We Asked, You Answered: The Top 10 Learning Hacks from edX Learners

We took to social media to ask edX learners to share their best learning hacks: tried and true ways to make the most of their learning and studying experience. Keep reading for the top 10 trends we picked up from their responses. 

1) Bite-sized learning

A popular learning hack was breaking large concepts down into smaller, more digestible pieces. When faced with complex topics, some suggest taking the time to learn them in smaller chunks thus improving comprehension and retention.

2) Seek out relevant content

Many of our learners mentioned using podcasts, audio books, and ebooks relevant to their area of study to enhance their learning experience and provide a more well-rounded perspective. 

3) Discuss with other people

Whether it’s with a study buddy or in a discussion forum, discussing what you’re learning, our respondents said, is a great way to solidify the concepts you’re learning and to gain different perspectives on the topics. 

4) Simplify & teach

The old saying goes, “To teach is to learn twice.” This rang true for many of our respondents, who explained that simplifying course topics and explaining and teaching them to others (or even pretending to do so), helps them get a better grasp on this new information. 

5) Regularity & repetition

Some learners reported studying on a set schedule, a few said they learn whenever convenient. One key point arose from these answers: regularity is key. Adding time to study in your schedule on a regular basis will keep your learning consistent and more effective.  

6) Find the right time 

Some people work better in the morning. Others will do some of their best work in the later hours of the day. One learner even responded saying she learns better right after a meal. Point being: each of us operates on a different clock, so it’s important to find the right time of the day for us to study. Experiment with different times to find the right one for you.

7) Ask for help

If you find yourself stuck on a topic, or something isn’t making sense, there’s nothing wrong with asking for help. Find a peer who’s knowledgeable on the topic or ask your instructor & fellow learners your questions in the discussion tab — odds are, someone has asked themselves a similar question. Talking things through with others is a great way to clarify concepts that may be difficult to grasp.

8) Real world practice

Whether it’s through a side project, case studies, or applying things you learned at work, our learners swear by applying what they’re learning to real-world scenarios. Putting what you’re learning into practice is a proven way to make sure you’re really learning, rather than just theorizing and memorizing. 

9) Don’t shy away from mistakes

Many of us are hesitant to try new things for fear of making mistakes, although mistakes are a natural part of the learning process. You might not be an expert immediately when learning to code or experimenting with writing fiction, for example. But many of our learners emphasized the importance of making mistakes, and learning from them along the way.

10) Take notes 

Simple, classic, and true. Taking notes and revising are two essential components of learning that shouldn’t go overlooked. Jot down important concepts in a way that makes sense for you — some people color code, others prefer bulleted lists, while visual learners draw maps and graphs to make their learning stick. 

There you have it: the top 10 ways edX learners hack learning. We’d like to thank all of our respondents, and wish you all happy learning!