Do you know that feeling of meeting a genius? Somebody who is able to comprehend, but also to critically reflect on what he is learning? In university, I always wondered how some people did better in seminars – how do they come up with these questions and sophisticated statements on the spot? At the same time you feel overwhelmed by sifting through dense academic texts that your are trying to understand, analyse, and retain. That can be tedious. To solve both problems, I designed a workflow to transform the process into something more interactive, engaging, and fruitful.
Based on the theory of the learning pyramid, I tried to design a workflow with which I spend as much time as possible in higher-order learning states, e.g. by critically reflecting the text. This way I hone my critical thinking abilities. At the same time, I am having an easier time to actually understand the text. Here's an analogy: people with visual agnosia, specifically integrative agnosia, can recognize objects, but rarely higher-order concepts. E.g., the can identify a nose, but don't see the face itself. If trying to repaint an image based on a template, they take a lot longer, simply because they don't copy a house, but all the individual lines making up the house. Similarly, if you never deeply process a paper, it feels like you are constantly trying to understand the lines of a theory, while you are not seeing things holistically. I've found that this method not only improves information retention but also promotes a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the material. And let's face it, it makes the whole process a lot more interesting too.
So, if you're looking to elevate your learning experience, take a look at my seminar reading template. It's a tool I wish I had earlier in my academic journey, and I'm excited to share it with you.
- A complete workflow, from reading the paper to coming up with discussion questions to post-preparation.
- ChatGPT prompts that help you facilitate your learning and help you critically reflect the text.
- A database to effectively manage your seminar readings and your notes on them in Notion.
Get the Seminar Readings template today and elevate your university seminar game to the next level!
Who can make use of this template?
- a) People who are bound to do read papers for seminars, reading or discussion groups in university and b) people who want to improve their reading process on their own (note that this template features some discussion prompts that might be less useful to you). This template isn't narrowed to a certain discipline like philosophy.
How can this template be adapted?
- Simply delete steps in the template that you don't want to go through.
How does this template work?
- This template features a database for your seminar readings. In this database, you find the template. Simply go through each step or skip those that you don't have time for.
Doesn't this take a lot more time than usual?
- Honestly, yes. But in the end, you are studying to learn something new, and I've found that I rarely forget something if I processed it as deeply as I do with this template. Similarly, the process can be adapted to your time constraints, by skipping the optional steps.
From the Creator:
This template comes straight from my own experiences and know-how. It's a blend of lessons I've learned over the years and fresh ideas I've incorporated. You can easily customize it to fit your needs, just the way you like it.
Gain full access to the Seminar Readings template and all the contained ChatGPT prompts.