Online Class: Memory Improvement


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  • 11
    Lessons
  • 17
    Exams &
    Assignments
  • 7
    Hours
    average time
  • 0.7
    CEUs
  • 3,334
    Students
    have taken this course
 
 
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Course Description

Memory is one of the most basic and important functions of the human brain.  In fact, without memory we can't learn.  Most people think of memory as how we recall past events, but it is also the building blocks for almost everything we do in the present and future.  Our memories provide us with a sense of our own personality and give us the information we need to function properly in the everyday world.  Communication, problem solving and relationships all rely to some extent on memories that we use to inform us as we take action. 

Of course, our brains can't remember everything.  Brains simply don't have the capacity; if they tried to remember everything we experienced, there wouldn't be room for anything else.  Involuntary muscle function, thought processes, the senses and numerous other activities would be crowded out.  There are dozens of variables that affect how much we remember, how long we retain it and whether we can recall it.  Fortunately, we can learn ways to improve how much we remember and enhance how long we remember it.



This course will explain how memory works, and will also cover these topics:

-    Strategies to improve Memory

-    Peg Memory Systems

-    The Loci Method

-    Memorizing Numbers

-    Mnemonics

-    SCAD: Learning to Become an 'Expert Witness'

-    Faces and Names

-    Powerful Public Speaking

-    Everyday Memory Aids

The class is self-paced and you can take it when it fits your schedule. So why not join and learn how to maintain a healthy memory and learn some memory improvement strategies!

 
Memory seems like a simple thing: You think about where you put something you are looking for and the information (hopefully) is there for you. Most of the time, this recall of information is almost instantaneous; however, sometimes you have to "wrack your brain" to come up with the information you usually recall easily. Why does memory sometimes work so reliably and other times seems so faulty? It has to do with how and why our memory works.
 
How Our Brain Stores Memory

Information enters our brain through our five senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, and scent. Memory stores our recollections of each of these senses, not the sensations themselves. Recalling memories retraces the same neural pathways in the brain that we originally used to experience an event, creating a sort of "recall" of the event. 

There are two different kinds of memory the brain stores – short-term memory and long-term memory. When we experience an event, it actually lasts only a fraction of a second, then moves into short-term memory for a period of time in the cortex of the brain. Eventually, the most essential memories move from short-term memory to long-term memory. In fact, short-term memories last less than a minute. The greater part of anything that you do during a day is lost from your short-term memory within a minute of having done it.

Some of the information – what your brain deems the essentials – will be retained and stored in your long term-memory. Many of these memories will last a lifetime; others will eventually be forgotten, but are retrievable in some cases.

Creating A Long-Term Memory

Long-term memories are created through a three-step process, so that each memory can be properly broken down into parts and assigned meaning, stored properly, and then retrieved when needed. The shorthand for this process is:

 

Encoding   →             Storage (or Consolidation)        →        Retrieval

 

Encoding is simply breaking down any new concept or information into parts that will establish meaning.The brain will also establish a context around the new information or experience. Encoding is what gives the new information individual meaning; it will define the new information in terms of descriptive elements, such as the taste, sound, appearance, and feel. A sweater might by warm, bright, and colorful. It can also be encoded in the context of particular feelings or emotions, "I love this sweater because it was a gift from my husband and I look good in it."

Storage is the brain's act of "filing" the memory somewhere. We usually store memories with similar information, which is why it is sometimes referred to as consolidationYou may remember the new sweater as "just like the fuzzy sweater I had when I was a teenager." You are classifying it by consolidating it with an object that is similar but with some characteristics that are different. This helps us store memories in a less chaotic fashion and helps us with the final stage of memory retrieval.

Retrieval of a memory involves following the "clues" that trace the various encoded signs, and then decoding the information to get to the meaning. Sometimes we can't retrieve exactly what we are struggling to recall ("It's right on the tip of my tongue."), but we know we are very close, because we can retrieve other information that is very close – we can remember sweaters that are similar and we may even close our eyes and we can remember a particular color, but that one sweater – the one your husband gave you – is an elusive memory. But those memories consolidated with it may help you to get where you are going, so that you can get to the whole memory.

We use the hippocampus, a sub-portion of the cortex of the brain, to consolidate new memories. Any new event creates brief links among neurons in the cortex of the brain. For instance, when you remember the sweater your husband gave you, the textural memory of how it feels, the emotional memory of why you love it, and the visual appeal memory will all converge in the hippocampus. Each time this happens, the path of neurons creating the memory is strengthened as it passes through the cortex and hippocampus. The more this happens, the more the memory is strengthened by reinforcement of those pathways. These memory paths become a stable part of long-term memory.

Why Don't We Remember Everything?

It would be nice to remember everything, but it would give us a terrible overload, taking over so much of our brain that it couldn't take care of the many other functions it has to take care of -- from involuntary actions, such as breathing and blinking, to conscious thought, such as conversation and processing new ideas. Simply put, we can only retain so much, and our brain is selective, so that we remember only what it thinks we need.

Many factors affect how much and how well we can recall things, including how much we are paying attention when we encounter the material. When we say information "went in one ear and out the other," (a common affliction of teenagers), we usually mean that the person appeared to be paying attention, but later remembered nothing they were told. This is because the person listening wasn't really paying attention to what we were saying at all (another common affliction of teenagers).   

These same teenagers can remember the lyrics to hundreds of popular rock songs, the names of band members, and concert dates for the coming two years. Why? Because this is the information that is important to them. They are motivated to remember it and store it in their long-term memory for reference whenever they need it. The list of chores you gave them, however, isn't memorable, because they just don't find it interesting or important. 

Emotions and Memory

Our emotional state has a distinct effect on memory. The greater the emotion or intensity of a particular event, the more likely it is that you will remember the information and events surrounding it. Whether your heightened mood is good or bad, whether you are happy or sad, joyful, angry, frightened, or grieving, doesn't matter nearly as much as the intensity or depth of that particular feeling. This is why so many people can recall years later where they were, what they were wearing, and how everything looked on their wedding day, when their child was born, or at the funeral of someone they loved.   

Did You Ever Really Learn It?

There are levels to what you've learned in working memory. Recent studies done at Penn State University Erie revealed that some individuals can't retrieve information from their memories, because it was only stored in working memory (another term for short-term memory), and never actually converted to long-term memory. In effect, the information was never actually converted from new, learned information, to a permanent memory that could later be retrieved.

In the study, participants fell into two types of groups. One group learned the new information for a brief time and then forgot it – the information was gone for good. The other group was able to encode the information and put it into storage for future retrieval.

Another discovery was that the brain has an override system that effectively "trashes" information that it deems outdated. While study participants were learning information, if new details were revealed, the brain seemed to filter through the details and retain only what it deemed most vital. It would encode and store the most important bits of information and "toss aside" the rest, because it recognized certain information as no longer necessary or relevant.

 
  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider
 
 

Course Lessons

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Lesson 1: How Memory Works

Memory seems like a simple thing: You think about where you put something you are looking for and the information (hopefully) is there for you. Most of the time, this recall of information is almost instantaneous. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Take Poll: Memory Improvement
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Exam: How Memory Works

Lesson 2: Healthy Habits and Memory

We can improve our memory by learning a variety of memory-enhancing skills, but nothing will improve our memory if we don't take care of our bodies and our minds. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Exam: Healthy Habits and Memory

Lesson 3: Variety: Say It, Write It, Do It!

Using all of your senses is one of the surest ways to improve your memory. 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Exam: Variety: Say It, Write it, Do It!

Lesson 4: Peg Memory Systems

Peg Memory Systems are designed to help you remember lists of information. 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment: Defining Peg Systems
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Exam: Peg Memory Systems

Lesson 5: The Loci Method

The Loci method is one of the most ancient memorization tools known and is based on attaching individual items you need to remember, to individual points on a route you are familiar with. 6 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Exam: The Loci Method

Lesson 6: Memorizing Numbers

In today's world, we have to remember an amazing array of numbers -- phone numbers, addresses, social security numbers, account numbers, credit card numbers, and pin numbers. 13 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Take Poll: What's harder?
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment: Choosing a Method
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Exam: Memorizing Numbers

Lesson 7: Mnemonics

Sometimes you want something a bit simpler than the admittedly complex number alphabet to help you remember lists of items or, perhaps, specific information. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Exam: Mnemonics

Lesson 8: SCAD: Learning to Become an "Expert Witness"

We've talked a lot about how to learn and retain information that you are reading, studying, or hearing. We've also learned how to memorize and recall information, like lists of words and numbers. 11 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment: Specificity Counts
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Exam: SCAD: Learning to Become an “Expert Witness”

Lesson 9: Faces and Names

One of the most common admissions people have about their memory is that they have trouble remembering names -- and they are even worse at putting faces to names when they run into people they've only met once or twice. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignment: Remembering People
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Exam: Faces and Names

Lesson 10: Powerful Public Speaking

Almost everyone has to give a speech at some point in their lives. Many of us have to do it with alarming regularity, whether it's at school, at work, or for social functions. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Take Poll: Public Speaking
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Exam: Powerful Public Speaking

Lesson 11: Everyday Memory Aids

We've reviewed quite a few mnemonic devices and specific methods for training ourselves to remember more information, such as long lists of information, speeches, names, and faces. 23 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Take Poll: Let us know what you think of this course
  • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Exam: Everyday Memory Aids
  • Complete: The Final Exam
121
Total Course Points
 

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Describe how memory works.
  • Know healthy habits and memory.
  • Describe Peg Memory Systems.
  • Describe the loci method.
  • Demonstrate memorizing numbers.
  • Describe mnemonics.
  • Define and use SCAD.
  • Describe techniques for remembering faces and names.
  • Know everyday memory aids, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.
 

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
  • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
  • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
  • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
  • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
  • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
 
Course Title: Memory Improvement
Course Number: 7550096
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Category:
Course Type: How To (Self-Paced, Online Class)
CEU Value: 0.7 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: Dr. Deirdre Mithaug
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
Course Fee: $50.00 (no CEU Certification) || with Online CEU Certification: $75.00

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Student Testimonials

  • "IT WAS GREAT AND I AM NOT GOOD WITH COMPUTER ESPECIALLY IN PASTING AND THAT SORT OF STUFF BUT THE INSTRUCTOR IS GREAT SHE REALLY WORKED WITH ME I APPRECIATE WHAT I GOT I JUST MAY TAKE IT AGAIN IF I CAN LATER." -- Clemencia G.
  • "This class was very well organized. The information was presented simply and clearly. The techniques presented to improve memory were helpful and practical." -- Linda B.

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