Recording book chapters as 'audiobooks' for studying - weird or just unusual?

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  • Thread starter keenPenguin
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  • #1
Hi,

I am a Master's student in mainly theoretical physics. When I studied in my Bachelor's, I really didn't enjoy the examns very much: I had a systematic clockwork learning style for preparing myself for the examns. The result is that I usually get the desired (very good) grade, but studying in this way is really painful and sucks, it's outright disgusting. When I would take an examn (even an excellent one) all I could think of was the next examn, and you can imagine that isn't very fun.

Now, in my Master's, I finally have a little more freedom as to when the examns are to be taken. I am experimenting with different studying techniques.

Something I have always loved (since I can remember) were audiobooks. Seriously. I have spent countless hours listening to stories on the bus, and I am always patient while listening. I don't enjoy reading (I mean silently) half as much, nay, 25% as much as listening.

So I had the idea to record some of the book chapters I have to study for my examns as 'audiobooks'. I just read the text with a mic, also read the image captions and the mathematical expressions. I now have like 7 hours of recorded material.

The studying experience is very different. While in conventional reading, I progress very, very slowly. That's a) because I love studying with depth and b) because while getting acquainted with the material, I don't know what's important and what will later turn out as just details.
Also, in classical reading style studying/grasping an idea is often a great effort. I have to think, think, think, and that is a conscious and often tiring effort. In audio learning, I usually just (effortlessly) get some ideas from recording/first listening. This is by far no complete understanding. Then, upon second listening, more ideas become clear, rather effortlessly. This way, through repetition and auditive learning, I spend lots of time revising BUT I learn in a more effortless, less painful and clockwork-style way.

I haven't 'tested' the method in field yet, because the examns are still a couple of weeks away. But I was wondering what you think of it.

Is it nonsense?
Or could it be a good alternative for someone who likes listening/auditive learning?
Is it a slow an shallow way of learning, or might it even be more efficient than conventional learning (given the inclination to be a good/passionate listener)?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
ZapperZ
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A picture is worth a thousand words.

Ignore the obvious question on how you would actually read mathematical expression (do you read Gauss's Law as "del dot Eee is equal to rho", or do you read it as "the divergence of the electric field is equal to the charge density"), I'm actually surprised that you prefer "audio book" rather than reading, since in many cases, a figure illustrations convey more meaning than whole paragraphs of written words.

Zz.
 
  • #3
Ah OK should have been more clear on this:

Of course I never listen to that stuff without having the book, with all the figures etc. in front of me. I also pause the recording when contemplating a figure. As to mathematical expressions, when they're too long when there are too many of them, I just don't record them.

But as for the text blocks connecting the formulas and figures, they make up like 60-90% of a regular textbook, I guess. And I record them.
 
  • #4
To answer your original question, it sounds weird to me.... but whatever works for you... let us know how the field testing goes. I don't think this will take off as a successful product though, in case you're planning to marketing it.
 
  • #5
jtbell
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Part of the benefit you're getting is probably from the act of recording the stuff (reading it out loud).
 

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