Different Memory Techniques Different Memory Needs: A Case Study for Undergraduate Science Students

By Kartini Abd Ghani and Norehan Zulkiply.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper discussed a study which aimed to identify the perceived remembering needs among undergraduate science students and to determine which memory technique is the most effective for the type of need highlighted. The participants were first year science students taking Microbiology class during their second semester in one of the university in Malaysia. The research design used was a case study involving 3 stages: exploratory stage, training stage, and evaluation stage. After conducting the first stage using Memory Need Surveys, 3 main concepts were found to be of importance to remember which were structures/figures, terminologies, and procedures/processes. In the second stage, 2 experiments were conducted to examine the effectiveness of Keyword Method (KWM) in remembering terminologies and effectiveness of First Letter Mnemonics (FLM) in remembering procedures/processes in Microbiology. Results showed that 75% of the participants could recall more than 10 definitions of terminologies out of 20 learned during the training session (Experiment 1), where as for the latter experiment there was a significant difference between the number of list of processes that could be recalled by participants before and after the introduction of FLM (Experiment 2). Questionnaires and interviews were conducted during the third stage. Participants indicated that KWM is effective in memorizing terminology, easier to apply and fun to use when learning Microbiology while FLM was found helpful in the remembering processes, easy to apply, promote faster remembering process, and is a joyful method of remembering procedures in Microbiology course. Taken together, these findings suggest that it is important to find a fit between different memory techniques with different remembering needs. In conclusion, implications of these research findings towards learning strategy as well as directions of future research will also be discussed.

Keywords: First-Letter Mnemonics, Keyword Method, Memory Techniques

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp.203-210. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 592.933KB).

Kartini Abd Ghani

Head of Department (Cognitive Sciences), Department of Cognitive Sciences, Faculty of Cognitive Sciences and Human Development, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia

She is currently the Head of Department (Cognitive Sciences) and a lecturer at the Faculty of Cognitive Sciences and Human Development, University Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS). She obtained her MSc in Artificial Intelligence from University of Georgia, US and a BA Psychology from University of Nottingham, UK. She has experiences teaching courses that include Introduction to Cognitive Science, Cognitive Psychology, Cognition and Organizational Behavior, and Psychology of Human Development. Her research interest is in the area of Cognition and Memory.

Norehan Zulkiply

lecturer, Faculty of Cognitive Sciences & Human Development, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS), Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia

She is a lecturer at the Faculty of Cognitive Sciences & Human Development, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak. She has an MSc in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Sussex, UK and a BSc in Cognitive Science from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak. Her research interests include cognition and learning, memory, metacognition and cognitive development.

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