Episode 44 5 ways to move ideas into long-term memory

In this episode, Dan provides 5 ways to move ideas into long-term memory.

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Video show

Show notes

3 Systems of Memory

  • Sensory – very short 1-3 seconds
  • Working – 4-8 items at a time 5-20 seconds
  • Long-term – limitless capacity

Long Term

  • A major reason for forgetting is failure to L in the first place
  • The more knowledge you have the easier it is to learn – remember we are masters and students are not!
  • Long Term memory requires efficient coding & easy access
  • It is easier to shift from working to long term if the content has meaning and relates to prior knowledge – The biggest predictor of what you can learn

Strategy 1: Chunking

  • Chunk (group related ideas together)
  • Our brain likes ideas to be ordered and structured. 
  • Bringing similar or related ideas together as they are presented helps students store it in their long term memory

Strategy 2: Rehearsal

  • repeat, refresh, recite
  • Go over the idea/s
  • Provide opportunity to apply and check work, use summaries, go through flashcards etc

Strategy 3: Imagery

  • Not just showing an image, though this helps
  • Do a visualisation, can be as basic as visualising the numbers written on a wall
  • Infographics
  • Visual walks are used by many memory experts.

Strategy 4: Mnemonics

  • They are any memory device 
  • Most often though for making a word that brings together multiple ideas
    • eg) CRIME – chunking, rehearsal, imagery, mnemonics and elaboration

Strategy 5: Elaboration

  • This is when you add meaning that clarifies the relationship between information to-be-learned and related information, i.e., a learner’s prior knowledge and experience
  • We can use input information as a trigger to recall knowledge, such as the peg system where you use pre memorised words to link with new information. This is also a type of mnemonic and is easy to do by rhyming words with numbers
    • eg) The peg system. 1-bun, 2-shoe, 3-tree. 


Leave a comment below and tell me how you have increased your students' motivation to learn


  1. Joel Cruickshank

    Hi Dan

    After watching this podcast, I then watched Joshua Foer’s TED Talk. I used the memory palace technique (a visual walk) for the first time to help my Yr 12 students remember “7 reasons for shifting funding to preventative health measures”. It was hilarious and super-effective. The whole class retained all 7 reasons 5 minutes after the activity and at the end of the lesson. In fact, they may never forget them! I think they are just a little bit inspired about the possibilities for remembering content and understand now that their ability to remember is related to how, and how well, they learn it in the first place. Thank you.

    1. Daniel Jackson Post author

      Hey Joel.
      That is absolutely fantastic! I would love to know what they came up with. Are you able to share?

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