences, the last sentences, and the graphics.
- Go back to the beginning and read each word carefully.
- Start at the beginning for a third time and use dots/sensible highlight.
No. 9. Find a Mentor or Coach
No. 10. Practice Makes Perfect
Best Accelerated Learning Techniques for Adults: The Bottom Line
Whether you are looking to combine all of these best-accelerated learning techniques into one huge study plan or use just a couple, you’re guaranteed to speed up the process.
The main thing is to just keep going, stay the course, research, and engage with your studies to ensure you get what you deserve.
We’re sure you’ll be surprised by the results.
What are you waiting for? Get out there and learn your socks off!
Hey, I’m Kris Taylor. I’m a Learning and Development professional currently in the healthcare field, with over 8 years of experience in the area of corporate education. I have created numerous instructional content for various corporate projects including eLearning, in-person facilitation, and virtual training across a wide variety of learning interventions and sectors. On Taughtup, I discuss topics ranging from how to succeed through K-12 to college all the way to instructional design tips for L&D designers.