You probably feel like you’ve heard it all when it comes to studying advice, from suggestions like “choose a peaceful spot to study” to “clean away the clutter from your learning environment.” Although part of this is unquestionably good practice, there is no one methodology that works for everyone, and conventional study methods aren’t always the most productive. We will talk about ways to enhance your learning environment through the use of 5 strategies.
How To Make Your Learning Environment Ideal
Here are five top strategies to enhance your learning environment for better results, regardless of whether you do all of your studying at home as an online student or just need some advice to maximize your time outside the classroom.
1. Keep an eye on your Body’s Temperature
Although it’s wonderful to occasionally take your learning to the park to take advantage of the benefits of all that natural daylight, you’re usually better off sticking within if it’s chilly outside. Researchers have discovered that when our body temperature falls below a particular point, we have to work harder to stay warm, which saps our energy and makes us less productive.
According to a Cornell University study, people were less productive and committed 44% more mistakes when the temperature was about 68°F (20°C) than they were when it was 77°F (25°C).
In addition, being excessively warm might make you feel sleepy which is also undesirable. Consider another study conducted by scientists in Helsinki, Finland, which discovered that workers were more productive in lower temperatures of around 71.6°F (22°C), and things start to get a little murky.
Given the contradictory findings of these two studies, perhaps the best course of action is to simply monitor your body temperature and ensure that it is neither too hot nor too cold while you are studying.
2. Make sure your Study space is similar to the Exam Setting.
It doesn’t really matter if your study setting is noisy or quiet, despite the numerous times you’ve probably been told that you need to be in a peaceful, calm environment to learn well. The most crucial factor is that it replicates the testing environment. In one study, researchers from Iowa State University gave students the option of reading a two-page essay in a calm or noisy setting.
Following this, all of the students were evaluated on what they had read, but some of them took the test in a setting that was inconsistent with the one they had studied in. As you would have expected, as long as they were also evaluated in a noisy environment, the students from the noisy environment fared just as well. Of course, the majority of exams and tests are administered in reasonably calm settings, but for students who take online courses and complete their homework and exams at home, it may be helpful to match the study and testing conditions.
3. Pick your Lights Wisely
Your performance may be helped or hindered by something as simple as the quality of lighting in your learning environment. Although you’re undoubtedly already aware that having lots of decent lighting is a crucial study need, research reveals that our responses to natural and artificial lighting are highly different.
According to studies on how light affects humans, headed by neuroscientist Mirjam Munch, artificial light makes us feel sleepy while natural light makes us feel more alert.
As a result, studying outside or in a space with more windows should help you stay awake and attentive. Brighter lighting can still help you work better if you don’t have access to natural light, such as during the winter months when there are fewer daylight hours.
For instance, researchers in Vienna, Austria, discovered that students who studied in classrooms with increased illumination (500 Lux) outperformed those in classes with ordinary lighting in terms of writing, reading, and math tasks (300 Lux).
4. Think about the Benefits and Drawbacks of Clutter
There is clearly some evidence to support the notion that this strategy is effective. Students are frequently instructed to study in a neat, clutter-free environment. According to a Harvard study, those who had been exposed to a clean environment were more persistent when taking on difficult tasks than those who had been exposed to a chaotic environment. However, a study that appeared in Psychological Science discovered that people frequently exhibit greater creativity in congested settings.
As a result, while clutter may make it harder for you to persevere, it can also foster innovation. Ask yourself what you wish to accomplish before determining if you should declutter your study space. If you’re brainstorming ideas, though, that cluttered room in the back of your house can be just what you need. For some activities, creativity won’t necessarily be necessary.
5. Stack Up
Studying in different places is one of the best ways to make new material stick, despite the fact that it may go against everything you have ever been taught. Why? According to research conducted by Dr. Robert A. Bjork of UCLA and Steven M. Smith of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, the brain unconsciously links the background sensations we feel while studying with the information we are learning.
With this in mind, studying in various locations can assist the brain in creating diverse associations with the same information, which makes it easier for us to recall it later.