Welcome to the Treehouse Community

Want to collaborate on code errors? Have bugs you need feedback on? Looking for an extra set of eyes on your latest project? Get support with fellow developers, designers, and programmers of all backgrounds and skill levels here with the Treehouse Community! While you're at it, check out some resources Treehouse students have shared here.

Looking to learn something new?

Treehouse offers a seven day free trial for new students. Get access to thousands of hours of content and join thousands of Treehouse students and alumni in the community today.

Start your free trial

General Discussion

Jonathan Broderick
Jonathan Broderick
12,409 Points

Techniques for retaining information

So, I've been learning from Treehouse for over a year now, and I've learned a lot of great things. However, I've found recently that I'm struggling to retain most of the information. I've learned a wide variety of things, but I would say my understanding and overall skill level with software development is "a mile wide but an inch deep". Does anyone have techniques they use when going through Treehouse courses, or when learning in general, that have helped them retain information long-term? That have helped you process the information more deeply? Please be specific, and also please don't tell me to "just practice every day". I DO practice every day, but I think I'm practicing wrong. You know what they say, "Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect." Any advice/help would be much appreciated!

5 Answers

I find what helps me the most is finding practical applications to use the things you are learning. Try to think of something to build or test out with the topics you are learning.

Jesus Mendoza
Jesus Mendoza
23,289 Points

Hey Jonathan,

I use the following techniques:

  • I write down what I learned from the video.
  • I try to explain it as I was trying to teach someone.
  • I build stuff!

Good luck!

I've found it helpful to see my Treehouse learning as the foundational jumping off point that prepares me to learn from other sources. I complete as much as possible here, then I look for books or websites that teach more of the subject. Trying to get exposure to a topic from many different angles helps to solidify where they overlap.

So, try looking up a good coding textbook or two.

Also, sometimes the broad understanding is good so that you know whats available even if you aren't exactly sure how to impliment it. I read through the entire MDN JavaScript documentation (or a huge part of it, anyway), not with an eye for total retention, but general exposure to whats out there so I better understand what's in my tool box when problems arise

good luck!

Jonathan Broderick
Jonathan Broderick
12,409 Points

Really good stuff, guys! Thanks for the ideas! I will likely be using all of these at one point or another. Treehouse should have a course for learning how to learn. "Meta-learning"? haha. Really, though, growing up we all learn all kinds of things, but most of us never learned how to learn, so courses on that would be really cool. I know different things work for different people but there are tried and true things that can work at least to some extent for most people. Anyway, thanks again! If I remember, I'll post here again in a while to update on how applying these techniques has worked. If people have more ideas, keep 'em coming! These could be good for others as well.

In reference to your suggestion of a course about learning how to learn, Coursera actually has a course called exactly that. I have not taken it myself so I cannot speak to its efficacy but it might be worth a look.

Learning How to Learn

Bruno Brito
Bruno Brito
3,652 Points

Well, I just asked this same question here and at some other sites. The bottom line seems to be this:

1 - Try to follow a track.

2 - Once you learn something new, try it out. Make something with it.

3 - If the course presents a code along, once it is done, make your own version right after you finish.

Since web development is what I'm all about and I too find myself trying to make sure I learn things properly, I just came up with a plan:

a) I'll follow the tracks here and practice on Freecodecamp, codeavengers, etc to help me remember stuff.

b) After the Css portion I'll be making at least 5 personal projects of static websites. Then I'll upload them for reviews, etc.

c) While learning Html, CSS and other stuff I'll be studying javascript for at least 2 hours a day since mastering Javascript seems to be the recipe for success.

Hope it works.

Good luck for us all.