Table of contents
The act of reading to learn and acquire knowledge in human starts from a very tender age and it takes place in stages as we develop but contrary to popular opinion that reading is easy, it is a skill that needs to be learnt especially when comprehension and retention is involved because there are stages and procedures that needs to be followed to be able to comprehend what has been learnt/read and also to retain it especially for students. The main purpose of this report is to analyse and discuss how comprehension and retention is very essential to be successful academically. Topics like deep reading/learning, reading comprehension and its strategies, the role of Higher order thinking and critical thinking was discussed and how memory is an integral part of the retention process, the techniques of memorisation were also analysed and how there are obstacles that can affect the process but also how they can be overcome.
Comprehension or simply put understanding or giving meaning to what have been read. It is the most important goal of reading whilst the storage of information in the memory and the ability to recall it when it is needed is retention. In this report the full analysis of the importance of comprehension and retention in cognitive learning and critical thinking will be explored, it will show what needs to be done when reading or learning, the techniques/methods needed to comprehend and retain information especially as a student because comprehension is needed when carrying out researches or writing exams. The report will outline reading comprehension and their strategies, deep reading/learning and the role of higher order thinking in the process of retention including how the different steps of memory helps in retaining information for future purposes and how all of this will be useful in everyday life of an individual.
Current Research on Comprehension and Retention
In other to understand and comprehend, a reader is expected to analyze, internalize and be able to say or write whatever has been read in their own words or text and this is achieved only if the reader reads with skills and follows the general reading comprehension strategies meaning the process of grasping is both strategic and interactive (Aloqaili, 2012) Reading comprehension can be defined as the construction of meaning to written text through a mutual exchange of ideas between a reader and the intended message of the text, which means it is the actual reason for reading (Serravallo, 2010) Reading strategies are used as part of an effective and efficient reading program. They are used to monitor the understanding of what have been read. It is important to however learn how to implement the strategies in other to derive meaning and help clear any confusion that might arise when reading a text. These strategies help in monitoring the understanding of the reader by making predictions, asking questions, using prior knowledge, making inferences, identifying the main idea and summarizing, visualizing etc.
Deep Reading, Deep Learning and the Role of Higher Order Thinking Skills
Deep or active reading is an intentional act of thoughtful and deliberate reading which includes inferential and deductive reasoning, analogical skills, critical analysis, reflection etc with the purpose of increasing deeper comprehension from reading. In deep reading HOT (Higher Order Thinking) is used to build new meaning to text already known. Deep learning meaning learning with in-depth understanding targets on knowledge through the demonstration of understanding with the evaluation of information, logic, structure and motivation from within which helps in creating new argument with regards to what has been learned so that the learner can have a complete comprehension of the text. Higher order thinking (HOT) skills is used to develop deep reading skills used to improve retention and comprehension by critically analyzing, evaluating, memorizing and exploring text or information given and the ability to use all that is learnt in real world scenarios and deal with academic, work or life problems/challenges.
Current Research on Retention
Information retention is the ability to have information stored and ensuring it is readily available to recall memory when needed or prompted (Bennett et al, 2012). There are different types of methods used to improve, change and increase retention of information and the improvement of long-term memory. Attention helps information to move from short-term memory to long-term memory, avoid cramming by using structured manner to read/learn. Constant rehearsal using encoding (elaborate rehearsal) also helps in retaining information. Another method is using visualisation because it is easier to remember images than text, reading out loud, change of study pattern or simply get enough sleep.
Definition of Memory
Memory is the ability to acquire, store, classify, recall and retrieve information and been able to reason about such information or knowledge that has been previously stored (Crowder et al, 2011). Memory as three stages which are sensory memory where the raw unprocessed information is kept but not processed initially, then it moves to the short-term memory where it will be processed but might be loss because it is not stored and obviously not remembered. However, it is important in retention that information should be gathered and stored in the long-term memory through the means of rehearsal and deep reading for knowledge to be permanent.
Memorisation Technique and Role of Deep Learning/Reading in Building Retention
Memorisation is when information is committed to memory or to heart. To achieve this there are different techniques used to help in building retentive memory like visualisation and method of Loci used by creating images or information around objects or when an object is associated with a known/familiar location to help with recall. Another technique is the creating by association where new information is linked to existing ones, using acronyms and acrostic. Rhythm and rhymes or in mane association can also be used because it works with auditory which are easier to remember, chaining, time management, change of study pattern and a good sleep are all good memorisation technique. Deep learning /reading plays an important role in retention building because it uses HOTS (Higher Order of Thinking Skills) and with it, new information is critically analysed and then linked to existing ones to make cognitive structured ideas. The KWL (Know, Want, Learn) and the SQ3R (Survey, Question, Read, Recite and Review) or creating a mind map are some of the techniques used to build retention and comprehension
Discussion (or Analysis)
Importance of Comprehension and Retention in Improving Quality of Learning And Increasing Success in Academic Life
To be truly successful in academic life, it is important to build a strong foundation in reading and learning because they are the very essence of any academic career. Note that reading without grasping or the ability to retain and use the information that have been learnt will make a student academic pursuit meaningless especially during researches and examinations because students are expected to read and write in their own words in other to avoid plagiarism, this is where comprehension and retention becomes important the centre of any academic pursuits. Comprehending information whilst been taught, learning or reading will help with understanding in the present moment which will lead to the retention of such information making it easier to recall and apply later. However, a lot of patience, focus and commitment is also required and using different reading/ learning methods and techniques like the SQ3R will help with study skills, KWL will help with retention and critical thinking will help with overall application. Therefore, it is safe to say that comprehension and retention will enhance learning processes in every aspect of a student life which will help in increasing the chances of been successful in academic, career or life in general.
Obstacles Affecting the Building of Comprehension and Retention
In other to achieve the ultimate learning goals through comprehension and retention many methods, strategies, methods and techniques needs to be used but whilst using all of these there are also many potential obstacles that can deter the building of such which can eventually affect academic successes. The obstacles are as follows;
- Poor understanding: lack of understanding in deep reading/learning is an obstacle or the failure to adopt and use the techniques needed to achieve it.
- Poor time management: inability to management study time will affect comprehension and retention. - Lack of HOTS: not using or developing higher order thinking skills or critical thinking.
- Poor memory retention: inability to retain or recall information or text read or learnt.
- Lack of focus: not been able to have concentration will affect the overall assimilation of information.
- Personal mindset: distraction, emotional problems or anxiety will also affect it.
- Lack of attention and effort: when there is no motivation and goals are not it can serve has an obstacle to comprehending and retaining.
- Mental overcrowding: inability to organise or clarify reading and learning experience will affect the building of comprehension and retention.
- Reading or learning difficulties: inability to understand words or sentences and how they relate to each other which will affect the full understanding of how the text interprets into information in a meaningful manner.
Comprehension and retention is an important skill needed to achieve academic success, it is also needed in everyday life but in other to be able to comprehend when learning, concentration and the full function of the brain using all function of the memory (sensory, short and long-term memory) is needed to retain information and recall it. They also help reader to focus on the message, ideas and the argument of a writer to make connection to already known concepts which helps in problem solving. It has been established that this are skills and it must be learned through practice, focus and diligence. Since there are obstacle affecting building comprehension and retention it could be recommended that learners should think before and whilst reading, planning ahead before reading, taking notes by rewriting information in own words when been taught or learning, ensure enough rest is taken.
In conclusion, the report focuses on the importance and effect of comprehension and retention on academic successes and how it can also affect the overall outcome of a learner in their chosen career and everyday life. Although some people are born with learning difficulties which cannot be reversed, it is however important for a learner that want to succeed to be able to overcome any obstacle that may affect the way they learn through improving of their comprehension skills, most importantly not limiting themselves to a particular learning material and ensuring reading and revising becomes part of their routine which will help in their retaining ability.
Cite this Essay
To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below