Incremental Reading in College
I had an email from Sweden this week, the questions asked have been something I’ve been working on since I accepted the SuperMemo Method. I’ll try to answer this questions to my best knowledge and experience. As always feel free to comment further.
Is it possible to outsource the complete learning process to supermemo?
I believe it is, but doing it takes a lot of time, from acquiring the necessary skills to make the input to supermemo worth the time invested. Currently the bottle neck of outsourcing this leaning process to supermemo, is the time needed to make the questions and this also means making questions trough Incremental Reading.
Incremental Reading is a way of learning with out the need to absorb every data in a text from the first time, you go to the text several times and you only worry about what is important at that moment, as you are sure this same text will come later in your daily repetitions you don’t have to strain trying to understand, let alone memorize from the first reading. However when studying in college this process would probably take a lot of time. Time is a precious commodity you don’t have in Medicine studies, so sadly I would not recommend Incremental Reading for every material you read, I would absolutely not use it for reading upcomming exams, you might leave something behind and not able to check it out before the exam, and even if notting is missing you’ll probably stress your self thinking it might be better to check it out.
I use a combination of the traditional reading and Incremental reading, every thing is done in the SuperMemo collection. As the time has passed, I have a huge enciclopedia in it.
Some text are read from top to botton, later on I summarize main point in the top of the article and only make questions of this summary. But I keep the rest of the text in my collection, this allows you to check previous information you read someday.
Incremental reading is use for some more leisure reading, and any topic of my interest, including medicine, but which has no time deadline of any kind. I make questions of this text but using the incremental method.
I was thinking about scanning relevant chapters in my textbooks and the OCR them and add them to supermemo.
If you are able to scan and OCR text to Supermemo with out much lost of time, I support this approach, as you can latter search very easily any information, I previously lost much time searching something to review on paper books. Be sure you include information that is vital, moderation is the clue to SuperMemo.
Traditionally I read my books and underline the stuff that seems relevant. The next logical step would then be to move that info from the books to SM. However, a lot of underlines tend to be forgotten and it is a tedious process.
A lot of the information you are tested on medicine school is only needed for, well, the tests. This is a reality we can’t deny. So as bad as it sounds a lot information must still be crammed to pass some tests, this includes a lot of biology numbers and other kind of related info.
Make sure whe reading your book, you use marks not underlining, underlining looks good, but also takes time (believe me, I’ve timed my self using marks vs underlining is much much faster, and is no less effective). After marking make the commitment to extract the 10 or 20 most important fact to supermemo, go for speed while typing this questions not form, but ALWAYS include some reference that lets you go back you text book any time later. This question should be made after you finish the section, chapter or lecture, as this also helps you consolidate more effectively you memory of the whole lecture.
Is there any possible time savings in using IR on i.e neural science and physiology books?
Neural Science requires two aspects a lot of mnemonics and visual imagination, you have to remember pathways a lot. Using pictures in Supermemo is great for this. Physiology is more about undertanding process, understanding the humanbody as a machine, if you understand the principles (and make relevant questions about this principles in Supermemo) it all comes much easy.
Incremental Reading is a great tool but I would not recommend it for any reading with a time deadline.
Read, sumarize and supermemorize only the most important.
OCR if possible any reading you want, except texts not suitable for IR
Use the Supermemo Method progresively, start with the least demanding courses, this will build confidence in the method without building much stress from using a new aproach.