1.2 Active Learning
This textbook is interactive for a reason: humans learn best by doing. Research supports that approach for just about every type of learning, from playing the piano to speaking Cantonese.
It is especially true for logic, which is why you must continually answer questions as we go along.
We know this method can be frustrating. For example, you had to figure out who was guilty before we even explained how to approach the problem. Even though it’s frustrating, it is a very effective way to learn.
With your new knowledge of learning, see if you can figure this out:
Even though active learning can be stressful, there are several things you can do to make it more fun and effective. The first is to not make it personal. How you do isn’t a judgment on you as a person.
Solving crimes in a fictional story is one way to get you into the right mindset. It’s not your fault you got stuck in this office with a jerk for a Sergeant. Just remember: we are like your coaches, helping you solve crimes and survive your terrible boss.
The more you practice at active learning the less stressful it becomes, so let's help decrease the stress by trying another problem.
If you’d like to learn more about active learning, check out the discussion of empirical work on active learning on the textbook’s website.
Another way to prepare yourself for active learning is to realize that logic isn’t a fixed ability you have. Logic is an area that everyone improves at by training.
What matters is whether you learn the material, not whether you get a problem right the first time. There’s nothing bad about getting a problem in this textbook incorrect. You can even redo the homework problems and improve your score, up until the deadline set by your instructor.
You might be thinking: then I can game the system; I’ll just take notes and ace the section on the second try!
Go for it. Research suggests that taking notes aids learning regardless of whether you ever look at them again. Plus, strategic planning like that is a great use of logic.
That’s not gaming the system; that is the system.
Lastly, before we go answer this question.